ESPN describes Ladd McConkey’s NFL combine performance as flawless

Former Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey is gaining steam as a potential first-round selection after an impressive performance at the 2024 NFL combine last week.

Often underestimated during his career at UGA, McConkey hasn’t had that issue when it comes to pre-NFL draft evaluations from experts. His combine performance added to the hype.

ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid had this to say when sharing his takeaways from Indianapolis.

“Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey was nearly flawless during positional drills. His trademark start-stop quickness and explosive footwork allowed him to easily move in and out of each route. McConkey is a finished product as a route runner and adds burst with 4.39-second speed on a 6-foot, 186-pound frame. He entered the combine as my No. 36 overall player, but his pro readiness and fluid speed have me thinking he’s a top-32 prospect and Round 1 target.”

McConkey’s draft stock has been on the rise since his performance at this year’s Senior Bowl. While he routinely draws the lazy Julian Edelman comparison, McConkey proved further at the combine that he should be in first-round talks. His skills are reminiscent of All-Pro wideout Antonio Brown and rookie Pro Bowler Puka Nacua.

McConkey measured taller than previously thought, coming in at 5 feet, 11 5/8 inches and 186 pounds. However, McConkey’s arm length and wingspan are among the smallest of wide receiver prospects, 30 1/4 and 72 inches, respectively. His 8 5/8 inch hands match the second-smallest among those going through the process.

McConkey has never been an imposing physical threat. He wins against defenders with speed, acceleration, elite route-running and sure hands.

We received a glimpse of some of those skills in the gauntlet drill:

McConkey’s 4.39 official 40-yard dash time tied for the sixth-best time among all receiver prospects, burying any doubts about his breakaway speed. McConkey’s athleticism was also on display in the vertical (36 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 4 inches).

McConkey has an opportunity to bolster his draft stock further when UGA hosts its pro day on March 13. The 2024 NFL draft will be held from April 25-27 in Detroit.


Story originally appeared on UGA Wire