Would RT Jack Conklin be a perfect fit for the Seahawks?
The Seahawks’ biggest need this season is, arguably, at defensive end. In fact, Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton last week that the pass rush is a priority for Seattle. But adding an edge rusher won’t solve all of the team’s issues, because there could also be some potential shuffling along the offensive line.
Right tackle Germain Ifedi, left guard Mike Iupati, and tackle-tight end hybrid George Fant are all due to hit free agency on March 18. Seattle declined Ifedi’s fifth-year option last May, indicating the team could move on from its former first-round pick. If the Seahawks turn to free agency for a replacement, could right tackle Jack Conklin be the perfect fit? The Tennessee Titan was one of this week’s featured free agent profiles on Tom, Jake and Stacy (you can listen to the full hour here).
Here’s a preview of Conklin, his tenure in Tennessee, and his market value:
Current team: Tennessee Titans
2019 season: Appeared in all 16 regular season games and all playoff games, allowed four sacks (T-35th) per PFF.
Last contract: 4 years, $15 million (rookie deal)
Projected contract: 6 years, $90 million
Conklin, a former Michigan State standout, was drafted 8th overall by the Titans in 2016. Outside of 2018, he’s played in every regular season game and retained his role as a starter. But whether due to injuries – he suffered a torn ACL in 2017 and another knee injury in 2018 – or an escalating market value, the team declined his fifth year option. Now he’s hitting free agency for the first time and looking at a contract that could reach $15 million per year, according to Spotrac.
Pro Football Focus assigned Conklin a 78 grade in 2019, and he earned one of their top run-blocking grades, which is good news for a run-first Seahawks offense that could lose its own right tackle to free agency.
Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy believes Conklin could be a perfect fit for Seattle.
“Throughout his entire career, he’s shown athleticism, he’s been a smart player, a durable player, and he is just downright nasty,” Heaps said. “He is physical at the point of attack and he’s going to let you know you’re playing opposite him all game long. He establishes the tone, and not only does he do that, but he’s a very good pass protector at right tackle. I was asked whether he’s worth that price tag of $15 million, and after going back and watching the film, he’s pretty special.
“He’s a guy that you can have him pull and you can have him be a part of those crack toss type plays you see Duane Brown get out on the edge with. He’s smart; he knows how to set up protections and communicate with his guards and with his tight ends to get them in the proper blocking situations… and when he’s wrong, he can redirect. And that’s something that Germain Ifedi just really didn’t have.”
Stacy’s free-agent profiles: Should Seahawks pursue Ngakoue if Clowney doesn’t re-sign?