Gareon ConleyCB Ohio State

6', 194, 6.68 3-Cone! (O) 4.44,

4.18 SS, 10'9"Broad, 37"Vert,

11 Reps, 33"Arms, 

 

The Unknown Guy. 

By TOM

I think he just ran his way into the 1st half 1st Round with a 4.45. I liked him in coverage. He played in the slot as well. He was the underrated guy from their secondary. Great quick feet. Lost his hips a little in transition. Great hips twisting back and forth. Nice suddenness bursting forward. Nice snap to the left. Didn't have drop in 1st gauntlet. Nice quick twitch. 

The problem with Conley is that he was a redshirt sophomore and not expected to come out. So he became the forgotten man. "I don’t feel forgotten about," Conley said. "I embrace everything I get and take advantage of everything I get and that I’ve been given. I congratulate them for everything they’ve been given, too." You cannot watch every player every game, so you have to choice who to scout. I try as hard as I can to keep my eyes off sophomore's.

He is great in finesse press. He played in the slot a lot. He will take some missteps sometimes as he still is a little young in the game. Very quick feet, and nice smooth hips. He will get out physicalled early in games, but he does a nice job ratcheting up the aggression after he takes one on the chin. He is never going to be an elite run stuffer, but he can be a okay against the run when he gets mad.

He played in the Slot as well. "He said he wanted all three starters at corner to be on the field at the same time," Conley said. "It was a great challenge to learn that spot, but I'm getting used to it now and we're just going to keep improving on what we do." He took to the challenge and succeeded. 

He has some excellent smooth hips. "You still play man," Conley said. "You play man on the outside and man inside, but it's different because you've got a lot of field on the inside. It's different from corner, but it's not dramatically different." He has good eyes and instincts.

He didn't play CB until he was a Junior in high school, and thought the was going to play basketball. "I watched him on the basketball court as a freshman and knew right away this kid could be special," his high school HC Jason Hall said. "He didn't play one real snap at corner until he was a junior. Towards the end of his sophomore year we looked at each as a coaching staff and said this kid is going to be really good." He was much more pure athlete in high school.

He was terrific against Michigan "Both of their receivers are good," Conley said about Michigan. "They go against press every day because they run that defense, too, so they're going to be good at going against what we do. It'll be a good challenge." I like when he gets physical in press. 

He took a long route to Ohio State, and does not have a lot of experience at CB. "I really didn't play football. In high school, I was a basketball player so once there was like a Big Ten school that came across I was like, 'Oh, I'm going to jump on it because I probably won't get anything better,'" Conley said about almost going to Michigan. "Then more schools started coming so I wanted to explore my options. I wanted to explore all of my options and they threatened to pull my scholarship if I did, so that's why I decommitted." Meyer swooped in and took him from Harbaugh.

He was a step away from playing at Michigan. "That was really my first big offer," Conley said. "I really didn’t play football in high school. I was a basketball player, so once there was a Big Ten school that came across I was like, 'Oh, I'm going to jump on it because I probably won’t get anything better.' Then more schools started coming and I wanted to explore my options." He finally committed to Ohio State.

And then he help Ohio State beat them in the Champ game this year. "We thought highly of him and I remember he played his tail off his senior year," Urban Meyer said. "I went and watched him practice basketball and that’s when I was like, 'This is a crazy athlete.'" It is amazing to think how good he is with such little experience playing football:

Ohio State Overview: It’s athletic and talented Gareon Conley’s turn to lead the Ohio State cornerbacks, a position group that has seen its last three leaders drafted into the NFL with Bradley Roby and Eli Apple each first-round picks (Roby in 2014 to Denver and Apple this year to the New York Jets) and Doran Grant a fourth-round pick of Pittsburgh in 2015 … Conley is the only returning starter in the defensive secondary and he’ll leverage his 28 games played and 1,158 plays of experience with his younger teammates who are in the same position Conley was in this time last year: fighting for playing time … a fourth-year member of the team, Conley has played in every game the past two seasons, including 13 starts last year for the 12-1 Buckeyes … Conley has nine career passes defended – seven break-ups and two interceptions – and 65 total tackles … with a red-shirt year in 2013 behind him, Conley is a fourth-year member of the team and a two-time letterwinner … he is majoring in sport industry.

