Nov 15, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Chris Conley (31) can
Chris Conley is one of the few players, if not the only player, to go into the combine with next to no value and leave the combine with his stock sky rocketing. Conley was going to be a player that wasn’t even in consideration of being drafted in the NFL to possibly becoming a mid-round pick due to his incredible showing at the combine. The question that we must ask ourselves, is Chris Conley worth drafting in your rookie draft?
Conley wasn’t a relevant contributor to his team until his junior season (age 22) when he caught 45 passes for 651 yards and 4 TDs. During his senior season (age 23) he caught 36 passes for 657 yards and 8 TDs. During his senior season Conley accounted for 11.01% of Georgia’s offensive production, 25.29% of Georgia’s receiving yardage, and 33.33% of Georgia’s receiving touchdowns. Conley’s lack of college production is a major red flag, and is the main reason why he wasn’t on anybody’s radar heading into the combine. One thing to note is that Conley’s market share of Georgia’s receiving production is high at 33.33%. Georgia rarely needed to pass the ball because they had one of the best rushing attacks in college football, which was led by perennial talents Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb. Georgia didn’t even pass for 3,000 yards last season. They were so good at running the football they rarely needed to use the passing game. This indicates that Conley’s stats are deflated because the workload wasn’t there for him.
Notable players who compare to Chris Conley athletically
Not-so notable player who compare to Chris Conley athletically
Conley compares to his draft peer Kevin White who is going to be drafted in the first round, and athletic marvels Cordarrelle Patterson and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Patterson and Heyward-Bey aren’t very strong comps but both have flashed during their career. When it comes to metrics, Conley has everything you want. He has the size at 6’2″ 213 pounds, and he has the speed with a 4.35 40-yard dash. He has and elite vertical jump that was measured at 45 inches. His vertical is 10 inches higher than a lot of the players he’s compared too.
Conley’s athleticism pops off the tape. You can tell that he’s a great athlete just by watching him run his routes and how he’s able to get in and out of his breaks. He runs a wide variety of routes. He has good hands. He makes difficult catches away from his body. Conley needs to polish his route running if he wants to be crack and NFL starting lineup.
Like a lot of players, Conley’s value is going to be indicative to where and when he’s selected in the NFL draft. Conley should be drafted in the late 2nd– mid 3rd round in rookie drafts. Conley is a very intriguing prospect to me, and I think he has a very high ceiling and he merits being drafted in rookie drafts. He’s highly athletic, the odds of hitting with a late 2nd or 3rd round rookie pick is rare, so taking a flier on Conley and swinging for the fences is worth the minor premium you have to pay for him. There’s going to be a lot of receivers who are going to be selected ahead of him in his area of the draft (middle-rounds) that won’t have the upside that Conley has and will still have the same chance of being a busted pick. Conley should be highly considered during your rookie drafts.
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