As I wrote yesterday, hold onto your hats, this NFL draft would be a crazy one. It didn’t disappoint.
With the QB position being at maybe it’s worse position in the modern era, teams were trading up to gamble on prospects that some feel are reaches at best. Let’s face it though. In the modern NFL, if you are tall and can throw far, they will look at you. I think in 10 years you will look back on this draft and ask what some teams were thinking while they made their picks.
The controversy was also seen in Oakland. Raider fans for the most part were divided when Ohio St. CB Gareon Conley was chosen by the Raiders with the 24th pick. With MLB Reuben Foster falling into their laps, the Raiders chose to pass and picked Conley who is being investigated for rape allegations made against him. Let’s answer all your questions about him.
Why Draft Conley When He’s Being Investigated & May Be Guilty:
First off, name the long list of athletes that have done jail time for sexual assault or battery in the last 10 years…………………..
After reading a lot on it, I don’t know if anything happened and neither does the police. I think the case will be dropped and nothing will happen and it will be forgotten. Some fans say, “well he was seen with her so he didn’t do anything”. Ridiculous. The Stanford swimmer that was convicted of rape was also seen with that girl. Just because you are walking around with one another doesn’t mean a rape wasn’t committed.
Fans love their athletes and most will defend them. It’s a little sick but some people are no longer into right and wrong anymore, they are into if that player is a member of the team they like or not. I deal with the facts.
Even when athletes are guilty they usually get off due to good lawyers. And even if they are convicted, jail time rarely if ever happens. Conley should be cleared soon and this will soon be forgotten. Again I’m not saying he’s innocent or guilty, I’m just saying you have to have evidence and it’s not there.
But Jim, I Thought the Raiders Wanted High Character Guys?:
Anyone trust Aldon Smith to house sit while you are on vacation? When you read about all of his felonies and misdemeanors over the years you wonder how the guy is still walking the streets let alone being previously signed by the Raiders. I saw one Facebook post last night saying there was a conspiracy to keep Smith in trouble so the Raiders can’t get him. And people were agreeing with him!! OMG! Stay away from drugs kids.
The Raiders DO want high character guys, but they also want to win. With Carr & Mack being the main leaders and high character guys, you can live with others not being that. Some NFL players are not angels by any means so you take the good with the bad. Conley probably didn’t do anything and overall he’s not been a trouble maker, but the real reason you draft him is because he helps you win. Fan’s shouldn’t be naïve about this stuff anymore.
Don’t Listen to Draft Rumors:
I heard a lot of people saying people are worried about Fosters injury. Let’s look into that. NFL teams and the people that report them over the years have lost a lot of people millions of dollars with school girl rumors. Some turn out to be true, but some don’t.
False rumors swirled that Dan Marino was into drugs and he dropped in the draft like a stone. And remember Aaron Rodgers? He went from being a possible overall #1 pick to waiting 4 hours to be picked. Why? Because 2 draft “gurus” said that he held the ball too high (remember that?) and that he was a system QB under head coach Jeff Tedford. All of a sudden everyone worried about him. Just because of silly rumors. So who was the #1 pick? Alex Smith who was from the biggest system of all, the spread at Utah. Can’t make this stuff up folks.
Ten minutes before the 2015 draft, ESPN was reporting on their radio show that DT Leonard Williams may have a severe shoulder injury that might keep him out for the year. Well, Williams has played 31 of the 32 games so far in his career but the damage was done. Some thought he was a top 3 pick but he dropped to the Jets at 6. Star Lotulelei was an amazing drop when he was drafted. He had a virus that made some of his heart tests abnormal so teams just forgot him. He eventually was proved to be ok. For this year think Reuben Foster and all the drama with his injury, especially when doctors are saying he will be ready in time for the July camps.
Why Conley Was a Good Pick:
Many fans have finally convinced me that many NFL fans aren’t exactly the biggest college football fans. Oh, they will watch the big games or the playoffs but overall it’s not their thing.
For those of us that are addicted to college football, Ohio States defensive backs had a big reputation last year. Other than CB Marshon Lattimore, the Buckeyes DB’s were very one dimensional. The dimension that they all excelled in was that they knew how to cover. Conley is an excellent cover guy with length and speed. He’s not as athletic or talented as Marshon Lattimore, but he’s very good. Ohio St. plays a lot of man to man and he handled it well rarely getting beaten badly. He always seemed to be near or on the ball.
