NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans saw something special in tackle
It’s why the team moved up to take him in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Further validation came on Friday when the rookie right tackle was named First Team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
General manager Jon Robinson was among the first to contact Conklin. It was Robinson who pegged Conklin in the draft, and moved up to get him. Offensive line coach Russ Grimm also reached out to congratulate Conklin, along with many of his teammates.
Conklin became the first Titan to be named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press since running back Chris Johnson in 2009. He’s the first Titans rookie since defensive end Jevon Kearse in 1999 to be named to the team.
“I know I still have a lot of work to do to get to where I want to be,’’ Conklin said. “But it's a pretty good start, I guess.’’
Earlier this week, Pro Football Focus named Conklin the best right tackle in pro football following a season when he allowed only two sacks and received just two penalties this season. The Titans allowed just 28 sacks as a team in 2016, during a year when they finished with the NFL’s third ranked-rushing attack.
“Quietly really good,’’ Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Conklin’s rookie season. “He did his job, didn't say a whole lot, but he did an outstanding job to be, really, put in there earlier than we had anticipated. He did a great job for us.”
“I think he deserves to go to the Pro Bowl this year,’’ Lewan said of Conklin. “The biggest compliment you can give in football is consistency, and Jack is Jack every single time and he plays at a level that rookies don’t play at. He plays at a level I didn’t play at when I was a rookie, and it was impressive. I expect Jack to be Jack next year.”
At season’s end, Conklin said he improved as a rookie.
But he knows he can get better.
“I learned a lot this year, but I think I still have a lot ahead of me,’’ Conklin said. “I have a lot to learn, and I can get even better. I am excited to see what the future holds.
“I think (as a team) we had a goal in mind coming in that we were going to pound people and be a physical team, and I think now the league knows what we are capable of.
The Titans offensive line faced eight players who posted double-digit sack totals in 2016. The group totaled 91 total sacks this season, but only three came against the Titans.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta, 29; Tom Brady, New England, 15; Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 5; Derek Carr, Oakland, 1.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas, 47; David Johnson, Arizona, 3.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, 44; Greg Olsen, Carolina, 5; Rob Gronkowski, New England, 1.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 43; Julio Jones, Atlanta, 30; Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, 16; Mike Evans, Tampa Bay, 6; Jordy Nelson, Green Bay 5.
David Johnson, Arizona, 24; Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh, 18; Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants, 3; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, 1; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, 1; LeSean McCoy, Buffalo, 1; Jarvis Landry, Miami, 1; Travis Kelce, Kansas City, 1.
Tyron Smith, Dallas, 27; David Bakhtiari, Green Bay, 8; Joe Thomas, Cleveland, 7; Trent Williams, Washington, 3; Jason Peters, Philadelphia, 2; Taylor Lewan, Tennessee, 1; Donald Penn, Oakland, 1; Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati, 1.
Jack Conklin, Tennessee, 27 1-2; Mitchell Schwartz, Kansas City, 6; Marcus Cannon, New England, 6; Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay, 5 1-2; Zach Strief, New Orleans, 2; Ryan Schraeder, Atlanta, 2; Marcus Gilbert, Pittsburgh, 1; Left Guards
Kelechi Osemele, Oakland, 47; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 2; James Carpenter, New York Jets, 1. Right Guard
Zack Martin, Dallas, 40; David DeCastro, Pittsburgh, 5; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore, 4; Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati, 1.
Travis Frederick, Dallas, 29; Alex Mack, Atlanta, 14; Rodney Hudson, Oakland, 5; Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh, 1, Brandon Linder, Jacksonville, 1.
Khalil Mack, Oakland, 46; Vic Beasley Jr., Atlanta, 30; Cameron Wake, Miami, 3; Olivier Vernon, Miami, 3; Jadeveon Clowney, Houston,m 3; Brandon Graham, Philadelphia, 3; Michael Bennett, Seattle, 2; Cameron Jordan, New Orleans, 2; Danielle Hunter, Minnesota, 2; Cliff Avril, Seattle, 2; Everon Griffen, Minnesota, 1; Joey Bosa, San Diego, 1.
Aaron Donald, St. Louis, 47; Damon Harrison, New York Giants 16; Ndamukong Suh, Miami, 12; Calais Campbell, Arizona, 7; Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay, 7; Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia, 6; Geno Atkins, Cincinnati, 5.
Bobby Wagner, Seattle, 48; Von Miller, Denver, 47; Sean Lee, Dallas, 41; Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo, 4; Luke Kuechly, Carolina, 2; C.J. Mosley, Baltimore, 1; Zach Brown, Buffalo, 1; Zachary Orr, Baltimore, 1; Alec Ogletree, Los Angeles, 1; Dont’a Hightower, New England, 1; Bernardick McKinney, Houston, 1; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay, 1; Whitney Mercilus, Houston, 1.
Aqib Talib, Denver, 27; Marcus Peters, Kansas City, 23; Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 17; Malcolm Butler, New England, 8; Casey Hayward, San Diego, 8; Richard Sherman, Seattle, 7; Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota, 5; Chris Harris Jr., Denver, 4; Dominique-Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 1.
Landon Collins, New York Giants, 47; Eric Berry, Kansas City, 31; Devin McCourty, New England, 4; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay, 4; Earl Thomas, Seattle, 3; Harrison Smith, Minnesota, 3; Reggie Nelson, Cincinnati, 2; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, 2; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia, 1; Eric Weddle, Baltimore, 1; Quintin Demps, Houston, 1; Darian Stewart, Denver, 1.
Chris Harris Jr., Denver, 14; Dominique-Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants, 6; Malcolm Butler, New England, 5; Eric Berry, Kansas City, 3; Casey Hayward, San Diego, 3; Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia, 3; Patrick Peterson, Arizona, 2; Marcus Peters, Kansas City, 2; Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota, 2; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay, 2; Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants, 2; Aqib Talib, Denver, 1; Darius Slay, Detroit, 1; Devin McCourty, New England, 1; Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay, 1; Richard Sherman, Seattle, 1; Eric Weddle, San Diego, 1.
Justin Tucker, Baltimore, 50.
Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles, 42; Marquette King, Oakland, 4; Pat McAfee, Indianapolis, 2; Brad Wing, New York Giants, 1; Sam Martin, Detroit, 1.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota, 41; Tyler Lockett, Seattle, 5; Tyreek Hill, Kansas City, 5.
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City, 50.
Matthew Slater, New England, 14; Nate Ebner, New England, 12; Dwayne Harris, New York Giants, 6; Justin Bethel, Arizona, 3; Matt Develin, New England, 3; Michael Thomas, Miami, 3; Chase Reynolds, Los Angeles, 3; Eric Murray, Kansas City, 2; Chris Maragos, Philadelphia, 1; Eric Weems, Atlanta, 1; Josh Bellamy, Chicago, 1.