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NFL Draft Profile – WR Ladd McConkey

By Doug Orth | 4/23/24 |

Ladd McConkey


College: Georgia
Height/Weight: 6’ 0’’/186
Hands: 8 5/8’’
Age: 22 (at the time of the 2024 season opener)

Important NFL Combine Numbers

40-Yard Dash: 4.39
Vertical Jump: 36’’
Broad Jump: 10’ 4’’
20-Yard Shuttle: 3.97 (pro day)
3-Cone: 6.72 (pro day)

College Production (Stats)

High-end NFL Player Comp(s): Turbo-charged Eddie Royal

Low-end NFL Player Comp(s): Brandon Stokley

Best Scheme Fit: Z (flanker) or slot receiver in just about any scheme, especially one that emphasizes pre-snap movement from either position.

Best Team Fit(s): Steelers, Commanders, Dolphins, Saints, Chargers, Giants, Bears, Bengals, Vikings, Titans

Non-bolded times - Good examples of attribute
Bolded times - Average/poor examples of attribute

Position-Specific Attributes and Grades
Attribute Att Grade Scale Examples
Ball Tracking 8.0 10.0

6:10, 8:13, 13:15, 14:05, 19:21

7:23, 11:22

Contested Catch/Body Control 8.5 10.0

2:56, 4:56, 6:10, 13:02, 14:05, 19:21

Hands 8.5 10.0

4:16, 6:10, 13:02

6:31, 7:23, 8:26, 13:15

Release 9.0 10.0

2:56, 18:16

Route-Running 9.5 10.0

0:00, 0:15, 0:53, 4:30, 8:13, 15:31, 22:27

0:39, 20:33

Run After Catch 9.0 10.0

0:38, 2:08, 3:04, 4:16, 5:49, 8:01, 12:21, 16:43

3:52, 4:09, 6:34

Physicality/Competitiveness 6.0 8.0

9:41, 10:42, 14:30, 23:28

0:39, 5:30

Separation 5.0 6.0

0:53, 7:23, 9:32, 11:22, 15:31

10:27, 22:10

Speed 4.0 4.0

3:04, 4:16, 11:22, 15:31, 17:32

Blocking 0.5 2.0  
Film Grade 68.0 80.0

Pre-Draft Fantasy Prospect Grade* (out of 50): 38.0

* - How well does his skill set carry over to the fantasy game? For receivers, a player needs to be a realistic threat for 70 catches and 1,000 receiving yards at some point early in their career to be a candidate for a perfect grade. Positional scarcity at the pro level is also a part of the equation.


  • Not a lot of wasted motion in his releases; able to reach top speed in a hurry and can restart quickly after slowing down, which makes him devastatingly good on double moves.

  • Nearly impossible to guard on in- or out-breaking routes; poker-face route-runner who sets up his defenders in a variety of ways, utilizing everything from stride length variation to using an assortment of shoulder and head fakes.

  • Surprisingly good after the catch for his size and generally maximizes those opportunities; equally good on change-up opportunities such as end-arounds or reverses (13 career carries for 216 yards and four touchdowns).

  • High football intelligence; almost guaranteed to find the soft spot against zone coverage and understands the importance of being where his quarterback needs him to be.

  • Contrary to popular belief, he is not limited to slot duties (career-low 21.3 percent slot rate in 2023).

  • Offers special teams utility (returned 21 punts for 279 yards in college and covered kicks/punts).


  • Packaged in an everyday man's body; likely already maxed out in terms of adding the kind of muscle he needs to counter physical defensive backs - be it against press or during his route.

  • Average size and short arms (30 1/4 inches) make him a bad bet in contested-catch situations against bigger cornerbacks.

  • Charged with 10 drops on 158 catchable career targets; focus drops were his biggest problem, although he corrected the issue in 2023 (six drops in 2022, two last season).

  • Unafraid to be physical, but he lacks the power and contact balance to withstand the blow.

  • Toe and knee injuries limited him in 2022 (no missed games), while back and ankle injuries cost him five games in 2023.

Bottom Line

McConkey may not look overly imposing at 6-0 and 186 pounds, but he has a skill set that will probably always have a place in the NFL. Most casual observers will realize he has speed based entirely on his 40 time at the Combine (4.39), but it is often a receiver's ability to use his speed as one of the tools in his toolbox - and not rely solely upon it - that often determines his ability to have an impactful pro career. Such should be the case with McConkey, who may possess the best blend of speed, quickness and intelligence in this draft class. The former three-star recruit may not win in the most aesthetically pleasing or highlight-worthy way, but his ability to make a defender think one thing and do another will probably allow him to enjoy a long (and successful) career at the next level.

Virtually every "shortcoming" McConkey brings to the table is the product of being an average-sized guy in a big man's world. He will probably always struggle against physicality and may never be great in contested-catch situations in the NFL. He is unlikely to hold up week after week if he continues to play with the same reckless abandon he did at Georgia. However, it is easy to forget that McConkey enters the league with essentially the same measurables as Garrett Wilson. It would also be unwise to discount him for something as simple as not posting gaudy numbers for a Georgia program that won two national championships and went 42-2 in the three seasons he played in Athens.

Although McConkey is a longshot to be a true alpha in the NFL, he should have no issue becoming one of his new quarterback's two favorite targets on third downs. While the slot may end up being his primary home, he stands a good chance to make a name for himself as a perimeter receiver as well. So long as his new team has a plan to keep him away from physical corners as much as possible, he has a chance to be a very good complementary receiver in the NFL.

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Doug Orth has written for FFToday since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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