He can cover in the slot, man to man and also in zone press coverage and that type of player is hard to find. I really like his coverage skills and feel he’s a guy that can start in 2 years, if not this year if Amerson and Smith continue to struggle. Some have said move Smith to Safety but I think that is a reach and it remains to be seen if that will happen and if Smith can handle it.
The Raiders are stuck with Sean Smith and David Amerson’s money this year but next year they can be let go without any dead money against the salary cap. Amerson was found out last year; he struggles against the deep ball and Sean Smith was much better when he had the Chiefs pass rush and safeties helping him. Conley will at least be used in nickel and dime packages and as a backup to the starters. His quality cover skills in the slot also help him get on the field. Again, I’m a big fan of Conley’s cover skills.
Why Conley Wasn’t a Good Pick:
There are TONS; and I mean TONS of CB’s and safeties left on the board that are very good. This draft is full of them. There are little to no DT’s and MLB’s left. Reuben Foster fell into the lap of the Raiders. It wasn’t as bad as Star Lotulelei and DJ Hayden but they needed Foster badly. The Raiders defensive front 7 is like a big donut right now. The 49ers gobbled Foster up like a Thanksgiving Turkey pulling off one of the best first rounds in a while.
Some say teams were worried about his rotator cuff surgery. Reports how have him ready before July training camp. In the last 2 years Foster played in every game and almost every practice. His stats are amazing, with most of his big numbers coming against the best teams in the biggest games. Some ill-informed people yesterday were tweeting that he was too injury prone. The facts don’t agree.
The NFL draft isn’t Costco. Just because you want salmon doesn’t mean they are going to have salmon. People say well now draft a DT or MLB. Well who? Foster was a near for sure thing and now you have question marks left. Jihad Ward was a bad pick last year at DT and he was not a big factor even though he started most games and played in all of them. No sacks & no tackles for losses. Their depth chart at DT and MLB doesn’t scare anyone.
As we said before, Ohio St. DB’s were mostly one dimensional. Good, finesse cover guys but not good tacklers who weren’t very physical.
I agreed TOTALLY with Jon Gruden. Ohio St. Safety Malik Hooker was very overrated and as a safety you can’t be that bad against the run. It reminded me a little bit like Michael Huff when he came out. Conley also struggled against the run and he isnt’ very physical.
The Michigan game also showed Conley struggling against the crossing routes and slants of the Michigan WR. He’s not physical with players off the ball at all and seemed to get lost with WR in front of him instead of chasing them down the field.
Clemson fans are still talking about 5’ 9”, 175 lb. WR Ray-Ray McClouds one on one obliteration block on Conley in the Tigers 31-0 playoff win against Ohio St. last year. So again, Conley is a good cover guy, and not a good run stopper with a lack of physicality.
With Washington CB’s Sidney Jones and Kevin King still available along with countless others, picking Conley over Foster hurts my head.
Raiders Day 2: What Will Happen:
Here are some guys that may be picked by the Raiders in their quest to fix the defense.
Chris Wormley, DT/DE Michigan:
This is my next pick if he’s there, which I think he will be. He’s physical, very muscular and can play inside and out. He’s a leader type who the coaches love. He was inconsistent at times so that has to change but let’s face it, every player left is going to have some mark against them.
Malik McDowell, DT/DE Michigan St.
Because there are so few DT’s that can pressure the QB in this draft, the Raiders may take a chance on McDowell.
I don’t think I’ve seen a guys attitude ripped on by more teams than with McDowell. At the pre-draft meetings with teams, he was ripped apart for his bad attitude and abrasiveness. At MSU the Spartans media talked about his bad temper and him seemingly more worried about beating up the player he was against more than playing football. There was also disappointment in his play and effort when Michigan State’s season began to go bad. I don’t think Malik will get many good references. A talented head case is what one media guy called him.
Zach Cunningham, MLB Vanderbilt
Zach has climbed up the draft ladder and though he’s not my favorite pick he would not be bad. He’s smart, a good leader and he’s consistent while making plays. He’s an amazing athlete which the NFL loves but he’s only 230-235 and he’ll need to put on some weight for MLB. He’s also not the most physical guy and MLB’s are usually physical studs. Again, he’s not Foster but he’s not bad.
Cam Robinson, OT Alabama:
If he’s still there I take him. I’m the first to say the Raiders need defense badly, but this is ridiculous. First Allen, then Foster and now Robinson falling? The New York Giants really screwed up by not taking this guy. Alabama players are dropping like stones. This guy has 10 year right tackle written all over him.
Day 2 and 3 are where teams GM’s really make their money. It will be interesting to see what the Raiders do from here on out with limited available talents in positions that they need, especially on defense.