Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley is headed to the next level. Even as the most experienced Buckeye from the secondary heading to the draft, Conley is considered by some as as perhaps not as highly touted compared to his position-mates — but he gave an impressive performance at the NFL scouting combine.
Conley finished his career at Ohio State after three seasons, amassing 91 total tackles (66 solo), 15 passes defended and six interceptions. He was one of the only players not to come up with a touchdown off a turnover in 2016, but his snags were perfectly timed game-savers for the Buckeyes. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick in 2015 and second-team all-conference last season.
Weight: 195 lbs
Hands: 9 1/2”
Taking the next steps to try and make it in the NFL takes a lot physically and mentally from players, but Conley thinks he is prepared. Conley had to accept that some of the younger guys — Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore — would overshadow him at times, but even still, he wasn’t getting lost in the shuffle.
“I set myself apart mentally, my mental toughness and ability to handle adversity on and off the field sets me apart. I think about it but use it as motivation that I have to work harder than them.”
At Ohio State you are constantly competing against the best both at practice and on Saturdays, and Conley has taken a lot of advice from players who have come before him. Having to work harder than the man before you is what keeps the Buckeye program constantly refreshed with young talent.
"Everything you do, you've got to give your maximum effort and I feel like there's a high standard. There's no medium, average or low standard. There's such a high standard that you've got to compete with people that are just as good as you so you've got to outwork them."
And while Conley follows in the footsteps of former early draft picks, like Eli Apple and Bradley Roby, he doesn’t feel bogged down by pressure. Instead, he uses it as motivation to work harder than those he’s competing with, and hopefully will see the fruits of his labor in late-April.
“I don’t worry about it, but I try to motivate myself to get there. I definitely want to be a first-round pick. Nobody doesn’t want to be a first-round pick so I’m going to work as hard as I can to be a first-round pick.”
Bench press: 11 reps
40-yard dash: 4.44 sec* Conley’s time was fifth among his position group.
Vertical jump: 37.0”
Broad jump: 129.0”
3-cone drill: 6.68 sec
20-yard shuttle run: 4.18 sec
Conley looks like a top 15 pick today— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 6, 2017