Each year it’s an interesting study to go back and look at what anonymous scouts have been saying about the Raiders’ picks. The collection of quotes from anonymous scouts during the draft process is what Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been doing for years. It’s kinda what he’s known for.
When the statements are negative, fans like to criticize these scouts for remaining anonymous. Well, it doesn’t work that way. The only way McGinn or anyone gets these quotes from scouts is if they don’t put their name on it. And whether you choose to believe what they say or buy into it, their thoughts offer an accurate feel for what scouts’ opinions are on certain prospects.
For Conley, the sexual assault allegations didn’t come to the surface until days before the draft. So, clearly the thoughts from scouts were given before any of that came to light. That makes it all the more interesting what they had to say about Conley.
“Very confident,” one scout said. “Everybody loves the kid. Really a good teammate. Leader of the group. Smooth. Makes it look easy. Good in press man. Short-area burst. Likes to jump routes. He can track the ball deep.” Average strength affects him as a tackler. Arms were 33.
“Got that long body,” another scout said. “More of a press guy. He might get in the first (round).”
This must be the kind of feedback Jack Del Rio got when he asked around about Conley.
“He’s been well respected with the people that I’ve spoken to personally about him,” said Del Rio following Conley’s selection at 24 overall. “He’s a guy that loves to compete, good teammate and a really quality kid.”
The character references aside, the talent notes are promising as well. And the draft projection was correct too. He got in the first round. And much of his rise happened as the draft approached. Before the allegations surfaced, he was seen as a top 15 pick.