Pair of Jaguars players get shoutout from top WR prospect Ladd McConkey

• Ladd MConkey, one of the top WR prospects in this year's draft, had praise for a couple of Jaguars players he used to play with

Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) makes a
Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) makes a / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia has been a pipeline of talent for the NFL for more than two decades and the Jacksonville Jaguars have picked a couple of prominent Bulldogs in recent years: Edge rusher Travon Walker and cornerback Tyson Campell. During the NFL Scouting combine, wide receiver prospect Ladd McConkey made sure to give his former teammates a shoutout.

A three-star recruit out of high school, McConkey says "It's truly a blessing" to make it as far as he has. "It kind of hits you. We're here. It feels like it was forever away when you're little. But now it's right here in front of me, so I try to make the most of it. Do everything I can to put myself in the best position," McConkey said, via Mia O'Brien of 1010 XL.

Later in his exchange with O'Brien, McConkey described Walker and Campbell as a couple of good guys, noting that going against Campbell in practice made him better.

McConkey is one of the top receiver prospects in this year's draft. While he may have a hard time going in the first round, he's good a good case to go in the second, and third at worst. He's one of the best route-runners of his class, and he's got the speed to run vertical routes and stretch the field.

Maybe his biggest knock is that McConkey is not particularly strong, which makes him susceptible to being bullied at the line of scrimmage. Similarly, he's not particularly great at fighting for contested catches. Derrick Klassen of the Bleacher Report scouting department, for his part, thinks his lack of strength could hold him back in the NFL.

"McConkey can be a good slot/Z type in the NFL. He can play both inside and out, he is a highly effective route-runner and his hands are reliable enough. With that said, McConkey's lack of size and strength will likely limit him to being a complementary piece rather than a core part of his future offense."

Having said that, McConkey could be of great help to a team that gets creative and moves him around the line of scrimmage.

The Jaguars may have no room for Ladd McConkey in 2024

Ladd McConkey's ascension on draft boards is nothing short of impressive. Back when he began his collegiate career at Georgia, you would've gotten a blank stare if you had said he was a first-round caliber player, but here he is. Teams who don't miss on Malik Nabers or Marvin Harrison Jr. in the first round could definitely target him in the second. The Jaguars won't probably be one of those teams, though.

Jacksonville could use help at wide receiver if they let Calvin Ridley leave in free agency. However, it looks like they're making a strong effort to keep him from walking. Just recently, general manager Trent Baalke said that he's met with him and both parties know where each other stand, so unless he leaves, wide receiver won't be a top priority for the Jags.

If the Jaguars release Zay Jones to free up cap space, maybe they could then target a wide receiver in the draft, but the truth is that they're better off keeping him around. Jones is coming off an injured-marred year but there's a strong chance he'll bounce back in 2024. Moving on from him may not make sense when you take into account that it would add another need to the ones the Jags already have.

Simply put, Ladd McConkey may not be on the Jacksonville Jaguars' radar this offseason but he'll be one of many former Bulldogs who will try to make an impact.

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