Matt Hennessy Roster Profile
Matt Hennessy was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the 14th pick in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hennessy, played his college football at Temple, where he contributed for three years.
In this series we will examine:
- Hennessy prospect profile from our Head of College and NFL Draft Content Simon Carroll
- his relative athletic score
- his potential opportunities in the NFL in the upcoming season
PRO’S: Lean, athletic lineman that is ultra smooth and quick in short space. Excellent balance when moving from one block to the next – in complete control of his body. Excellent technique – footwork and hand placement consistently on point. Shows good knee bend and wins the leverage battle in all block forms. Fast arms with a tough jab style to his punch that keeps defenders away from the ball. Ultra smart with good game knowledge and positioning. Able to get downfield in the run game and deliver clean blocks at the second level.
CON’S: Undersized, although looks to have the frame to add more weight, which he will definitely need to do for the NFL. Lack of mass equals a shortfall in play strength too – stoutness all comes from his fundamentals and technique. Never played guard at any level.
SIMON CARROLL: “One of my favourite players in this draft class, Hennessy has all the traits of a starting center in the NFL. I truly believe he can add the muscle mass necessary to appease scouts, and he’s probably already doing that throughout the pre-draft process. If he does that and is able to maintain his smoothness around the line of scrimmage I can see him sneaking into the second round”.
Relative Athletic Score
Hennessy ranked in the top-five among interior offensive linemen when it came to his RAS. While his explosion and agility both appear to be great, there should be serious concerns about how his low bench press score will translate onto the field at the next level.
Opportunities at the next level
Barring injury there is fairly close to no chance we see Hennessy on the field for the Falcons in 2020. Current starter at center, Alex Mack, is among the best in the league at the position. However, Mack is also 35 and in the final year of his contract. This gives Hennessy the chance to learn under Mack, develop a rapport with quarterback Matt Ryan, and present the Falcons with an option come next offseason when Mack’s contract is up.
In terms of sliding to the other interior positions, it is unlikely he will find a home starting in either of those spots either. James Carpenter still has three years remaining on his contract, and is carrying a cap hit of over $5 million this year. Meanwhile Chris Lindstrom is a player the Falcons took with a first-round pick in 2019. Unless Lindstrom really struggles it is tough to see Hennessy as anything more than a backup in 2020.
2021 will offer opportunities however. Mack is out of contract, Carpenter has no more guaranteed money on his deal, and Lindstrom will have had two years to show development. With a solid year of practice and potentially some snaps in injury relief in 2020 and Hennessy could be ready to step in as a starter in 2021.
Head of NFL Content
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