It took some time, but the Oakland Raiders finally have their 2017 first-round pick in the fold. Cornerback Gareon Conley signed his rookie contract.
Despite finishing 12-4 this past season and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the Oakland Raiders still had issues. The majority of them were related to the fact the Silver and Black failed to slow down opposition offenses.
Jack Del Rio’s team allowed 45 offensive touchdowns, including 27 through the air. The Raiders finished 26th in the NFL in total defense, and 24th against the pass. This despite the offseason additions in 2016 of free safety Reggie Nelson and veteran cornerback Sean Smith.
So, for the second time in five years, general manager Reggie McKenzie used a first-round draft pick on a corner. Ohio State’s Gareon Conley was the pick at No. 24 in late April. And on Friday, the former Buckeyes standout finally signed his rookie deal. Via Spotrac, it’s a four-year, $10.467 million contract. It wasn’t the only time the Raiders addressed the secondary in the draft, adding safety Obi Melifonwu in the second round and Washington State’s Shalom Luani in the seventh round.
The highly-regarded Conley wound up slipping in the first round that April night. Via NFL.com, there is still an ongoing investigation into a rape accusation made against the young man. In any case, McKenzie told Peter King of MMQB three months ago that the team was satisfied with the situation.
“I understand the issues involved,” said the Oakland executive in April. “But we did our research, and we read all the reports, and we did more than our due diligence. After all the information we got, we were comfortable with making this choice and confident in who this player is.”
Gareon Conley is now an official member of the Oakland Raiders. As for the off-the-field issue, we’re still waiting for an answer.