Just a few weeks ago I snickered whenever I saw a Carolina Panthers mock draft that had them selecting a cornerback with the eighth overall pick. Surely the Panthers would not select a corner having just selected three of them last year, right? Well, as uninformed the mock drafts may have been, they could have been accidentally onto something big. Even though such a move would cause a tremendous fan outrage, it is still very possible. Mark my words, a corner in round one is not only possible but as likely as any other position.
The target? Gareon Conley.
Conley, or the “other Ohio State corner” opposite Marshon Lattimore is likely a target for the Panthers should all of the tier 1 candidates (Fournette, Adams, Thomas) be taken before the 8th pick. Gareon Conley is exactly the type of corner that we now know Dave Gettleman covets. Six foot tall, 195lbs, and the aggressiveness to press at the line, something he has shown throughout his tenure at Ohio State.
But didn’t the duo of Bradberry and Worley perform well last season? Yes, for sure. However, after those two the depth chart gets extremely thin at outside corner. Now imagine a trio of Bradberry and Conley starting on the outside, with Worley rotating in. That type of lineup has the potential to be as dominant as the Denver Broncos’ secondary in the years to come. This would instantly improve the Carolina Panthers pass rush as quarterbacks struggle to find an open receiver.
I know the excitement right now lies around names like Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and OJ Howard, and rightfully so. But don’t be shocked if Dave Gettleman stays true to his word when he says he will take the best player available. In his eyes, that best player could very well be Gareon Conley. Prepare yourself for the fan outrage now.