How far will Gareon Conley fall?
NFL teams that had strong interest in the Ohio State corner before the April 9 rape accusation against him were scrambling to figure that out Wednesday. And simultaneously Authentic Dallas Keuchel Jersey , they were furiously trying to gather any information they could on what happened that night at the Cleveland Westin. And Conley was on the phone to coaches and general managers giving his side of the story.
Now, the problem: This probably won’t be settled by Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
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If Conley’s guilty, then he deserves the fate that’s likely awaiting him. But there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered about what happened in that room, whether it was consensual, and what the woman’s motive was after Conley kicked her out, which is the one event in the timeline that matches up in the stories of both the accuser and the accused.
I asked one NFC personnel chief, who likes Conley as a player, about where he stood. Answer: “Confused.” An assistant coach for an AFC team said, “I don’t know enough yet, I just don’t know enough. Could it be a setup? I don’t know.” An AFC executive was more definitive: “He’s going to drop. It could be BS, but uncertainty prevails and I don’t think he’s cleared by Thursday.”
In this week’s Game Plan Authentic Carlos Lee Jersey , we’ll get to which teams control this year’s draft, and break down how four very interesting positions could fall over the next few days. And we’ll get to more of the draft rumors and buzz. And I’ll give you a mock.
We start with the story of the day, which is the big story in the same way Laremy Tunsil became the big story on the fly last year and La’el Collins became the big story two years ago. In each of those cases, news broke too close to the draft for the players to respond. Tunsil was expected to go in the top 5 or 6 picks and fell to 13th. Collins was a borderline first-rounder and went undrafted.
Before the rape accusation, scuttlebutt in league circles had Conley connected to the Saints at 11, the Eagles at 14 and the Colts at 15. After talking to teams now, it seems likely Conley’s drop will be more precipitous than Tunsil’s, but probably won’t fall out of the draft like Collins.
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Some facts on Conley …
• NFL teams viewed him as one of the cleaner prospects among potential first-rounders from a character standpoint. That doesn’t mean he isn’t guilty. But if he had a thick file in that regard, a lot of clubs would probably say, “forget this” and just move on. Teams that were lukewarm on him to begin with, or don’t have a big corner need Authentic Archie Bradley Jersey , probably will treat this that way. Teams with a genuine interest will do their homework best they can. And one such club said that in five days of combine interviews, Conley was the most impressive player they talked to, and displayed off-the-charts football IQ.
• Ohio State coaches, at least the ones I’ve talked to at (full disclosure) my alma mater, were stunned to hear the news. Suffice it to say, Conley was among the last of their players they expected to be accused of a crime this serious. One assistant said, “I don’t know what happened, but I’d stand on the table for the kid.” Again, doesn’t mean Conley is innocent. But teams have been calling Columbus, and that kind of feedback is part of the picture.
• The strength of the position in this year’s class will hurt Conley, like it figures to hurt Washington’s Sidney Jones Authentic David Price Jersey , who suffered a torn Achilles at his pro day. I wrote last week that one team had 35 corners with draftable grades (more on that later), and there’s a feeling potential rookie-year starters in the secondary will be available into the fourth and fifth rounds. So it’s easy for teams to look at Conley, decide that—no matter the truth—it isn’t worth the risk and move on to another player with a similar grade.
So where are teams now? Conley has reached out to as many head coaches and GMs as he could over the past 36 hours to give them his side of the story. Teams have been talking with other witnesses (one is a childhood friend of Conley’s, another didn’t know him before April 9) in the case too, and going back to re-vet Conley’s character.
The problem is, there have been plenty of cases where a player with a pristine reputation was guilty of a heinous crime. No one saw Ray Rice coming. No one saw Darren Sharper coming. And so that no one seems to have seen this coming with Conley is relevant, but not in any way definitive of anything.
That uncertainty is going to cost Conley a lot of money.
There’s a chance he falls out of the draft all together, but teams I’ve talked to figured he could land in the third or fourth round now if teams feel comfortable he’ll be cleared. At that point, the upside is you get a potential high-end starter at premium position for a bargain basement price. And if he’s guilty of what he’s been accused, you can cut him without much penalty. The reality is he’s the one paying a price here.
Let’s say he’s the first pick in the fourth round. Last year, that was Cleveland’s Joe Schobert Authentic Larry Doby Jersey , who signed a four-year, $2.974 million deal with $633,956 guaranteed. Without the accusation, I’d have mocked Conley to Philly at 14. Last year’s 14th pick, Oakland’s Karl Joseph, did a four-year, $11.88. Authentic Womens Mark Andrews Jersey , Authentic Womens Cordy Glenn Jersey , Adidas Nicklas Backstrom Jersey , Womens Joel Iyiegbuniwe Jersey ,