CB Gareon Conley, Ohio St.*

6’0” – 195 lbs. – 4.44

Redshirted in his first season with the team, then served as a reserve the following year. Took over a full-time starting role as a redshirt sophomore and retained that role this past season, starting at left cornerback opposite Marshon Lattimore. Has an adequate combination of height and bulk for a boundary cornerback, with arms which measured an impressive 33” at the Combine. Lines up in press-man almost exclusively, with only rare snaps in zone coverage; projects as a man-coverage specialist at the next level as well. Rarely backpedals, with a lot of bailing into shuffle looks. Very smooth and fluid mover with enough speed to carry defenders down the field from press. Can get physical and use his length to mix it up inside five yards of the line of scrimmage, but relies primarily on his athleticism and footwork to stick with opponents. Has the footwork, quickness, and loose hips to stick with opponents out of the route stem; a quick-twitch player better-suited to play man coverage. Gives up little separation and was rarely targeted when shadowing opposing receivers. Looks a little bit more comfortable on the outside, with some trouble navigating through congestion across the middle of the field; tighter coverage when working near the boundaries. Does a good job of getting his head around and locating the ball when he’s tested downfield. Has very good ball skills and is able to time his jumps appropriately; made two incredible interceptions during the games reviewed. Can plant and drive on a spot when he’s able to keep the play in front of him, but wasn’t often asked to line up off the line. Ability to defend the run leaves something to be desired. Will come up to hit against ballcarriers but doesn’t always use proper technique; consequently, ends up slipping off of too many tackle attempts. More willing than forceful as a tackler. Has some trouble anchoring against blockers when defending screens; can be driven off of his spot by more physical opponents. A two-year starter from a major program, Conley offers some of the most impressive pure man-coverage skills in the draft and is one of the quickest, longest cornerbacks available as well, traits which should get him selected within the first fifteen or twenty picks on draft day. Could make early contributions in a straightforward scheme and looks like a future starter.

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