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3 reasons the Bills should draft: Ohio State CB Gareon Conley

Position: Cornerback.

School: Ohio State.

Measurables: 6-foot, 195 pounds.

Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds. Bench press: 11 reps. Vertical jump: 37 inches. Broad jump: 12 feet, 9 inches. 3-cone drill: 6.68 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.18 seconds.

Career stats: 41 games, 91 tackles, 15 passes broken up, 6 interceptions.

Draft projection: First round.


1. He is good enough to become an immediate starter. Some teams might prefer to allow him to add some necessary bulk and strength to a frame that could comfortably carry about 10 more pounds before making him their No. 1 corner. The Bills don't have that luxury, and that wouldn't figure to be a major concern with Conley. He shows the necessary savvy and maturity to handle himself well in a variety of coverages, and seems to have the proper temperament to quickly bounce back from adversity.

2. He is experienced at playing on an island. That was how the Buckeyes liked to used him. Conley might not be the athletic equal of his former teammate at Ohio State and the draft's projected top cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, but he's plenty talented. What Conley does have is considerable instinctiveness and awareness. He does an excellent job of anticipating routes and positioning himself to use the sideline to his advantage.

3. He has the height to face taller receivers and is willing to provide run support even if it isn't the strongest aspect of his game. However, he still moves well, allowing him to be effective in man-to-man and zone coverage. Conley's outstanding performance at the Combine confirmed to scouts that he has the necessary athleticism to compete at a high level. His speed and change-of-direction skills are exceptional.

Fun fact: He was voted the Buckeyes' team captain last season.

They said it: "Has very good cover skills. Can pedal and turn very easily and shows excellent mirror skills in man coverage. Plays the ball well in the air and has good hands. The only real weak part of his game is run support. He is willing, but his lack of strength causes him to be slow off blocks and miss tackles. Once he gets stronger, that will remedy itself." – Greg Gabriel, Buffalo native and former director of college scouting for the Chicago Bears.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly.

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