The Baltimore Ravens attended Wisconsin center/guard Peter Konz’s workout this past Thursday in Madison, Wisconsin, according to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times.
As perhaps the most linked draft prospect to the Ravens in numerous mock drafts and draft scenarios, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Ravens were in attendance at Konz’s workout along with a total of 19 different NFL teams, including scouts and coaches from: the Ravens, New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, and Detroit Lions.
The Ravens sent offensive line coach Andy Moeller to the workout which also featured one of Konz’s teammates, guard Kevin Zeitler who has also been recently linked and suggested as a solid pick for the Ravens to help solidify their offensive line.
Konz was reportedly impressive and looked fantastic and "fluid" during his drills, displaying "natural athleticism". Konz also improved upon some of his combine numbers by bench pressing 225 lbs. a total of 23 times, 5 more reps than he managed in Indianapolis at the NFL’s scouting combine. Konz, however, did not run the 40-yard dash.
(After the "Jump", see what Eric DeCosta had to say about Konz, and how the multi-purpose lineman could fit into the Ravens’ plans.)As perhaps the Ravens’ biggest off-season need, it’s just about a foregone conclusion that the Ravens will look to add at least a few new faces to their offensive line before the start of next season, and with the initial wave of free agency now over, the Ravens will most likely look to the draft as their primary source for new linemen.
One thing that the Ravens covet in all of their players is versatility. Konz is a player that offers that specific trait as a part of his overall repertoire. At 6-5 315 lbs., Konz has the ability to play at both left and right guard as well as his natural position of center. For the Ravens, this could come in handy. Over the years, the Ravens have shifted around offensive linemen constantly; Michael Oher has moved from left tackle to right tackle more than anyone can count, right guard Marshal Yanda has moved side to side when needed and slipped in at right tackle for a brief few moments here and there as well. And now that left guard Ben Grubbs is a member of the New Orleans Saints, the Ravens have, for now, promoted 2nd year right tackle Jah Reid to the starting left guard position. It seems conceivable that Konz could stop some of the "musical-chairs"-like shifting and help solidify and add youth to the Ravens’ somewhat dire situation.
One of the biggest concerns for teams potentially taking a hard look at Konz will be his injury history. Throughout his collegiate career, Konz has missed games in each season as a lineman for Wisconsin and is coming off of an ankle injury suffered last season. Konz has two physicals scheduled this month in Indianapolis on April 13th and 14th.
Before wrapping up, here is some of what the Ravens’ director of player personnel Eric DeCosta had to say on Konz:
"He’s got the size. He’s 6-5, 315 pounds. That’s to me a big indicator if a guy can do it. That’s one of those things where sometimes, there is a wait-and-see. We’ve considered all those different things. It’s a matter of working a guy out sometimes, putting him through the paces at the position. I think he’s played a little bit of guard in his past. I don’t know that it’s a really hard transition, center and guard. Other than the fact that you have to snap the ball, some of the same skill sets are there. I don’t think it’s a huge transition."
Whether or not the Ravens end up selecting Konz later this month during the NFL draft has yet to be seen, but at this point it seems as though the Ravens are at least strongly considering using a high draft pick on the multi-talented lineman.