Note* - This is a very sensitive subject and any inappropriate comments will be removed. Please keep it respectful and on topic.
In the run up to the draft, Gareon Conley gained a substantial amount of momentum. So much momentum in fact, that it was widely accepted that he would be a first round selection tonight. The Jets had been connected with Conley along with his former team mates Marshon Lattimore.
Earlier this week, a very disturbing report surfaced. Conley has been accused of rape by a woman earlier this month and with so little time to investigate the matter, it would be crazy to assume this would not affect his draft stock. Saying that, I think it's important to remember that he has not been arrested, he has not been charged, he has been accused.
How much will it affect his draft stock? I certainly don't see him going in the 1st round anymore, and if you listen to reports out of NFL.com, it's believed that he'll fall to the 3rd round of the draft.
Three NFL general managers predict Conley will be selected Friday during the third round, sources informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. NFL teams have been in contact with Conley's attorney, who has witness statements and video evidence related to the ongoing investigation, Rapoport added.
Conley said the rape accusation against him is "completely false" and that he "did not commit a crime."
This is an extremely difficult subject. If he's innocent, then his draft stock has been altered for no reason and you'd be getting a 1st round talent in the 3rd or 4th round. If he's guilty, then he gets locked up and he'll never see a football field.
So this all comes down to a game of risk. At what point are you willing to gamble a draft pick? One that could return a first round talent, but at the same time, one that could return absolutely nothing. We don't know the context of those witness statements or the video evidence that Conley's attorney may be providing to NFL teams, but that will go a long way to determining his draft stock.
Usually I wouldn't even consider touching a subject like this. However with the Jets having been linked to Conley, and cornerback being a huge need, it makes sense to at least ask the question. In Maccagnan's pre-draft press conference, we were told that he'd have no problems removing someone from his board entirely over an off the field issue. Now Conley hasn't been charged with anything, but with so little time to investigate...I wouldn't be surprised to see him being removed from plenty of draft boards around the league.