After a dominant Senior Bowl performance, Georgia WR Ladd McConkey is on the radar as a potential first-round pick. Can he break into Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft with his scouting report? If reliability is the most important quality, McConkey fits the bill.
Ladd McConkey Draft Profile and Measurements
- Height: 5’11 1/2″
- Weight: 187 pounds
- Length: 30 1/8″
- Wingspan: 72 3/4″
- Hand: 8 5/8″
- Position: WR
- School: Georgia
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
McConkey was a consensus three-star prospect from Chatsworth, Georgia. He wasn’t heavily recruited and is on the record saying that he likely would have ended up at UT-Chattanooga if not for Georgia extending a late offer during the recruiting cycle.
That offer paid off for the Bulldogs, as McConkey immediately shined as a redshirt freshman. His 31 receptions for 441 yards and five scores earned him a spot on the coaches’ freshman All-SEC team. The under-recruited WR started seven games during Georgia’s first title run.
McConkey followed an impressive freshman season with a strong sophomore campaign. He was again the second-leading receiver on the team behind Brock Bowers, catching 58 passes for 762 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Georgia WR also ran the ball seven times, averaging 19.1 yards per carry and notching two TDs on the ground.
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Injuries prevented McConkey from producing steadily through the 2023 season, but his impact was still very clear when he was on the field. At the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, his crisp route-running ability made him one of the event’s stars.
McConkey might be one of the most pro-translatable WR prospects in the entire 2024 NFL Draft class, and his profile is sure to win over NFL teams down the stretch.
McConkey’s Scouting Report
- Energized athlete with near-elite quickness, foot speed, and stop-and-start ability.
- Turbocharged technician with the throttle control and cut flexibility to put DBs on strings.
- Has enough speed and explosiveness to threaten vertically and surge out of transitions.
- Extreme intentionality with head fakes and jab steps allows him to win stems at will.
- Deception artist who can make anything look like a comeback or hitch, then capitalize.
- Absolute stride freedom allows him to extend and retract at a moment’s notice.
- With sharp fluidity, can bend laterally on breaks and pinch tight angles out of retractions.
- Lethal blind-spot manipulator who can press upfield, sink, and induce panic in defenders.
- Able to supplement releases with precise swipes and swims at the line and at stems.
- Tracks the ball well downfield and makes adjustments to position himself in space.
- Has shown to gather the ball away from his frame with sturdy diamond technique.
- Flashes strong hands over the middle of the field and can reel in throws amidst contact.
- Has all-encompassing usage versatility between the slot, boundary, and motion plays.
- Spatial IQ and agility translate in the RAC phase, where he can slither through crowds.
- Highly competitive and willing run blocker who plays with good leverage and drive.
- Has an average frame and below-average length and reach for a WR.
- Below-average catch radius can limit his range and authority in contested situations.
- Doesn’t always have the strength to fight through extensions within the contact window.
- Can be outmuscled at tighter stems, causing delays on his intermediate route breaks.
- Explosiveness, while very good, might not be quantifiably elite.
- Short-strider mold slightly detracts from top-end speed, explosiveness, and range.
- Doesn’t have the long speed to sustain vertical separation against larger cushions.
- Speed might not be enough to consistently press top-end athletes off route stems.
- Occasionally lets the ball into his frame on passes over the middle, risking instability.
- Lacking size sometimes naturally limits his obstruction ability as a run blocker.
- Long-term durability could be a question mark, given back and ankle injuries in 2023.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
McConkey grades out as a top-50 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft, and a viable WR selection in the early-to-mid Day 2 range. If he tests well enough, he could sneak into Round 1.
Regardless, the Georgia WR profiles well as a versatile slot and movement Z receiver with immediate starting utility. In a class with so many size-speed wide receivers, there are some factors that may keep McConkey from locking himself in as a top-five positional prospect.
He’s around average size, with below-average length and reach, and his build can cause issues versus physicality and in contested situations. Nevertheless, McConkey’s profile dictates that he often avoids contested situations entirely, by virtue of his best-in-class route-running ability and nuance.
McConkey is a good athlete, to be sure — with superb short-area quickness, stop-and-start ability, flexibility, and enough speed and burst to threaten vertically and compound separation. And he expertly weaponizes his brand of athleticism with his route nuance.
As a route runner, McConkey is endlessly deceptive, with outstanding throttle control, stride freedom, blind spot IQ, spatial awareness, and intentional motion. He can also run routes from any alignment, compound routes with targeted physicality, work off motions, and tack on RAC yardage with his agility and fluidity.
McConkey isn’t an elite size-adjusted athlete, but he offers more than enough functional athleticism and speed to hold his own at the NFL level. On Day 1, he can be a surgical separator, with sharp catching instincts, strong hands, an added RAC element, and hard-nosed blocking ability.
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McConkey might not have WR1 upside, but he could be a vital piece of a rotation as a quality WR2/3 with slot, boundary, and motion capabilities, with the separation chops and hands to be a target funnel, chain-mover, and clutch presence on money downs.
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