Last night the Raiders made Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley their first round selection at 24 overall. The reactions to the selection have varied. Here are a few of them.
This one is difficult to unpack. He’s a cornerback with top 10 potential, but whew are there concerns. Aside from the fact that he was kind of a one-year wonder at Ohio State, Conley also comes with recent rape accusations. If the Raiders are comfortable with the pick, then it could be a huge coup for the team.
Sporting News: Biggest ‘Loser’
Bennie Lyer said of the pick:
There was no justification to take a massive risk on a cornerback who gambles in coverage when Reuben Foster was on the board to help them at their biggest defensive need. It's made worse when the player is Gareon Conley, who is facing uncertain legal action after news of his alleged sexual assault broke just days before the draft.
It was extremely disappointing, on and off the field, for Oakland to go in this direction.
CBS Sports: B-
There is risk, but it could pay off in a big way. He is a nice cover player, which is what they need.
As long as Conley's off-field issues are cleared up, the Raiders got the long, agile, ballhawk they needed. If he gets in trouble, then GM Reggie McKenzie will have to answer for the pick.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has taken a firm stance against domestic violence, and yet Conley recently was accused of a sexual assault, although no charges have been filed. Do the Raiders feel comfortable with this blowing over? Clearly. Conley is a first-round talent, and lots of teams have looked hard into this case. Most felt good about Conley after they did. This is still a potentially frightening risk if charges are brought in the case.
Sports Illustrated: Incomplete
Chris Burke on the pick (who took the easy way out with his non-grade):
Well, file this one as TBD. Conley was a sure-fire first-rounder for the last several weeks, until a rape allegation against him came to light. Teams spent the past 48 hours digging into that situation, so the Raiders must feel like Conley has been honest in claiming the allegation is false. (Conley has not been charged.) From a talent perspective, Conley had an argument to be the second cornerback off the board. He is a potential shut-down guy for an Oakland defense that had few answers on the outside last season. How long will his off-field situation drag out, and what will be the outcome?
That’s a sampling of what’s out there. What grade would you give the pick?
Grade the Raiders pick of Gareon Conley
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