Photo of TYLER CONKLIN
Grade
5.62 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'4" Height
  • 240LBS. Weight

Overview

It seems that every year more former basketball players are moving to the gridiron. Conklin signed with Northwood University in Michigan to play hoops but after playing sparingly for one season decided to transfer somewhere to play football. After one season on the scout team adding weight, he played in 13 games as a reserve, catching six passes for 95 yards. Conklin earned the starting job in 11 of 13 games as a junior, using his athleticism and soft hands to become a top short-yardage and red zone target for the Chippewas with 42 receptions for 560 yards and six scores. His production was down slightly in 2017, but the team captain still proved athletic enough to earn a third-team All-MAC selection after grabbing 35 passes for 504 yards and five touchdowns.

Analysis

Strengths

Fought back from severe foot injury in camp to make it back on field. His 2016 tape shows good acceleration into turns with ability to gain space vs. coverage. Uses smart changes of route speeds. Able to make contested catches over the middle. Former college basketball player with a feel for body positioning. Has awareness to drop feet in-bounds on catches that are tight to the sideline. Has talent and toughness to become a quality run blocker. Works well with his hands as run blocker. Rolls hips under his hands at point of attack and grinds to get defenders turned. Patient and effective with his combo blocks.

Weaknesses

Suffered a "Jones fracture" to his foot that cost him first five games of the year. Never looked like he regained quickness or lateral agility of 2016. Lacks burst into routes. Slow to sink in space and open up square to his quarterback. Has a tendency to allow defenders to close out throws rather than working hard back to the ball. Ball skills were inconsistent. Unable to make sudden adjustments to throws and catch radius seemed limited. Has average play speed even when healthy. Needs to add more muscle to his frame to handle expected blocking duties.

Draft Projection

Rounds 5-6

Sources Tell Us

"You have to watch him in 2016 to see how good his hands are. He had some crazy catches on his hype reel. I'm going to grade him off of 2016 instead of 2017 because that foot injury obviously slowed him up." -- NFC team regional scout

Bottom Line

Conklin requires tape study from both 2016 and 2017 as his preseason foot injury appeared to create some limitations for him athletically. He's a capable receiver, but he isn't going to make a living as a pass-catching tight end. Conklin shows the aptitude and attitude to handle blocking duties inline or as a move tight end, but his draft stock could depend on his medicals and how he tests at the Combine.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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