School: Ohio State
Size: 6-0, 195
+ Great length — best asset Conley has.
+ Attacks the football. Good feel and timing in coverage.
+ Flashes initial mirroring skills.
+ Shows good explosion after planting, driving back to the ball.
+ Adequate deep speed to hang with almost anyone.
+ Outstanding combine effort showing agility and explosion.
– Comes off a touch stiff in man coverage. Will give up separation when receivers go lateral.
– Feet seem heavy at times, causing him to play from behind in close-quarters coverage.
– Not a very good tackler. Attacks high and with his arms.
Overall, Conley is a nice player. He was the 3rd best piece of an Ohio State secondary featuring two other top five talents in Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore. Conley’s length and ability to play the ball should have teams interested in him during the first day of the NFL Draft. I think his best trait is his ability to cover deep — Conley can stay with receivers right on their hip and use his length to defend the ball.
Four picks and eight total passes defensed in his Junior season shows decent production. Although he tested like an outstanding athlete, Conley doesn’t always show the foot speed and reactions in man coverage. He comes off a little stiff at times when asked to change directions at speed. He’s not as effective in the middle portions of the field as he is deep. Lateral routes can cause him to give up some separation (Watch the Michigan tape for proof). He will absolutely have to improve in run support, too.
I think Conley has what the NFL is looking for. Length and the ability to play the ball deep will get you far in the NFL. Teams can probably live with his deficiencies on crossers and lack of tackling. I’d guess he lands somewhere in the 16-32 range.