Summary: Konz was the best center in the nation for the 2011 season. He was the leader on a powerful offensive line that paved the way for one of the best rushing teams in college football. Wisconsin averaged 236 yards per game on the ground in 2011. Konz was a vital blocker in opening up holes for star running back Montee Ball. The Badgers' 48 rushing touchdowns was the highest total in the nation. Late in the season, Konz missed a couple of games with a dislocated ankle.
As a run blocker, Konz is a pure road-grader. He can move defensive linemen on his own and has no problem in bowling over linebackers. When Konz gets a double team block with a guard, the defensive tackle is virtually finished. He should be deadly in the NFL on bump blocks to blast tackles out of their gap. Konz could be a prototype center for a power-man scheme. At the same time, he has the quickness and athletic ability to be able to execute a zone-blocking system.
In pass protection, Konz is very effective. He is too big and strong to be bull rushed. Konz has the athletic ability to move with speed rushers. At the next level, Konz is projected to have no issues stuffing the middle and providing a good pocket for his quarterback to step into.
Player Comparison: Nick Mangold. Since being drafted in the first round in 2006, Mangold has been one of the top centers in the NFL. He is a well-balanced run blocker and pass protector. Mangold is a Pro Bowl center who has validated his high draft status.
Mangold was a first-round pick, and Konz likewise should also be selected in the top 32. Konz is a little bit bigger than Mangold. However, both centers have more size and power than the vast majority of starting centers in the NFL.
NFL Matches: Chicago, Tennessee, Detroit, New Orleans, San Francisco, Houston, Baltimore
The Bears need a center and they have the first shot at Konz. Chicago could replace Olin Kreutz with a center who looks like a decade-long answer at the position. Tennessee likewise needs to replace the void that Kevin Mawae left behind.
The Lions need a new center as Dominic Raiola is nearing the end of his career. The Saints signed Kreutz as a stop-gap and don't have a permanent center. The 49ers signed former Saints veteran Jonathan Goodwin and he also is a short-term player. The Texans could lose Pro Bowl center Chris Myers in free agency, and Konz could be his replacement, although that pick seems more unlikely because the Texans believe in their system.
It is doubtful that Konz will make it to the Ravens first-round pick, but he could be the replacement for veteran Matt Birk.