Raiders use First pick on embattled cornerback Gareon Conley

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David J. Phillip/ AP In this March 6, 2017, file picture, Ohio State defensive back Gareon Conley runs a drill at the NFL football searching integrate in Indianapolis. An attorney for the previous Ohio State star says the player denies an accusation made in a cops report launched Tuesday, April 25, 2017, that he sexually attacked a female. No charges have been filed and the incident is still being examined by cops.

Released Thursday, April 27, 2017|9:40 p.m.

Updated Thursday, April 27, 2017|11:30 p.m.

ALAMEDA, Calif.– Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie said his staff did substantial research study on Gareon Conley prior to using the 24th overall pick in the draft on the skilled but embattled Ohio State cornerback who has actually been implicated of rape.

“We did our due diligence throughout this entire procedure and we trust our research, the reports, everything that we have on Mr. Conley,” McKenzie stated. “I do not wish to enter all the details but the bottom line is we have actually done miles and miles of research to make sure we were totally comfortable with our decision, which we were.”

Conley said he took a polygraph test previously Thursday and is scheduled to consult with police Monday.

“I’m extremely positive that it will be solved,” Conley told press reporters during a conference call after the first round of the draft. “I took a test today that helps, when I make my statement and with all the evidence that I have, I feel confident that it will be dealt with.”

McKenzie stated that Conley was “hands down” the very best offered player when Oakland went on the clock. Coach Jack Del Rio called it a happy minute for the Raiders company.

Conley, 21, appeared like a lock to be selected early in the preliminary until earlier today, when it was revealed that he had actually been implicated of sexually attacking a lady in Cleveland.

He has actually called the claims “completely incorrect” and no charges have been filed as police investigate. Conley was called in an authorities report that information the claims but no info has actually been forwarded to district attorneys.

“It’s been genuine emotional but I made it through it,” Conley stated. “I just kept my faith strong and kept listening to my mom, my representative and my support and kept my head on straight.”

McKenzie sounded confident the circumstance will be solved.

“The research was done,” McKenzie stated. “It wasn’t simply a gut (feeling). It was based upon research. We are extremely confident in the information that we collected.”

A lawyer for Conley has actually said that his customer wanted to meet detectives and consented to provide a DNA sample to counter the sexual attack claims.

Regardless of obvious requirements at defensive deal with and middle linebacker, McKenzie and Del Rio rather selected a skilled player who was predicted to be a leading 15 pick prior to his stock took a hit.

“A really skilled corner that’s capable of playing man or zone,” Del Rio said. “Been well-respected by the individuals that I have actually spoken with personally about him. A guy that loves to complete, excellent teammate and actually a quality kid. He’s got great length, fantastic speed. Among those actually clean gamers that we were fortunate to get our hands on late in the first round.”

Conley started every video game over the previous two years at Ohio State and enabled opposing quarterbacks to complete simply 37 percent of their throws in his direction. The 6-foot, 195-pound junior had six interceptions in 3 seasons consisting of four in 2016 while playing almost strictly on the outside.

The pick addresses Oakland’s lack of depth in the secondary. Starters Sean Smith and David Amerson had up-and-down years in 2016 and the Raiders don’t have much behind them. Oakland also has a hole to fill out the slot after decreasing to pick up the alternative year on DJ Hayden’s contract this offseason.

Smith struggled in his first season with the Raiders and could be expendable depending upon how quickly Conley adjusts to the professional level. Smith, who was benched in Week 1 and was a consistent target on the NFL’s 24th-ranked pass defense, is because of make $5 million in base salary in 2017 and might make another $4.25 million as a roster benefit.

Hayden was the last cornerback the Raiders drafted in the first round and the very first first-round choice made by McKenzie after ending up being general supervisor. Hayden was the 12th total choice in 2013 but was prevented by injuries and missed out on 19 video games over 4 seasons in Oakland before the group cut ties with him this offseason.

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