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Here’s what new Falcon Matt Hennessy had to say

Temple center Matt Hennessy was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Falcons. (Credit: Temple Athletics)
Temple center Matt Hennessy was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the Falcons. (Credit: Temple Athletics)

Here’s what Falcons guard/center Matt Hennessy had to say on a conference call with the Atlanta media after being selected in the third round of the NFL draft on Friday:

On when he had a feeling the Falcons were going to draft him: "Early on the scouting process, got information at the Senior Bowl and had a chance to sit down with the head coach, owner and GM at the Combine in a formal interview and we got to know each other there.

Since then, it's developed. We had originally planned to have a work out as well, but that got canceled with all the COVID complications. Just waiting it out until then and of course now extremely excited to join the organization.”

On whether or not Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins was at Temple during his first year there: "Yeah, he was there. Me and him were both there in 2017 and 2018 along with the assistants -- really, everybody in that Georgia Tech organization now."

On the position he played in high school and who convinced him to switch to center: "Yeah, I played at Don Bosco Prep in North Jersey and played right tackle. I was a lightly recruited guy and went to Temple. Coach Matt Rhule, he figured there I had the ideal skill-set for a center. So day one at Temple, I bumped down to center."

On whether or not he feels like he could play at left guard: "That's one thing I focused on improving throughout this draft process. At Temple, I focused on playing center because that's where I was placed and year-to-year we felt like that put us in the best position to succeed. Going forward, I'm looking forward to playing all three interior spots."

On where he will play with the Falcons: "Yeah, like I said, they talked about position flexibility and being able to play all three interior spots. As far as an actual plan, not too much, really, just being able to do that."

On who he communicated with from the Falcons organization throughout the draft process: "Yeah, like I said, I got to sit down with coach (Chris) Morgan, coach (Dan) Quinn, Mr. (Thomas) Dimitroff and Mr. (Arthur) Blank all at the Combine, kind of in a different setting. Informal and formal and got to know them as they got to know me. I was extremely excited, leaving there extremely excited about the opportunity for potentially playing for them."

On his observations of the Falcons scheme: "It's a scheme I've watched a lot on TV and one I always thought I was a good fit for just based on my skill-set. I'm really excited about the opportunity to play in it."

On playing with center Alex Mack: "As a young player, at such a developmental position always looking to get better, having a veteran of that caliber will be absolutely incredible. It will be extremely helpful as I enter the league."

On protecting Matt Ryan: "Yeah, I just look at it as like an opportunity. I'm going to do everything I can to help the organization, and if that means pass protecting, that's what it's going to be."

On catching up with Collins: "He's an awesome one and somebody I've kept in touch with throughout this process, and the tight end coach there now, he was my offensive line coach at Temple and recruited me as well. Really all of the guys from the Georgia Tech organization I'm extremely close with. When the news broke on TV, those were the first guys I heard from. I'm excited to see those guys again when I get down there."

On facing head coach Rhule and the Carolina Panthers twice a year: "It will be awesome. It's funny, like when I got selected two of the first guys I heard from are guys who are now part of that organization who recruited me at Temple. I guess it's kind of coming full circle now playing against them at the next level."

On whether or not he had a lot of contact with the Falcons during the draft process: "I did. I wouldn't say a lot but a decent amount. They definitely figured out who I was as a player and person and did a bunch of research. We knew it was definitely in play."

On whether or not he's relieved that the draft process is over for him: "A little bit. More importantly, I'm excited to join another organization and be working towards winning a championship again and just learning the playbook, the strength program and developing relationships with new teammates."


Quarterbacks: Joe Burrow leads classTop 10
Running backs: Cam Akers' life lessonTop 10
Tight ends:  Harrison Bryant top prospect Top 10 
Guards/Centers:  Solomon Kindley a late-rounderTop 10 
Offensive tackles:  Austin Jackson's life lesson | Top 10 
Wide receivers: Jeudy or Lamb  | Top 10
Defensive tackles: Brown, Kinlaw stand outTop 10
Defensive ends: A 'generational' talentTop 10
Linebackers: Simmons a position-less LBTop 10
Safeties: Loaded with Georgia talent | Top 10
Special teams:  Georgia's kick-centered | Return with flashTop 10
Cornerbacks:  Jeff Okudah a lockdown CB | Top 10


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