Mel Kiper Jr. goes on rant about Jack Conklin's value in today's NFL
There’s been talk that of all the prospects vying for first-round selections in this year’s NFL draft, Jack Conklin is the safest bet.
ESPN NFL draft insider Todd McShay said that about the former Spartan and former Ohio State tackle Taylor Decker.
Shockingly, Mel Kiper Jr. agreed with McShay on the subject of Conklin. Not only did Kiper agree with McShay, but he ranted about who he feels is the most pro-ready player in the entire class.
“Where do you find a hole with this guy?” Kiper said on the First Draft podcast. “You don’t have to move (Conklin). He does one thing that nobody does. Everybody catches. He attacks. These linemen that just catch, catch, catch…he’s an attacker. He’s a guy that could’ve played in the 60s, 70s, 80s and been great.”
The current projections for Conklin are around the 7-15 range, going anywhere from the San Francisco 49ers to the Tennessee Titans. There was speculation that the Titans traded the No. 1 overall pick with Conklin in mind at No. 15.
Wherever he winds up in the draft, which kicks off Thursday night in Chicago, Kiper said Conklin’s throwback style will make him an immediate impact player.
“Jack Conklin, to me, just brings back the good ole days of football, not this seven-on-seven crap,” Kiper said. “I want football. I want a guy who’s going to bloody your nose, who’s going to come out and attack you like you’re going to attack him. All of these passive linemen, I get sick and tired of watching it.
“I want to see an offensive tackle who will bloody the nose of a defensive lineman and that’s Jack Conklin.”
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Kiper threw out a hypothetical scenario that sums up the former Spartan’s value.
“If you need a third-and-a-yard and you’re on your own 38-yard line, normally you’re going to get stuffed,” Kiper said. “But with Conklin, if he can rub off on the other four guys, maybe now we can convert third-and-ones and not throw the ball from the 1-yard line. One-yard touchdown passes disgust me. Troy Aikman said he never threw one.
“I think Conklin will help you become a physical, beat-the-hell-out-of-the-guy-in-front-of-you team.”
When Kiper finally took a breath, McShay got a chance to add one final thought on Conklin.
“I love your love for Conklin,” McShay said to Kiper.
That’s a lot of love for a former walk-on.