Tyler Conklin Breaks Silence on Jets’ Pursuit of Brock Bowers

Tyler Conklin, Jets

Getty New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin speaking with the media after practice.

The New York Jets were hot and heavy for Georgia tight end Brock Bowers ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Tyler Conklin noticed all of the noise on social media saying, “Obviously the media here you can’t hide from it here right? It’s everywhere but I just try to control the controllables.”

Analysts from the outside openly said that the tight end position was a need for the Jets this offseason. Conklin said, “Yeah obviously it’s not something you want to hear right? But obviously it’s motivation to go out there and make people change that thought process.”

Conklin Is Trying to Take a Page out of the Playbook From a Guy Who Almost Replaced Him

One of Bowers’ biggest strengths coming out of Georgia was his ability to create yards after the catch.

“When he holds the football he turns into a running back and I like that. I can get tight ends the ball reliably underneath right? That’s not a hard thing to do schematically. You can involve a man in a blocking scheme, chip, and then he releases late. Defenses are going to give you that structurally. Now usually that dump-off goes to Dalton Schultz, [he] turns upfield and gets six yards. It goes to Tyler Conklin, he turns upfield and gets six yards. Brock Bowers can make that a 15 to 20-yard play. He can break tackles at the tight end position,” Benjamin Solak of The Ringer explained to Jets reporter Ethan Greenberg.

The Jets wanted Bowers because of that unique ability. Ultimately the green and white went in a different direction taking offensive tackle Olu Fashanu out of Penn State with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round instead.

Ironically one of the biggest points of emphasis this offseason for Conklin is getting better with his YAC [yards after catch].

“I mean it’s a speed league, right? You can always try to get faster and I think probably one of the biggest things for me is not always speed but using that speed when it needs to be used. Also, my biggest thing probably going into the offseason is just yards after the catch. How do I turn a five-yard catch into a 12-yard catch or a 15-yard catch? So for me that’s kind of my biggest goal going into the offseason is just getting better after the catch and I’ll leave that to my trainers to help me,” Conklin explained during media availability on Tuesday, June 4.

According to ESPN, Conklin had 246 yards after the catch during the 2023 season. That ranked No. 17 among tight ends in the NFL.

Conklin Heading Into Contract Year

Head coach Robert Saleh seems to like the cut of Conklin’s jib.

“Tremendous human first off. I don’t know what his number is but at least it feels that he is one of the better contested catch guys in football. He’s unbelievable with tight-window throws. [A] very reliable receiver for the quarterback. He also blocks his tail off in-line as a tight end [and] is a tremendous leader for that entire group,” Saleh said on Tuesday, June 4.

Conklin is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Jets analyst Will Parkinson advocated for the team to extend Conklin with a two-year $20 million contract on social media.

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