Position: Tight end
Weight: 240 pounds
School: Central Michigan Chippewas
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.8 seconds
Vertical jump: 38.0 inches
Broad jump: 120 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.13 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.23 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 11.43 seconds
Tyler Conklin 2018 NFL Draft Profile
We can’t watch a Los Angeles Chargers game without being reminded that Antonio Gates was a basketball player. In fact, there are a number of notable tight ends that played basketball. Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, and Julius Thomas were all basketball players prior to successful NFL careers. It seems like every year more and more basketball players are converting to the gridiron. Typically, their athleticism and size make them valuable and multi-faceted components for NFL offenses.
Tyler Conklin fits that mold. After playing basketball sparingly at the collegiate level, Conklin transferred to Central Michigan to focus on football and played one season on the scout team before getting some real playing time. As a reserve, he played in 13 games and caught six passes for 95 yards. Conklin won the starting job his junior year and in 11 games caught 42 passes for 560 yards and six touchdowns. During that season, he showcased his ability to catch passes and extend plays into open space. His play was diminished in the 2017 season as he missed the first five games with a foot fracture. Although it seemed he’d lost a step, he finished with 35 receptions for 504 yards and five scores, earning him a third-team All-MAC selection.
- Good athleticism;
- Above average acceleration after the reception;
- Able to make contested catches over the middle of the field;
- Has the toughness to be a pass blocker;
- Great physical awareness of body positioning for making catches and turning;
- Able to gain space in coverage with good cuts and speed;
- Good awareness on sideline catches;
- Good red-zone option.
- Suffered major foot fracture that cost him the first five games of 2017;
- Will need more weight and muscle to compete at NFL level;
- Ball skills are inconsistent;
- Did not show that he regained agility after a foot fracture;
- Slow to get into space and square up to quarterback;
- Unable to make quick, sudden adjustments to the ball;
- Overall play speed is average.
NFL Comparison: Tyler Kroft
Projection: Fourth to fifth round
Tyler Conklin’s draft stock would probably be higher if his 2017 tape more closely resembled his 2016 film. In 2016 he showed great hands and the ability to go up and get a contested pass. The big concern for him in this year’s draft is how he fares medically.
Conklin suffered a “Jones fracture,” a break that occurs between the base and middle part of the fifth metatarsal of the foot. This injury sidelined him for the first five games of the 2017 season. When he came back from injury he seemed a little slower with diminished agility. Interested teams may be a little gun-shy but hopeful after being a full year removed from the injury.
Conklin has shown an aptitude and toughness for pass-blocking. He may need to gain both weight and muscle to succeed at the NFL level. One of his better attributes is his hands. He excels as a pass-catcher and as a reliable red-zone target.