What Will Be Falcons Rookie Matt Hennessy’s Role in Atlanta?

Matt Hennessy

Getty Matt Hennessy #58 of the Temple Owls.

The Falcons went for the biggest, fastest, and strongest center did in this year’s NFL Draft for Matt Ryan’s sake and Atlanta’s future QBs.

Atlanta drafted Temple Owl Matt Hennessy in the third round and along the way, they ruined the Denver Broncos’ plan to trade up with the New York Jets for the Temple star.

Hennessy recently caught up with Evan Birchfield of the Falcoholic and told him what his role looks like in Atlanta.

“My role will be along the interior offensive line, with an emphasis on position flexibility,” Hennessy said.

With Alex Mack still staring at the Center position, Hennessy will most likely play at left guard to start.

Hennessy Ranked Top Center in 2020 Draft Class

Pro Football Focus graded Hennessy with an 86.9, ranking him at the top in 2019

Hennessy showed off his versitality early on as an offensive tackle at New Jersey’s Don Bosco Prep and then moved on to play at center for Temple. That’s where he excelled.

Hennessy only missed a total of four games in his three seasons as an Owl. 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 2019  Hennessy earned third-team Associated Press All-American, first-team All-American Athletic Conference, and 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.

Hennessy Models His Game After Alex Mack

Hennessy said at the NFL combine in February that he grew up looking up to the Falcons current Pro Bowl center, Alex Mack. Now, he gets to learn from his new teammate.

“As a young player, at such a developmental position always looking to get better, having a veteran of that caliber will be absolutely incredible,” Hennessy said. “It will be extremely helpful as I enter the league.”

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Hennessy Won’t Take Mack’s Spot Just Yet

Although he played center in college and that’s his strong suit, the Falcons have a different plan for Hennessy. They will have him compete at the starting left guard spot this offseason and see where that goes.

Head coach Dan Quinn sees a lot of qualities in Hennessy that can be translated into other interior offensive line spots.

“He’s got really quick feet,”  Quinn said of Hennessy via AtlantaFalcons.com. “He can get out on the edge. He pulls at center. There’s a lot of stuff that he does that you want to see in a wide zone offensive scheme.”

Mack is approaching the final year of his NFL contract with Atlanta and will turn 34 this year. The Falcons knew what they were doing when they drafted a Mack clone but Mack still has a lot of juice left in him.

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