Exclusive interview with Idaho State WR Tanner Conner: NY Jets interest, playing TE, and more

NY Jets, Tanner Conner
NY Jets, Tanner Conner / Loren Orr/GettyImages
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NY Jets, Tanner Conner
Evan Engram, NY Jets, Tanner Conner / Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Potentially playing tight end in the NFL

JF: "Exactly, it's just about getting as many eyeballs on you as possible. And you just mentioned it, you did run some drills at tight end at your pro day. Is that something teams have talked to you about, and also where do you feel most comfortable? Where do you see yourself playing in the NFL?"

TC: "It's been a really interesting process because I've had different teams ask me to do different things for them. I've had some teams who still think of me as a true wide receiver. I have some teams who want me to play more of a hybrid power slot for them. And then I have some teams who are just like 'hey, you're going to play tight end for us.' So for me, it's just going to be wherever the role fits best on an NFL team. I think that's what's good about my skill set. I provide a lot of value in different situations. I can play pretty much every special team, I can play receiver, I can play tight end or like a hybrid in between. It's just going to end up being whatever a team needs from me. The conversation at tight end is new to me. I've never played a true tight end [role], but I understand the role and how it works in an offense. I'm willing to learn and I can definitely block. I don't think I fit in anywhere perfectly. I think I fit into a lot of positions very well."

JF: "Right, and that's how the NFL as evolved. You like at guys like Evan Engram who have that same speed and athleticism that you have. Hybrids are the future. On that note, are there any specific players that you kind of model your game after, or just like to watch?"

TC: "Obviously the tight end talk is new to me, I haven't watched as much tight end film, but you know your George Kittles, Travis Kelces, Evan Engrams, Darren Wallers. I've watched film on them. In college, I was trying to find the closest thing to me. I'd watch the bigger receivers like Julio Jones, DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown, Chase Claypool, and guys like that. Those types of receivers move a little differently so I like to watch them to see how they run their routes because they run more powerfully, they run through contact. I try to be as physical as I can with and without the ball in my hands, and those guys are able to do that with the best of them."

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Experience at the East-West Shrine Bowl

JF: "Makes sense, those are some of the best players in the game. You were also invited to play in this year's East-West Shrine Bowl over in Vegas. What was that like for you?"

TC: "It was really cool. It was daunting at first because I was the smaller FCS kid, but after I got there and we went through 1-on-1s, I felt a lot more confident because I knew I could play with those guys. They were other players who had similar skill sets to me, but they just worse different helmets. Throughout the week, I learned how to run an actual pro-style offense because I ran an RPO, no-huddle offense in college. That was fun to learn. Going against this level of competition and actually succeeding was a major confidence booster for me because now I know that I'll go play at the next level because these guys are going to play at the next level. That was a great experience for me. I was super grateful because I didn't even know if I'd get the invite. Shoutout to Eric Galko for having me out there because a lot of people didn't know about me, but they knew about me after the East-West Shrine game."