After redshirting in 2008, he took over as the starting center for the injured Travis Frederick as a redshirt freshman early in the 2009 season, starting nine games at the pivot spot.
Konz became the full-time starter at center in 2010 as a sophomore and started 11 games, but missed two games due to injury, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors. He started the first 10 games of 2011 as a junior before an ankle injury sidelined him for the final three contests, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors.
Konz is a very good station-to-station blocker and effective puller. He isn?t naturally explosive, but shows the quick feet and mobility to block well on the move. He is aggressive and tough-minded, but has some durability concerns after missing time each of the past three seasons with several injuries.
Konz has an excellent combination of size, strength and quickness and possesses the skill-set to also line up at guard if needed (despite only playing center in college). He blocks with very good balance and raw power and is the top center in this draft class, projecting as a solid top-30 pick.
Pass Blocking: Possesses a solidly-built frame with a filled-out body and solid muscle definition. Naturally wide base off the snap. Does a nice job sinking his hips and playing with consistent pad level, sitting in his stance with steady balance. Shoots his hands into defenders with very good placement, flashing strong hands to sustain blocks for an extended period of time. Taller for the center position and will allow his upper body to get high at times. Understands blocking angles.
Run Blocking: A physical run blocker with raw power and strength at the point of attack. Gets very good initial push off the snap. Does a nice job with body positioning, walling off defenders to seal run lanes. Not a quick-twitch mover and looks a tad uncoordinated in tight spaces.
Pulling/Trapping: Athletic and mobile, blocking well in space and pulling towards either sideline. Shows natural instincts with a very good feel for the position, keeping his eyes elevated and always looking for someone to block.
Initial Quickness: Sets up quickly and gets into his stance in a flash. Stout and aggressive at the point of attack and is tough to move because he plays with such good leverage ? sticky blocker. Konz is a bit stiff in his core and struggles to quickly redirect. Not naturally explosive.
Downfield: Rangy blocker with the foot quickness to cover a lot of ground and easily get to the second level. Takes on defenders with toughness and aggression, looking to finish and dominate.
Intangibles: Intelligent with strong football character, working hard on and off the field. Has good starting experience with 30 career starts at center over the past three seasons. Offers some versatility with the skill-set to line up at other offensive line spots. Has strong durability concerns, missing time each of the past three seasons with various injuries ? missed three games towards the end of 2011, including the Big Ten Championship Game, with a left ankle injury."
-- Dane Brugler
- Possesses a strong, well put together frame with natural girth through his lower half, despite his height.
- Showcases natural bend when asked to sit into his stance. Keep his knees bent, base down, and looks natural keeping his pad level low into his stance.
- A smart kid who helps make all the line calls and exhibits impressive awareness working in tandem with his guards in the pass game.
- Keeps his head on a swivel, locates blitzing linebackers, and is quick to adjust.
- Showcases natural change of direction skills and foot quickness when asked to re-direct and mirror.
- Drops pad level quickly, and even if he does give up initial leverage, works his hands well and has the ability to re-set his hands and anchor on contact.
- Showcases the natural power in his lower half, length, and hand placement to gain leverage and anchor out vs. bigger tackles, once he gains leverage.
- Is heavy handed and sticks well once engaged.
- Snaps and steps quickly in the run game.
- Doesn’t waste much motion extending his arms and getting his hands into contact at the point of attack vs. the run.
- Generates a good snap through the hips into contact when blocking down on defenders off his frame.
- Showcases the power to consistently wash out defensive linemen on contact off his frame.
- Understands angles and is quick to get around blocks inside, create leverage with his hands, and seal.
- Even when overwhelmed on contact in the run game, is quick footed and able to get his body around and seal defenders from the play.
- Showcases good short area quickness when asked to chip, get out into the second level, and reach a target.
- Possesses a toughness about his game, likes to finish, and will play till the whistle.
- Is a tough kid who is willing to play through pain.
What I don’t like…
- Despite his ability to bend, is a taller center who will allow defenders to get under his pad level at times off the snap.
- Isn’t the most consistent of punchers in pass protection; would like to see more of a snap into contact.
- Can be rocked backward at times, initially, in pass protection, and put on skates; doesn’t quickly recover when trying to re-set his feet and anchor.
- Will get overextended at times into contact, initially, when trying to get physical in pass protection.
- Lacks elite power off the snap and at times can give up leverage and be worked into the backfield vs. the run.
- Looks a bit limited on the move. Is asked to pull and get around the edge, but lacks ideal range in the open field.
- Tends to pop upright a bit through contact as an in-line blocker when trying to finish, and will lose balance and fall off blocks though the play.
Impression: For a taller center, showcases impressive flexibility, as he typically gains leverage on contact and uses his length to gain proper hand placement. Has some limitations because of his height, and will allow defenders to get under him at times.
