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Dan Quinn: Matt Hennessy has chance to be Falcons' starting left guard

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff drafted former Temple center Matt Hennessy with the No. 78 pick in the NFL Draft.

When asked what the plan for Hennessy is, given the Falcons have a Pro Bowl center on their roster in Alex Mack, Quinn outlined his thoughts for how his team will utilize Hennessy this season.


"Let's see where it plays out," Quinn said late Friday night. "To have the traits to know that it's an interior player, a center and a guard. Having that versatility actually allows you to have more strength to play [multiple positions]. We'll start him at guard for certain. As far as where Alex goes, he's still playing at a high level, as far as past 2020, there's a lot of time before it gets to that."

The Falcons have a hole to fill at their starting left guard and Hennessy will compete with James Carpenter, Jamon Brown and Matt Gono for the job.

Quinn said Hennessy has a legitimate chance to be Atlanta's starting left guard.

"That's definitely one of the spots we're focusing on heading into the 2020 season. We have some candidates in house and that's important to know that's going to be a significant part of our offensive line. To play the style we like, you better have enough work on the line of scrimmage. To bring Matt in here, especially where we had him regarded, certainly seemed like the best fit for us and we're really pumped to have him here."

Hennessy, 22, was a three-year starter at Temple and was as a finalist for the Remington Trophy in 2019. The Falcons had Hennessy high on their draft board and were planning to put him through an individual workout before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Hennessy said Quinn, Dimitroff, offensive line coach Chris Morgan and owner Arthur Blank met with him at the NFL combine in February.

Known for his quickness, toughness and football IQ, the Falcons believe Hennessy can be an immediate contributor in the upcoming season.

With the No. 78 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Temple center Matt Hennessy.

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