NFL Analyst Says Falcons Rookie Could Be a ‘Great Protege’ to Alex Mack

Alex Mack

Getty Alex Mack #51 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons were planning for the future when they went for the best center in the draft 2020 class, former Temple Owl Matt Hennessy.

NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara is a big fan of the direction the Falcons took for their third-round pick.

“I thought that was a great pickup,” O’Hara told Sports Illustrated. “Watching him on film, he absolutely looks like he could be a great protege for Alex Mack, and I think bringing him into the mix, he can play guard if they need him to, but having him there to be able to kind of learn under Alex and kind of watch him work, watch him study and learn how he watches film, I think that’s a huge pickup for that O-line room and really for that center position whenever he’s ready to step in.”

34-year-old Alex Mack is entering his 12 NFL season and isn’t looking for retirement, yet. Mack has started all 69 games with the Falcons since 2016. He has played a total of 4,292 snaps.

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Mack Know What His Duty Is

Hennessey was picked up by the Falcons after watching and looking up to Mack for years so to him, it’s an absolute dream come true.

And Mack is ready to take on the role of helping Hennessy transition to the professional level.

“It’s my duty to help him be as good as he can be. If he’s a teammate or a former teammate, if I can help the younger guys learn more, it only helps you. It makes me a valuable part of the team to be able to coach people, Mack said to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.

Hennessy Excelled At Temple

Hennessy is coming to Atlanta with a remarkable college career.

As a Temple Owl, Hennessy only missed a total of four games in his three seasons. He started 12 games in his final collegiate season, 11 in 2018, and 12 in 2017. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed pressure on only 1.25% of his true pass sets in the last two seasons.

In his final season, Hennessy earned third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-American Athletic Conference and was a finalist for the Remington Trophy as the nation’s best pivot. Temple also awarded him a single-digit jersey, an honor for team leaders and tone setters at Temple.

Where Will Hennessy Start?

Head coach Dan Quinn says Hennessy will start at guard “for certain” and compete for the left guard position.

“Let’s see where it plays out,” Quinn said during a local media conference. “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.”

Mack isn’t getting his starting position taken away anytime soon, but you never know what could happen midway through the season as Hennessy takes notes from a six-time Pro Bowl center.

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