Excellent moving back in finesse press "He’s another one who’s a brilliant player for us," Meyer said. "Major impact. He’s not just a great player, but a great leader as well." Terrific slowing WRs by retreating backwards with his elite feet. 

He gets stuck on his man sometimes, and doesn't see the play. "He’s not as good as the other cornerback [Marshon Lattimore], but he’s a good corner," a scout said. "If he measures over 6-foot and runs in the low 4.4s he will come off the board on Thursday night." He plays very well on his toes moving backwards.

Great ball skills. He was a basketball player only, until his sophomore year in high school. He brought those basketball skills to the field. He can step in front of the WR and catch the ball like he is stealing the basketball. He can leap up and high point the ball like he is rebounding. He has great hands for a good sized CB. 

When he synchs himself up with the WRs release, he can destroy the timing of the pass. "Got that long body,"  a scout said. "More of a press guy. He might get in the 1st." He gets his head around he spots the ball in the air as well as any CB in this Draft. 

Snaps forward with great burst when the WR catches a bubble screen in front of him. "Very confident," a 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." Smooth hips in bail technique. 

2016 Season (Junior): All-Big Ten second team pick by the coaches and a third team selection by the media ... third on the team with three INTs ... made the game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter in the win at Michigan State ... recorded two tackles and one PBU in the 77-10 win over Bowling Green ... three tackles and one INT in the win over Tulsa ... recorded two PBUs in the win over Indiana ... three tackles and an INT in the win at Wisconsin.

Additional Notes:

Oklahoma: He will blitz from the edge. Snaps back to the line fast when the QB zips the ball to the RB sneaking out of the backfield. He will get swarmed over by a big WR blocking him, when he peeks at the RB behind him. He has some soft hands catching the ball over his head. He does a nice job in off, breaking outside, and then diving to knock the ball down. Nice job at the end of patterns. Nice job arriving as the ball arrives. 

IndyPlayed some in the slot as well. He will uses the snap sometimes and blitz from the Slot. Very quick feet moving backwards. He can be beat by speed outside sometimes. Knows when to grab a little shirt to stop the timing of a throw. He will react a little slow to outs sometimes, when he is peeking at the QB. But his recovery is as quick as a snap. Really quick reacting to the ball. 

Wisconsin: Very nice size, He looks like he is over 200-pounds now. Great feet moving backwards off the snap. Huge INT in the 3rd against Wisconsin. He can play the ball in the air. He can be a body catcher. But he is a confident catcher. He can read the misdirection well and come up and make the tackle when most of the rest of the defense reads it wrong. Started lining up more at CB in the 4th. Nice jam on the inside move. 

Conley Vs Clemson:

He started off in the slot against the big man. He did a nice job moving backwards while slowing him. Then jammed him with two hands. He out physicalled the big WR (:01). Watch the suddenness in Conley's shoulders as he stalked Williams. Then the Jam took him out of his timing. Conley will be in the top half of the 1st because of his ball skills. And it didn't matter that Williams fell down, because Conley had already under cut him (:12). Watch how he under cut Williams. Then leaped up and high points the ball. That is elite coverage against the Champs.

Back in the slot. If you can cover in the slot you can cover anywhere (:26). He is a terrific blitzer. Watch him redirect off Watson to the RB (:36). He was finally outside. Just watch his feet as he matched Williams quick foot for quick foot, as Williams tried to juke him. Just that split second of extra quick stepping prevented the timing of that touchdown (:46). He turned and bailed instead of pedaling in front of him, but he guessed the wrong pattern (1:02). So he gave up the 1st, but recovered quick enough to give up nothing else.

Watch the smooth hip twist, and the great COD as he stuck his foot in the dirt and burst back to Williams (1:11). Up in Press. I love how he slowed the big WR without touching him in Press. That is a much more important skill in the NFL (1:17). Playing over the top of the Bunch. He saw the screen and came up fast enough to knock the ball carrier out of bounds (1:26). He is not great against the run, but he can do it when he needs too.

He is not the best against the run. He has to play it better. He did a good job fighting Williams, but he gave up the sideline. He cannot give up the sideline, ever  (1:44). He did a nice job moving laterally across the field to get in front of the RB (1:56). He got pancaked there, like he was a basketball player. He is at his best in finesse press (2:05). Back in the slot (2:18). He got slowed by the pick, and gave up a step. He almost caught up, but Hooker leaped into the scene to save the day.

