Former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley was thought to be a lock as a high first-round pick until allegations of sexual assault were levied against him. Though he has not been formally charged, and despite his vehement denial of any wrongdoing, Conley’s draft stock appears to be taking a significant hit.
“Per a league source, the current buzz has Conley going at some point before the end of the third round,” wrote Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk Wednesday night, roughly 24 hours before the start of the 2017 NFL Draft.
As Florio notes, “The risk is obvious; Conley could be charged, prosecuted, and ultimately convicted of a first-degree felony.”
However, according to Conley’s statement, he has video evidence to support his version of the story to go along with multiple witnesses, including another female (more on that here).
It’s a tricky situation. Because if he’s innocent, nobody will know until after the draft, and that’s a darn shame. On the flip side, if he’s found to have done what he’s accused of doing and a team drafts him, it’s essentially a wasted pick.
Conley is supremely talented. There is a good reason he was slated to be a potential top-10 pick this April. So at some point some team is going to bite the bullet and take a gamble. It’s going to be interesting to see just how long he stays on the board the next few days, even as this dark cloud hangs over his head.