Another pick, another Ohio State defensive back off the board.
The Oakland Raiders selected former Buckeye cornerback Gareon Conley with the 24th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Conley is the third Ohio State defensive back drafted Thursday, following Marshon Lattimore, who New Orleans took 11th, and Malik Hooker, who went to Indianapolis at No. 15.
A two-year starter on the back end of Ohio State's defense, Conley teamed up with Lattimore to give the Buckeyes two shutdown cornerbacks in 2016. Conley earned second-team All-Big Ten honors with four interceptions and eight passes broken up while starting all 13 games. Conley finished his redshirt junior season with 26 total tackles and elected to turn pro with one year of eligibility remaining.
A team captain, Conley saw his NFL stock rise more than any other Buckeye throughout the draft process after he posted brilliant numbers at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Conley's fastest 40-yard dash came in 4.44 seconds, he posted a 37-inch vertical jump and showed terrific fluidity in his hips and legs as he tore through field drills.
Conley is the fourth Ohio State cornerback drafted in the first round the last four years. Lattimore went 11th earlier Thursday, Eli Apple went 10th overall a year ago to the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos selected Bradley Roby 31st in 2014.
Earlier in the week, Conley was accused of rape by a woman stemming from an incident in a Cleveland hotel on April 9. He denied the accusation and has maintained his innocence through a statement issued through his attorney on Wednesday.
Multiple reports Thursday said Conley passed a polygraph test on the incident with mulitple teams. Regardless how it happened, he is Ohio State's third first-round pick of 2017.