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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle, Michigan State

Jack Conklin, Michigan State

 

Position: OT

 

Height: 6’6”

 

Weight: 308 lbs

 

Year: Junior

 

Hometown: Plainwell, Michigan

 

Experience: 3 Seasons (3-Year Starter)

 

 

Measurables:

 

40yd dash: 5.00s

 

Broad jump: 103 inch

 

Vertical: DNP

 

3-cone: 7.63s

 

20yd. Shuttle: 4.57

 

Bench Press: 25 reps

 

 

Career Notes: In 2014, Conklin showed functional hand strength from game to game. He did not show incredible punch in the pass game, but he proved a neutralizer to speed rushers who had median length. In Michigan State’s zone run game, he was competent at utilizing angles to maximize his hand strength. In 2015, he earned First-Team Honors in both the Big Ten and as an All-American.

 

A three-year starter at Michigan State, Conklin was not expected to have the success he had at the Division I level. No one in all of college football offered him a scholarship to play by the time he chose to walk on with the Spartans. He earned his scholarship as a freshman, as well as Freshman All-Big Ten Honors, starting on both sides of the ball in 2013.

 

In his time at Michigan State, he played against a couple of this year’s crop of NFL EDGE prospects, including a stalwart showing against Joey Bosa and an ugly battle against Shawn Oakman. Conklin played each of them with equal parts aggression and smarts, using his hand strength and advantageous angles to keep each away from his quarterback.

 

 

Injury Report: Conklin missed part of a couple games with knee injuries against Central Michigan and Purdue in 2015.

 

 

Career Stats:

Stats can be found at: http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jack-conklin-1.html

 

 

Analysis:

 

Run Blocking: 3.2/5.0

Conklin’s 35” arms were nowhere to be seen at the line of scrimmage in the run game, perhaps a product of Michigan State’s zone blocking scheme. Often, Conklin would play the weak side of the run game similar to a pass block, giving up ground to absorb contact. It wasn’t pretty, but finesse is not a priority in run blocking.  At the second level, however, Conklin was much more proficient at engaging defenders, putting his hands in their chest, and opening lanes down the field by using his length to drive blocks.

 

Pass Protection: 3.8/5.0

Conklin usually maintained the pocket’s integrity by setting up quickly after the snap, finding his man, and waiting for the defender to come to him. He was only beaten on the few occasions he would lunge forward with his upper body, at which point speed rushers would get by him. Against Shawn Oakman of Baylor, he looked beaten in the first quarter against Oakman’s length. He spent the rest of the game using his legs to anchor in against Oakman and keep the coast clear. Again, it wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

 

Agility: 2.7/5.0

On pulling run plays, Conklin looked to have the quickness necessary to excel in the NFL run game. However, as games wore on, he looked slightly slower in the pass game. He would occasionally find himself chasing speed rushers off the edge after a slow reaction to the snap. He will never be dominant in changing direction, but he has a foundation that just needs to be more consistent.

 

Overall Grade: 3.23/5.0

His 25 reps at the combine paired with his low-300s weight translate to a zone-scheme lineman in the NFL. The Spartans used Conklin on a number of run plays in which he would pull across the line and seal the edge. Combined with average quickness, that experience may lend itself to a move inside to guard early on for Conklin.

 

 

If drafted by the Packers:

Last season was scary when Bulaga and Bakhtiari were both out against the Cardinals. Conklin would be a significant upgrade over Don Barclay or Lane Taylor as a backup, but the question becomes: Do you draft a backup tackle in the first round (Which is the only spot Conklin might come up for the Packers)? There is value in depth, especially at the offensive line, when the receiving core made it clear last year that they will need time to develop plays downfield.

 

He fits the Packers' mold of offensive tackle: under 315 lbs. David Bakhtiari is a free agent next year, and teams are ravenous for good tackle play. When you consider that the Packers usually lock up players they want before their rookie contract runs out, and no rumblings have been heard about an extension for the 24-year-old, it is feasible that Ted Thompson will let Bakhtiari test the market. In which case, the Packers would need Conklin to step up in September of 2017.

 

If Green Bay moves forward without one or both of our guards in Josh Sitton and TJ Lang in 2017 (when their contracts expire), Conklin would only need to add another ten or so pounds to roll inside step up at guard. His hand placement was questionable in the run game, but he used his lower body as an anchor, steering all types of defenders away from his running back’s gap. Inside, that ability to avert danger would be all Lacy would need to produce in the run game.

 

Video:

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