With only a few days to go until the 2017 NFL Draft, there are no shortage of rumor about who the Eagles might select in the first round. The latest buzz has them favoring Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.
Let’s recap the Conley hype so far.
Last week, we heard Conley is one of the five players the Eagles are targeting in the first round. Yesterday, one NFL Draft analyst said the Eagles are likely picking between Conley and Charles Harris at No. 14.
Now there are even more rumors connecting Conley to Philadelphia.
Mark Eckel of NJ.com says Conley is one of three players the Eagles will pick. The other two are Reuben Foster and Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey is on that previous list of five players the Eagles are expected to draft but Foster is not. Some Eagles reporters have pretty definitively said Philadelphia won’t draft the Alabama linebacker. But I digress.
Here’s what Matt Miller had to say about Conley and the Eagles today.
Every scout or general manager from a rival team I've spoken to expects this to be a cornerback pick. One Philadelphia scout at the combine told me they love Conley. This could be his landing spot.
It’s also worth noting Peter King has the Eagles taking Conley in the only mock draft he’s released this offseason. He adds Mike Williams and McCaffrey could be in play.
For what it’s worth, the Eagles have shown interest in Conley this offseason. The team seemingly brought him in for a pre-draft visit. The Eagles also had representation to watch him at Ohio State’s pro day.
I’m still not so sure that he’ll be the Eagles’ pick. It wouldn’t shock me, but I’m just not sold it’s a lock by any means. There’s talk that Conley could go off the board before pick No. 14 so who knows if he’ll even be there anyway.
Conley is known for his great cover skills, but he’s flawed as a run defender. Here’s a BGN scouting report on him.
Conley is very much a finesse player and while that works well for him, it really limits what he brings to a defense at the next level. Not only is he this massive liability in run support and tackling, but he can get bullied by more physical wide receivers too, of which there are a lot more in the NFL then the Big 10. Luckily, this is not a physical limitation and certainly something he can improve on. However, it is concerning.
NFL Comparison: Though he is a bit bigger, Gareon Conley is similar to Robert Alford coming out as a draft prospect. Both are incredibly gifted athletes who win with their athletic ability and polished coverage ability, but lack physicality and could use a kick in the pants in the run game.
The Eagles certainly need help at cornerback so Conley makes some sense for Philadelphia. To be determined if he’s really the guy they covet or if he’ll even be available for them.