Jack Conklin ranks ahead of Jadeveon Clowney and others as Gil Brandt’s top free agent.
We are all familiar with the offseason hype of free agency, only to see top players get tagged right before the market opens. So, in anticipation of that, Gil Brandt tried to take out players likely to get tagged and only rank players like Jack Conklin, Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater, etc. who will see the open market.
When that filter was through, Jack Conklin came out as Gil Brandt’s top free agent likely to actually see the market.
Brandt uses his decades of experience to explain why Conklin ranks so highly:
"“This past season, the 25-year-old Conklin roared back to top shape, helping pave the way for running back Derrick Henry to win the league rushing title — Conklin earned Pro Football Focus’ fifth-best run-blocking grade (80.5) among offensive tackles with 500-plus snaps, and the 12th-best overall offensive grade at the position (78.0). Now, with Henry and Ryan Tannehill likely being higher priorities when it comes to tag usage, the first offensive tackle to make the NFL Pro Bowl as a rookie since 1947 will hit the open market.”"
At the end of the day you can look at all of those numbers and try to quantify why some team will potentially get a steal when they sign Conklin in free agency. However, it really isn’t all that complicated.
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No offense to those guys, but they clearly peaked in college and anyone can see that if you are signing them to your team hoping for answers, you are more likely to end up back at the drawing board in 12-months.
In Conklin you get a player who (when healthy) is a Pro Bowl caliber tackle whether he gets the nod or not, and you get him at 26 years old with a new CBA that will see cap room potentially raised by 10s of millions of dollars by 2021.
Every team that can afford to spend money on him absolutely should, and it is just unfortunate that the Titans have too many good or key players on the roster to keep him.
Hopefully something can be done to make the money for a tag, but we will see.