2016 NFL Draft Profile: Jack Conklin, OT Michigan State
By Adam Carlson
Offensive tackle Jack Conklin was impressive at Michigan State, but how will he fit in with the NFL and should he be a target of the Minnesota Vikings?
A great way to describe Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin is determined. Even if he is beat initially, he will work hard to regain position and not get frustrated or give up. Thankfully, he also has the great footwork to allow himself to recover and improvise against even top edge rushers, at least at the college level.
Conklin was a starter on both the left and right side of the offensive line for the Spartans, but could be a much better asset when used to protect a quarterback’s blind side. With so many teams struggling to find a long-term answer at left tackle, a guy with the talent of Conklin should be able to be plugged right in and be a starter at the professional level.
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Still, there are some reasons to hesitate about selecting Conklin too early in the 2016 NFL Draft. In particular, he puts himself in positions where he needs to improvise when getting taken advantage of early by pass rushers. He seems impatient when waiting for his blocks and will get out of his low stance if untouched for too long, and this results in some holding penalties.
Here are Michigan State University offensive tackle Jack Conklin’s numbers from the events at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine according to NFL.com:
Jack Conklin compares to:
- CBS Sports: Andrew Whitworth, Bengals
- NFL.com: Jon Runyan, retired
Fit for the Minnesota Vikings:
With the Vikings paying Matt Kalil the $11 million he earned due to the fifth year option on his contract, left tackle should have Kalil’s name inked in. On the other side, there will be a competition between Phil Loadholt, T.J. Clemmings and others. Adding another name to that mix might be too much, or it might provide the team with future stability.
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I’m very torn when it comes to Jack Conklin. On one hand, I’d love to have him compete for either starting offensive tackle job if the Vikings picked him. On the other hand, it feels like a luxury pick if the team sees Matt Kalil as an answer for several more years. It wouldn’t be a sexy pick for Minnesota, and it might not address an immediate need, but if GM Rick Spielman is planning for the future, he’ll have to consider Jack Conklin if he’s available with the #23 overall pick.