He does a nice job getting more physical. He changed direction while he was being held three times to stay in front of the ball carrier and draw the flag (2:42). That was a nice play.

He dropped in the zone and stayed behind Scott. He did a nice job being aggressive and tackling him before he got the 1st (3:07). He played in the slot a lot in this game. He took Renfro out of the pattern with his finesse press (3:19). He did a nice job reading the pattern, and tried to get in front of Williams, but he bumped him off and powered through him (3:31). That was a great catch by Williams. 

He did a nice job getting the bigger and more physical guy to the ground to prevent the TD (3:41). Back in the slot. Watch the elite COD here. He read run on the play action. Watch the elite burst forward as he leaped past Renfro. Then he saw the play action and leaped back into coverage (3:50). That is one of those plays were he got beat, but made a good enough recovery to stop the QB from throwing the ball. It isn't always pretty.

It took him a while to read the play. but then he did a good job protecting the sideline, and forced the RB inside. Then did an even better job catching up to Watson in traffic and taking him down (4:01). He read the screen and blew it up, which forced Watson to take a hit from the LB (4:19). Playing over the top of the Bunch again. He read it perfectly, and powered the RB out of bounds (4:29). Back in the Slot against Williams, and he blitzed. I love the way this kid blitzes. He found a lane and slammed Watson back, and blew the the play up (4:38). Watson somehow escaped, but had to throw it away.

Conley Vs Clemson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AexfQcSDMbk

Conley's Official Bio:

Ohio State Overview: It’s athletic and talented Gareon Conley’s turn to lead the Ohio State cornerbacks, a position group that has seen its last three leaders drafted into the NFL with Bradley Roby and Eli Apple each first-round picks (Roby in 2014 to Denver and Apple this year to the New York Jets) and Doran Grant a fourth-round pick of Pittsburgh in 2015 … Conley is the only returning starter in the defensive secondary and he’ll leverage his 28 games played and 1,158 plays of experience with his younger teammates who are in the same position Conley was in this time last year: fighting for playing time … a fourth-year member of the team, Conley has played in every game the past two seasons, including 13 starts last year for the 12-1 Buckeyes … Conley has nine career passes defended – seven break-ups and two interceptions – and 65 total tackles … with a red-shirt year in 2013 behind him, Conley is a fourth-year member of the team and a two-time letterwinner … he is majoring in sport industry.

2016 Season (Junior): All-Big Ten second team pick by the coaches and a third team selection by the media ... third on the team with three INTs ... made the game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter in the win at Michigan State ... recorded two tackles and one PBU in the 77-10 win over Bowling Green ... three tackles and one INT in the win over Tulsa ... recorded two PBUs in the win over Indiana ... three tackles and an INT in the win at Wisconsin.

2015 Season (Sophomore): Conley started all 13 games at cornerback and earned honorable mention all-Big Ten Conference honors … he finished eighth on the team with 49 tackles and second with two interceptions … he also recorded five pass break-ups and blocked a punt vs. Rutgers … stood out in Ohio State’s biggest games, with a career-high (and team-best) eight tackles vs. Virginia Tech, seven vs. Penn State, five solo tackles vs. Michigan and a career-high (and team-best) seven solo stops against Notre Dame … recorded his first career interception vs. Hawai’i and also had two PBUs that game … also had an interception in the Rutgers game.

2014 Season (Freshman): Conley played in all 15 games for the 2014 College Football Playoff national champions ... accumulated 386 plays, including 160 snaps on defense as a cornerback ... contributed significantly on special teams ... finished the year with 16 tackles and two pass break-ups ... had personal bests of three solo tackles in the wins over Illinois and Michigan State.

More on Gareon: Conley was the No. 1 player in Ohio as a senior (ESPN 150) and a first-team Associated Press Division I all-state selection … also earned consensus four-star status (ESPN, Scout, 247Sports, Rivals) … the No. 43 overall prospect nationally by ESPN and the No. 14 cornerback prospect (247Sports) … played in the Under Armour All-American game … as a senior Conley, who was coached by Jason Hall at Washington, caught 50 passes, averaged 21.9 yards per catch and scored 16 touchdowns, while on defense he had 13 pass break-ups, an interception and 25 tackles  

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