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NFL Draft results: Falcons draft C/G Matt Hennessy in the 3rd round

The Falcons select the versatile Senior Bowl standout from Temple, C/G Matt Hennessy, with their third round pick.

Memphis v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After an eventful first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Day 2 is in full swing. In the third round, the Falcons selected the versatile C/G from Temple, Matt Hennessy. Hennessy was one of the best offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl, who impressed scouts with his competitiveness, athleticism, and improved ability to anchor compared to his tape.

Here’s how I summarized Hennessy’s skillset in my C/G prospect preview:

At 6’4, 302, Hennessy has the size to play both center and guard and the leadership qualities you want from Mack’s successor. He’s a good athlete and is smart with his hand placement, making him an ideal fit in the zone scheme. Hennessy wasn’t an elite run blocker and lacks plus power, but his excellent pass protection ability, size, and athletic traits outweigh that—particularly for a team as pass-heavy as the Falcons.

Atlanta’s center position has been manned by All-Pro Alex Mack since 2016. While Mack has still been playing at a top-10 level in recent years, he’ll be 34 by the time the 2020 season kicks off and will be entering the final year of his contract. The Falcons also have issues at left guard, where neither of the free agents the team signed in 2019 have panned out (James Carpenter and Jamon Brown). Matt Hennessy has the size to survive at either center or guard, and can potentially compete to start at LG in 2020 before taking over the center position after Mack retires.

That makes this a nice pickup for the moment and for the future, and the Falcons have now addressed the trenches on both sides of the ball thus far in the 2020 NFL Draft. We’ll hope Hennessy can be the kind of plug-and-play starter the Falcons need right now.

Remaining picks

  • Round 3, No. 78 overall
  • Round 4, No. 119 overall
  • Round 4, No. 134 overall
  • Round 7, No. 228 overall