4th year pro and former All-Pro as a rookie, has started all 57 games he’s played in, including 9 in 2018, missing 7 due to rehabbing from torn ACL in January, 2018, a concussion and MCL sprain. However, bounced back in 2019 and started all 16 for the 3rd time in 4 years. Good height, good weight with good arm and hand length. Not a sloppy build, good balanced frame and huge upper body and will turn 26 just before 2020 camp.
Solid AA, quick off the LOS, light on his feet and maintains good balance at the POA and keeps his feet moving, and does a good job initiating and getting to the defender first with good competitive toughness. Consistently blocks through the whistle with a lot of aggression. Solid play strength and uses it to play long. Good bend at his knees, waist and elbows at the POA and it allows him to play with both finesse and power regarding of defensive personnel. Good mental processing; on short, quick plays he does a good just cutting the DL or swatting the hands to avoid PBU at the LOS. On longer developing plays, he does a good job keeping himself clean by swatting the hands and then getting into the body of the DL to then play with strength. Good play speed; plays fast and free and is decisive in his attack. Good UOH; does a great job in pass protection where he jabs with his right arm, gets the DL to swat at that arm, then brings the left arm into play where he can get his head across the chest, and use his left arm to force the defender over-pursue the play. Good gap block with good drove on DL at POA. Good ability to drive the defender out of the play and getting out in space and 2nd level to seal off lane for ball carriers in zone blocking as well. Good zone blocking; gets to the defender quickly with good base. Cuts the defender in half, working inside shoulder and drives out of the play and protects against counters. Good in pass pro; forceful punch at the POA to stun defenders. Gets hands high on the chest plate to take away leverage and body lean. Good ability to anchor and absorbs contact and stalemates DL if he doesn’t initially play with his length. Good discipline keeping his pads low, and his base wide and displays a very good ability to play with finesse and power.
In his competitive toughness he has a tendency to let the EDGE rusher initiate contact. If the defender can get lower, initiate contact, and is a bigger EDGE rusher, he can get blown back into the pocket or running lane. Hands have a tendency to drop against speedy EDGE rushers and they can use their strength to rip and propel off his block to pursue ball carrier.
My pro list is quite a bit longer than the cons, so it’s quite easy to see how much I like Conklin. The franchise tag number will hover somewhere around $15M for OL, but the 5 highest paid RT make anywhere from $10M-$18M (La’el Collins and Lane Johnson respectively). From 2 through 4, Raiders’ Trent Brown, Denver’s Ja’wuan James, and KC’s Mitchell Schwartz averaging $13.7M between the 5. I believe Conklin will receive more than that and will get something similar to what Trent Brown received this year ($16.5M). All indicators suggest Conklin and Tennessee have mutual interest, but Tennessee has roughly $54M in cap space, and has a ton of contracts that expired this year for key positions, Conklin being 1 of them. Cleveland could be a team that gives Conklin what he wants. The offensive line notoriously struggled throughout the year and could have been the biggest let-down in all of football. The Jets are another team; new GM, current guy wasn’t in the organization when all the current free agents were acquired, so he has zero loyalty to them and could want to make his own splash and protect Darnold. One dark horse candidate that could be in play for his services are the Giants. Going back to this draft, all Giants fans heard was it’s a 2-man race between Leonard Floyd, and Jack Conklin. Then, Tennessee, whom traded their 1st overall pick to the Rams to select Goff, traded their 15th overall pick to move up to 8 with Cleveland, to select Jack Conklin. Very next pick, Chicago trades up 2 spots from 11 to 9 with Tampa Bay to grab Floyd, and us Giants fans get stuck with Eli Apple at 10. Now the Giants have their 2nd shot at Conklin, and could pair him with either Andrew Thomas, or another LT with their 2nd round pick.