Weight: 195 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes
Gareon Conley 2017 NFL Draft Profile
Gareon Conley came to Ohio State in 2014 as the number one prospect in the state of Ohio. He played at Washington High School in Massillon, OH where the legendary Paul Brown began his coaching career. Massillon Washington is one of the winningest programs in the country and was the subject of a documentary called “Go Tigers!” In short, Conley was born into a football factory.
Conley played a significant role in the Buckeyes’ 2014 National Championship run playing some cornerback but mostly as a special teams. In his sophomore season, he started 13 games on defense totaling 49 tackles and two interceptions. As a junior this season, Conley added 26 tackles and four more interceptions to his resume.
Conley is a solid all-around player. He does well in pass coverage, and supports the run as well. His strength is in zone coverage, where his ability to read the quarterback makes him a problem for his opponents. He struggles at times in man coverage. He has difficultly running vertical with receivers who have caught their stride. When he struggles underneath in man it is generally due to his poor body position not allowing him to react quickly enough to cuts.
Having played for a nationally renowned high school program and competed in the College Football Playoffs, Conley is used to being on top. He knows how winners train and compete. This is evident in his play. He is a high effort player who makes good reads in coverage and good tackles in run support.
- breaks on the ball extremely well;
- makes good reads;
- solid zone defender;
- plays routes well;
- good physical tackler;
- gritty competitor;
- always brings high effort.
- can be streaky;
- looks stiff at times;
- doesn’t always have great body position, which can make him slow changing directions;
- average in man coverage;
- speed is a concern;
- needs to do a better job getting off blocks.
NFL Comparison: Logan Ryan
Teams with Need at the Position: Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions
Projection: Late first round to early second round
Conley is a solid all-around player at cornerback. He projects well to the NFL where teams run multiple coverages and expect players to be versatile. He plays best in zone coverage, where his eyes allow him to make plays on the football. He will need to develop better technique and man coverage skills.
Conley may have some limitations, but appears to have a lot of the intangibles needed to make an impact in the NFL. He is a physical, gritty player who seems to have an excellent understanding of the game. He could be a major piece of the puzzle in some NFL team’s defense next season.