However, for the most part is able to quickly re-set his hands, sink his hips, and keep the inside of the pocket clean in pass protection.
Showcases a good snap through the hips in the run game; is routinely able to create a push inside and drive opposing nose tackles away from the play and/or seal. Looks like a “plus” run blocker in the NFL in more of an angle scheme."
Run Blocking: Konz is a plus run blocker. He along with a fantastic OL at Wisconsin paved the way for Montee Ball’s record breaking season. He’s a heavy handed athlete that is sticky through contact. Great angle blocker. He’s a quick twitch athlete for his size that has exceptional short area quickness. He’s got a nasty demeanor that is seen when he’s finishing blocks to the whistle. He is a little slow off the snap which can result in him being pushed into the backfield. He needs to breakdown in the open field as he has a tendency to lunge into contact.
Technique: Definite top technician in this center class. He uses his hands really well and has a good mesh between his upper and lower body. His awareness of blocking schemes and ability to be the leader of the offensive line sets him apart. Intangibles are through the roof with this kid.
Athleticism/Strength: Konz is a natural athlete that sits in his stance really well. He’s a knee bender and keeps his base down through contact. Strong lower half that allows for a solid anchor. I would like to see him get better as a move blocker in the NFL. He has the athleticism but seems to lose patience in the open field.
Bottom Line: Konz is the top center in this class and it’s not close. He’s a solid technician that could be the leader of the line from day one. He’s an immediate starter for the team taking him and could be a perennial Pro Bowler.
Draft Projection: 1."
Bold Statement: Barring an injury, Konz should enter the NFL Draft following the 2011 season.
Games Viewed: (all 2010) Arizona State, Ohio State, Iowa, TCU
• Has great size for the position. Like many Wisconsin offensive linemen, Konz has a body that is ready for the NFL.
• When he is playing in line, Konz is much better blocking to the right. He's not as fluid or sudden working to the left.
• As strong as he is, Konz isn't particularly a great drive blocker against defensive tackles. He's fine taking on linebackers, but doesn't push around tackles that well.
• What makes Konz special is his pulling ability on sweep plays. If Wisconsin is running to the edge with a big back, it's often behind Konz.
• Konz is an intelligent player working on the second level. He doesn't get in the back's way and offers just enough running room to create a lane.
• Can control himself nicely when running full speed, picking off defenders in his path.
• From a technical standpoint, Konz needs to improve his hand use. Although he gets back into his stance quickly, Konz struggles to consistently get good hand position.
• Has had some ankle injury issues, both in 2010 and during 2011 spring practice. Has also dealt with blood clots in his lungs that caused him to miss time in 2009."
Still more a finesse run blocker who isn’t necessarily that physical at the point of attack as he tends to lean at times; solid pass blocker who can handle most DTs one-on-one; moves feet well and gets good arm extension; also shows pretty good awareness and does a job sliding around the pocket picking off blitzers."
Smart about where he puts his helmet and is a great angle blocker... Blocks the correct shoulder depending on where the ball is going and gets a good push off the line of scrimmage... Very good run blocker for a center... Can get to the second level as well and shows good awareness to seal off the running lane...
Seems to have a good understanding of the defensive front and is an extremely good down blocker... Makes a solid wall when blocking down on the tackle... Can pull with the guard and pick up the secondary block or set the edge if the guard pulls up... Very solid pass blocker... Good at chipping the rusher and helping out in the pocket...
Utilizes his solid base, good footwork and excellent hands to keep defenders at the line of scrimmage... Good snapper with the quarterback either under center or from the shotgun... Might be over-drafted in this weak center class, no other center will be considered before the late second round.
Negatives -- Not an elite prospect, can be good, but doesn't possess the tools to be an upper echelon player...
Not as fast as you'd like him to be when blocking the second level or trying to get to the linebacker and cut him off his pursuit...Was asked to pull a lot in the screen game at Wisconsin, but looked too eager at times to get to the edge allowing the rusher to come in behind him and get the ball-carrier...
Needs to develop a better sense of where he needs to be on the pulls, and if he's going to take the edge he needs to commit to it... Foot speed isn't necessarily where it should be for a first rounder, but can be worked on... Suffered an ankle injury in a November game against Minnesota this year and missed the next three games.
When the Badgers played Michigan State, he played very well against fellow 2012 NFL Draft defensive tackle prospect Jerel Worthy. Depending upon the statistician, Konz pancaked him as well. Those games against comparable NFL talent are what scouts really like to watch and from that film alone, he should be able to impress.
As far as his technique, he does an excellent job of finding any blitzing linebackers, releasing from a double-team and sliding into position to make a block.
His run blocking is great and if need be, he could fill-in at guard for most NFL teams. Konz does well to find the middle linebacker on every play and very rarely is Wisconsin's line caught off guard. He is able to quickly create running lanes up the middle by exploding into defenders and knocking them off their pursuit angles."