Gareon Conley CB
Another former first round pick and another team potentially looking to move them. The fire sale in Oakland is alive and well, Khalil Mack is gone, Amari Cooper is gone, could Gareon Conley be next?
Gareon Conley was the Raiders first round pick in 2017, he was highly regarded coming out of college but slid in the draft due to a rape accusation against him. Conley was a two-year starter at Ohio State and rocketed up draft boards after a strong showing in his senior year, allowing just 14 receptions for 159 yards and a passer rating of just 14.0.
He was also regarded by most as having the smoothest technique at cornerback in the 2017 draft class. However, Conley ended up on injured reserve, ending a disappointing rookie year. After a regime change, which saw Jon Gruden bring in defensive coordinator Paul Guenther from Cincinnati, it seemed Conley would be in position to breakout.
Instead, Conley only managed to get to Week 5 before getting replaced by Daryl Worley.
The Colts cornerback group needs a boost. Kenny Moore grinds away playing bigger than his size, Nate Hairston is an under the radar consistent performer and Quincy Wilson is a mind boggling prospect who plays better than he practices the unit is ranked 13th in the league in passing yards. Gareon Conley could be a welcome addition.
The Colts defense would be simplistic enough for Conley to be able to pick up mid-season and he would thrive in a scheme built on creating turnovers.
Conley seems to be a prototypical fit for Chris Ballard’s type of cornerback. He is 6’0”, 195lbs and possesses the ball skills (4 interceptions and 8 passes defended in his last college season) that Ballard covets so much. He has shown talent in both man and zone, he is young and still developing, and he has already shown ability in the NFL, grabbing an interception and 7 passes defensed since being drafted.
Jon Gruden has shown he isn’t afraid to trade away those who don’t go along with his regime, just ask Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. If Gruden sees Conley as expendable, he is exactly that.
Compensation: a mid round draft selection, in the third or fourth round.
Likelihood: 10%. This trade sits on whether Gruden wants him or not. Gruden has already shown that he is firmly in charge in Oakland and if he wants to trade Conley, believe me he will. The Colts would be lucky to land Conley as he is a superior young talent being wasted on the Raiders roster.