Cornerback Gareon Conley
One of my personal joys is seeing the excitement and enthusiasm on college prospects faces as they get dressed up for the NFL Draft and hear their name get called. It's an important day in the lives of these young men as they take the next step in their career. Not to mention, these are the faces of the next generation which will try to make their mark in the NFL.
Thursday night, the Oakland Raiders added a new face to the roster, cornerback Gareon Conley from Ohio State University. The 24th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft will be the first of many new players to put on the Silver and Black this weekend.
Here are five things you should know about Gareon Conley:
**He was born and raised in Ohio.
Check out the Oakland Raiders first round pick CB Gareon Conley.
Conley was born in Massillon, Ohio, and attended Massillon High School where he played cornerback and wide receiver. He amassed 25 tackles on defense to compliment his one interception, but on offense totaled 50 receptions and 16 touchdowns. When making his decision on where to attend college, he originally was committed to the University of Michigan, but flipped and went to Ohio State.
Conley's a National Champion.
In 2014, the Buckeyes entered AT&T Stadium ready to take on the Oregon Ducks in the first College Football Playoff Championship. That was Conley's sophomore season – he redshirted his freshman year – and played in nine games that year, tallying 16 total tackles and two passes defensed.
He's a physical player.
Conley's 6'0", 195-pound frame boasts NFL-ready potential when combined with his ballhawk skill set. His draft profile accentuates his ability to read the opposition's route quickly, and make a well-timed play on the ball. He's a strong pass defender, and allowed just a 37 percent completion rate.
**Conley performed well at the combine.
In his NFL Scouting Combine debut, he had an impressive performance across the board. He finished with a 4.44 40-yard dash, put up 11 reps in the bench press at 225 pounds, was a top performer in the three-cone drill with a time of 6.68, had a 37" vertical jump, and a 129" broad jump.
The defensive back is excited to join Raider Nation.
"I'm ready to be a part of that defense," said Conley Thursday night. "I'm just ready to be a part of the whole organization…Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It's an honor to be a part of the Raider organization."