The Falcons, with the No. 55 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, have selected guard Peter Konz from Wisconsin, largely thought to be the best center available in the draft.
Konz was projected to be a first-round pick.
Konz, 6-foot-5, 314 pounds, left the Badgers as a junior.
The pick of Konz is the first Big 10 selection for Thomas Dimitroff in a draft with the Falcons.
In 2010, he started the Badgers' first nine games (and eleven overall), helping the team finish second in the Big Ten Conference and 12th in the nation in rushing with an average of 245.69 yards per game.
With Konz back in the lineup for the start of the 2011 campaign, the offense was "clicking on all cylinders," as the ground game greatly benefitting from his blocking assignments to the tune of 3,298 yards and 48 touchdowns on the ground.
His performance in his ten starting assignments was enough for analysts to name him a first-team All-American and All-Big Ten Conference choice. He was a finalist for the 2011 Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's top center. He also added Academic All-Big Ten accolades.
Since 1999, Wisconsin has had thirteen offensive linemen taken in the NFL draft, tied for second-most in the country (only Notre Dame, with fifteen, has more). In 2011, three former Badgers were taken in the draft, tied with Florida for the most of any school. Konz joins senior guard Kevin Zeitler and senior tackle Josh Oglesby as draft-eligible linemen this year.
At Neenah High School, Konz was rated the 30th-best offensive lineman in the nation and the third-best overall player in the state of Wisconsin by Rivals.com. Scout.com rated him as the second-best player in the state and the 38th-best offensive lineman in the prep ranks. The team captain received first-team all-state, all-region and all-conference honors while excelling in the trenches as both an offensive and defensive lineman as a senior.
As a junior, Konz was also a first-team all-state choice on offense, adding first-team all-region, first-team all-conference, honorable mention all-conference recognition as a defensive lineman. He was also the team's most valuable lineman in 2006. He was named first-team all-conference and the team's most improved lineman as a sophomore.
For his defensive career, Konz totaled 34 tackles and ten quarterback sacks while earning three letters on the gridiron. He lettered twice in basketball and also competed twice for the track and field team. Konz enrolled at Wisconsin in 2008 as a defensive lineman. The coaches decided to redshirt him and the freshman spent the season as a center on the scout team. He earned his first letter in 2009, starting the Badgers' first nine games at center.
- Konz's friends and family react to his selection by Falcons
- Konz speaks to reporters at Wisconsin Pro Day
- Interview during his sophomore year at UW
- Peter Konz emerged as a media favorite at Rose Bowl Media Day
- Konz "interviews" teammate Kevin Zeitler
- PHOTOS: Click here to see a photo gallery of Peter Konz