177: Tyler Conklin, TE Central Michigan
Conklin follows the trend of basketball players journeying to the gridiron. The 6’4″, 244-pound tight end is a surprisingly explosive athlete. At the combine, he had 10-foot broad jump and a 38″ vertical. He could, very easily, develop into a very solid red zone option for Deshaun Watson.
A reason we are likely seeing Conklin in the sixth round and not earlier is he overcame a Jones fracture in his foot to start the year. Even though he only missed five games to the injury, it appeared he never got back to 100%. Evaluation of Conklin needs to marry his 2016 tape with his 2017 tape. Picking up Conklin will be a risk, solely based on that fact.
Conklin won’t blow away any safeties or linebackers with his speed (4.8 forty). However, he has good acceleration and burst out of routes. He is solid route runner for a guy who hasn’t spent much time on the football field. One of the biggest pluses for Conklin is he’s improved every year as a run blocker. Because of that, he has the potential to become an every-down tight end.
After the retirement of CJ Fiedorowicz due to concussions and the injury history of Ryan Griffin, the Texans need another guy. Conklin has great body positioning to box out defenders and will go up and get the ball.
211th: Akrum Wadley, RB Iowa
Let’s get this straight, Wadley is not going to come in a be the guy that runs the backfield. However, he has got some serious wiggle and will get you off of your feet. The biggest concerns with Wadley is his size and durability.
Wadley has a shot to become a solid contributor at the next level. His ability in space and to make guys miss stands out big time. He also has shown a knack for coming out of the backfield and catching the ball. He ranks inside the top ten in yards per route for this year’s class.
Wadley’s lateral ability and burst in a straight line also makes him a potential contributor on special teams too. If he can show he can be a solid returner and third-down back he’ll always have a spot in the league. All of this makes for him to be an ideal third back behind Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman.
214th: Alex McGough, QB FIU
I’ll admit, I did not see this one coming. This is more of a “what I’m hearing” pick than a “what I think” pick. This past week the Houston Texans brought McGough in for the second time this offseason.
All that being said, McGough seems to be the talk around the league regarding his private workouts. He has surprising arm talent and can sling the ball around the field. He is fairly gifted athletically as well. However, due to a collarbone injury in his bowl game, McGough was unable to participate in all-star game festivities and the combine. McGough is recently fully recovered from the injuries and has been working out like a madman.
McGough would come in with four years of starting experience. He has the mobility that could allow the Houston Texans would not have to change the offense much for him. If the Brandon Weeden signing indicates anything, it’s that the team is far from settle behind Watson. McGough could be the guy to come in and give QB2 some clarity.