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2024 Rookie Profile: Ladd McConkey

Ladd McConkey was established as a polished wide receiver prospect prior to the Senior Bowl, what are his projections like after? @MandrewNFl discusses it in our latest rookie profile!

The Senior Bowl always allows people to fall in love with two things: Oysters from Wintzell’s and wide receivers. The oysters part doesn’t hold any fantasy weight, but the wide receivers, of course, do. No receiver seemingly grabbed attention more so than Ladd McConkey.

The Georgia wide receiver was Mr. Reliable for both Stetson Bennett and Carson Beck during his time in Athens. He projects to be the same type of receiver in the NFL. That doesn’t always bode well for production, but his skillset could change that narrative.

McConkey is landing spot proof I believe but why? Let’s discuss the why and why he deserves your full attention.

Player Profile 

  • School: Georgia 
  • Year: 4th Year Junior
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Hometown (High School): Chatsworth, Georgia (North Murray HS)
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 187

College Career 

McConkey started out in high school, proving he was quite the athlete. He played quarterback, running back, defensive back, and punter before moving full-time to receiver at Georgia. McConkey walked onto campus as a freshman in 2020 and was redshirted but provided value as a member of their scout team.

He appeared in 39 total games in his career, and his role fully expanded in 2022. That year, McConkey broke out with big games against Florida, Tennessee, and TCU. In the title game, he accumulated 88 receiving yards and scored twice in the process. He decided to return to Georgia in 2023, but injuries would hamper his production ability.

McConkey would return healthy for seven games to help Georgia finish their season strong. He had the chance to show what he could when healthy when he attended the Senior Bowl. A strong week of practice has him firmly in the discussion of being drafted relatively early. 

Best Traits 

Route Running

He has flawless route running, fluid hips, and great footwork throughout his routes. McConkey has an extensive route tree should allow him to fit into any NFL offense he is drafted into. This trait alone makes him one of the best in the class, and he should make an immediate impact with this.

Footwork/Hips

McConkey’s footwork and hips make his route running seamless when you watch him. This also allows him to make moves in the open field against defenders to be more elusive. He is also able to work to extend his routes easily for his quarterback when a play breaks down.

Contested Catches

One of the best parts of watching McConkey work is seeing him use his body control to make catches over defenders or along the sideline. He works well no matter where the route goes, but he seems to make the biggest impact along the sideline.

Trait Needing Development

Burst/Release

It would seem odd to mention this after highlighting his route running, but it deserves attention. McConkey, at times, can come out of his route slower than one could desire. He makes up for it in his route running later, but right off the bat, his release and burst hold him back. This could be easily fixed with a position coach on the right team or the receiving group around him. Indeed, this is a minor thing to worry about, but speed is everything in the NFL, and one can never be too sharp.

Player Summary

McConkey has had my eye since I first watched him in the summer. He shows that he has a very well-developed route tree, and his ability to run those routes is among the best in this class. He can fit into any team and do whatever they ask. McConkey can play inside or out as a receiver, work gadget plays, and work for special teams. He did it all for Georgia and will do it all for whatever team drafts him in April.

Projected Draft Capital: Late Round One, Early Round Two

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4 Responses

  1. I am admittedly very biased, but when I try to be objective I see a lot of Amon Ra St Brown in him. I think the ideal landing spot would be KC. Mahomes is obviously elite, but he doesn’t really have a separator in route running. Kelce is fine in the option routes and Mahomes knows what page he will be on, but he is getting older and slowing down some. Rice is a solid receiver, but he just doesn’t seem to create consistent spacing on his routes. I could see KC being the perfect fit for Ladd, as well as Mahomes giving him that short to intermediate spacing for him to handle the blitzes with more ease.

    1. McConkey would be fun in KC! I think we may end up mocking nearly every receiver to KC again this year 🙂

  2. I’ve been on the Ladd Train for the last month or so. I hope he lands in Carolina where my guy Bryce Young has someone who can separate quickly and be a good option to have along with whatever free agent WR they pick up.

    1. There’s several teams I love him landing on, the Bills would be great too. He’s going to be a really solid WR2/3 in the NFL!

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