There are few relationships more important in the NFL than that between a center and a quarterback. It goes far beyond the snap, and becomes the critical element that determines the interior pass protection, and the organization needed for the offensive line.
While starting center Todd McClure only missed three games in 2011, it was clear that the Falcons' offense was heavily reliant on a good center/QB exchange. The pressure up the middle, coupled with unorganized protection proved to be the only chink in Atlanta's offensive armor moving forward. McClure is still a perfectly serviceable center, but at 35 years old it was clear the Falcons needed a contingency plan.
Leading up to the 2012 draft we looked at every possible draft scenario here at SB Nation Atlanta. Looking at all the possible second round offensive linemen it was apparent the Falcons would need to wait another season before finding a long term option at center. As always, the draft didn't go to plan- but it played perfectly into the team's hands. The best center in the draft managed to last until their second round pick, and now the Falcons have reliability that they can turn to Peter Konz in the long term.
Projected Depth Chart
Todd McClure/ Peter Konz
Out of the gate the Falcons will look for reliability in their long standing starter, and this will allow Konz to be eased into the system and develop a relationship with Matt Ryan. However, I think it's very likely we'll see the rookie get plenty of 1st team snaps in training camp, preparing him just in case. This is a position that went from weakness to strength in a short period of time, and ensures the interior of the Falcons offensive line will be set for the next decade.