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Meet the Prospect: Gareon Conley

Name: Gareon Conley

Position: Cornerback

School: Ohio State

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 195

40 dash: 4.44 seconds

Bench: 11 reps

Vertical: 37.0 inches

Broad: 129.0 inches

3-cone: 6.68 seconds

How he fits: Conley has started every game for the Buckeyes the last two seasons, and has the combination of size and speed coaches like at the NFL level. He recorded four interceptions and broke up 12 passes last season as a junior.

He is a long, rangy cornerback, who knows how to use his frame. He allowed just 14 receptions in 13 games last season.

View photos of Ohio State CB Gareon Conley.

Conley looks comfortable in press coverage and has experience playing both inside and outside, which is a nice attribute to have coming into the league.

The Lions should certainly like to see some stiff competition develop this offseason behind top cornerback Darius Slay. Nevin Lawson was good in his first season as a full-time starter opposite Slay last year, but the team signed veteran D.J. Hayden in free agency to compete for a starting spot and create depth.

Hayden, or a rookie draft pick, could also potentially push slot cornerback Quandre Diggs for a starting role. Diggs had a bit of a sophomore slump in the slot last season and missed the last month due to injury.

Lions GM Bob Quinn is all about creating great competition and depth, and selecting a cornerback early in this draft would do that.

Key observations: Conley allowed just 14 receptions for 159 yards and an NFL passer rating of 14.0, best in the nation, on throws into his coverage in 2016, according to Pro Football Focus.

What they had to say about him: "Conley has a nice blend of size, speed and instincts. In press coverage, he sits and grabs before releasing and mirroring. He is very fluid when he opens up from press and when he transitions from off coverage. He is very aware in zone coverage and shows an explosive burst to drive on the ball. He showed off his ball skills against Wisconsin in 2016 with two excellent interceptions. He can locate and high point the ball with ease. Against the run, he needs to do a better job of wrapping up and getting runners on the ground. The effort is there but the execution can improve. Overall, Conley is a polished player, ready to contribute right away." Daniel Jeremiah,

How he stacks up: This is an extremely deep draft at cornerback, and Conley checks in as the fifth-best at the position by He is 18th in Jeremiah's ranking of the top 50 players available in this draft. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock considers Conley the second-best cornerback prospect in this draft behind former Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore. ESPN's Todd McShay also lists Conley as the second-best cornerback available behind Lattimore.

What he had to say: "I'm a competitor, I play hard, I'm coachable and I'm humble and confident."

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