The Oakland Raiders clearly believe in Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley’s innocence.
Conley fell a bit in the draft, but still stayed in the first round despite a rape investigation that is still open. The Raiders took Conley 24th overall. Conley has expressed that the allegations against him are false. Teams scrambled late in the draft process to gather information. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said a team interested in Conley had him take a polygraph test before the draft, and he passed.
Still, it’s a risk for the Raiders. On April 9, Conley met a woman and went back to his hotel room in Cleveland. She accused him of having sex with her after she told him to stop. Witnesses say Conley did nothing wrong. Conley said the allegations are completely false. Conley hasn’t been charged and there has been no warrant issued in the case. But until he’s cleared, there’s risk in drafting him that high. Conley is going to talk to police and give a DNA sample on Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Football-wise, the Raiders obviously couldn’t pass up the value of taking Conley that late. Conley probably would have gone at least 10-12 picks higher had he not faced any legal issues.
The legal issue surrounding Conley affected his draft status, but not enough to knock him out of the first round.
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