Pros, Cons, and a Summary of Jack Conklin
- Good size at 6’6, 308, has a frame for more weight
- Very long arms, 35″
- Excellent run blocker
- Powerful upper body, finished many blocks with pancakes
- Great awareness, picks up stunt blitzes consistently
- Maintains a good pad level
- Strong punch
- Rarely commits penalties
- Mean streak, aggressive demeanor, blocks through the whistle
- Slow to get out of his stance, struggles with speed rushers
- Poor footwork, gets caught flat-footed or off-balance
- Inconsistent in pass protection
- Heavy-legged, not quick to to pull block or getting to second level
- Seems clumsy/possesses poor balance, is on the ground quite a bit
- Has a tendency to lunge at his matchup, gets beat when he does
- Doesn’t anchor well, was on the receiving end of too many pancakes
Jack Conklin is a player I’ve seen many rate fairly highly, even as high as the #2 OT in this draft class. Pro Football Focus recently put out a Top 100 and has Conklin as their second ranked tackle and the #14 overall prospect.
I just can’t agree with that.
Conklin does have his strengths, but they are primarily in run blocking. He has a powerful upper body and finishes plenty of his blocks with a pancake. He’s quite advanced with his run blocking ability, as he excels at creating holes, sealing off lanes, etc.
He has good size at 6’6″, 308 lbs. and has a frame to add on more weight as he gets stronger. He also has 35″ arms, which is well above-average for a tackle.
A few other things that stand out with Conklin is he rarely committed penalties while at Michigan State, he tested as a slightly above-average athlete at the Combine, and he has a mean demeanor and is constantly blocking all the way to the whistle.
But that’s about where the compliments stop. Conklin has his fair share of negative qualities, and several of them are major holes in his game.
First, even though he tested well at the Combine, it’s hard to to see that athleticism on tape. He is slow out of his stance and often struggled against speed rushers. He also was slow on pull blocking assignments and getting out to the second level.
Conklin is inconsistent in pass protection, and might even be a liability in this area. I saw him get beat in all sorts of ways on film; speed rush, bull rush, swim move, spin move, etc.
There are several different reasons why he was beat as much as he was, so it’s not just one thing that needs to be coached up. Sometimes he displayed poor footwork and got caught on the wrong foot, sometimes he just had poor balance and was easily knocked over, and sometimes he didn’t anchor well and was on the receiving end of the pancake.
Which brings me to next point. Conklin was on the ground…a lot. It was almost shocking to see how much this guy ended up on the ground. It just feels like he’s a really clumsy individual that can’t stay on his feet.
There are several individuals whose opinions I value a lot that really like Conklin, but I just can’t bring myself to be a fan.
In my opinion, he’s not a tackle in the NFL. Not even a right tackle, because even on the right side, you still are going to face very good pass rushers. So if he wants to stick at tackle, I think he’s a day three prospect.
I believe he is best suited as a guard, probably on the right side and in a power blocking scheme.
If Conklin moves to guard, his value is probably around the end of round one or in the top half or round two, in the Cody Whitehair/Joshua Garnett range. But I’d rather have Whitehair and Garnett.
So since I don’t even see Conklin as a tackle, I have no interest in the Raiders drafting Conklin at #14. With Osemele and Gabe at guard presumably for the long haul, I don’t have any interest in drafting Conklin in any early round for that matter.