Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, reports that the current buzz going around the NFL is that Ohio State CB Gareon Conley will be traded at some point in the third round.
Florio mentions that the risks with drafting Conley are obvious, as he could be convicted of a first-degree felony after he was recently accused of raping a woman in Cleveland. However, Florio adds that it’s just as possible he could be exonerated and at some point in the draft, the risk will outweigh the potential reward for taking him.
Ohio State CB Gareon Conley has released a statement to Josina Anderson of ESPN denying the rape allegations against him and referring to them as “completely false.”
Here is the statement from CB Gareon Conley's agent to me: pic.twitter.com/KQqw2iV2Gy
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 26, 2017
An NFL GM told Jarrett Bell of USA Today earlier in the day that everything is in a “holding pattern” right now in regards to Conley following these allegations.
“It puts everything into a holding pattern,” the GM said. “You try not to be surprised by anything. But things keep coming along.”
Albert Breer reports that Conley has spent the past 24 hours speaking with NFL coaches and GMs and teams are also speaking with witnesses regarding what took place.
While there’s a collective scramble for info regarding Conley and this situation by NFL teams, the expectation is that police won’t make a decision regarding Conley’s case in the next 33 hours or so, which means this situation will very likely impact his draft status, according to Breer.
According to a police report, Conley violated the woman in a hotel suite bathroom at a Westin hotel in Cleveland back on April 9.
The woman says that she met Conley in an elevator and he asked her to have a foursome with another friend of his, but she declined and instead offered to watch instead.
According to the report, Conley unbuttoned her pants and began to have sex with her while she told him to stop. The woman later called 911 and described the assailant as a “black male who wouldn’t take his sunglasses off and had an Ohio State tattoo on his left forearm.”
From there, she went to a local hospital where a rape kit was administered.
Conley and two of his friends were interviewed by police and told them that nothing happened between Conley and the accuser. They added that the woman was mad that she was kicked out of the room.
Conley’s attorney has denied the allegations and referred to them as “ludicrous and ridiculous.”
Cleveland police are still investigating the matter and no arrests or charges have been filed up to this point.
Conley is considered to be one of the top defensive prospects in this year’s draft and has been rising up draft boards in recent weeks. There has been talk that he could end up being selected in the first half of round one, but this situation could very well lead to a draft fall much like La’el Collins a few years ago, depending on how things play out in the coming days.
During his college career at Ohio State, Conley recorded 91 tackles, a half sack, six interceptions, and 15 pass defenses over the course of 35 games.
We’ll have more regarding this situation as the news is available.