Badgers’ C Konz selected at No. 55 by Atlanta

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The Atlanta Falcons have used their first pick in the NFL draft to select Wisconsin guard-center Peter Konz.

The Falcons made Konz the 55th overall pick with the second-round selection. A run on offensive tackles earlier in the round helped convince the Falcons to draft Konz, who has good size at 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds.

CBS Sports described him as “a physical run blocker with raw power and strength at the point of attack. Gets very good initial push off the snap.”

Konz has been widely considered as the best center in the draft, but he might have dropped a bit in the draft due to some strength concerns. Konz improved his bench press of 225 pounds to 23 reps in a private workout, up from 18 reps at the NFL combine.

Konz could be an eventual replacement for center Todd McClure, who is 35 and entering his 14th season.

The Falcons have five in this year’s draft after trading a seventh-round selection to the Eagles for Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel on Wednesday.

The team traded this year’s first-round pick to move up in the first round of last year’s draft to select receiver Julio Jones.