The Oakland Raiders made the most contentious pick of the NFL draft Thursday, selecting Gareon Conley 24th overall, despite the fact that the cornerback is facing rape accusations.
Conley is accused of raping a woman in a Cleveland hotel on April 9. The former Ohio State defensive back, who was widely considered an early first-round pick prior to the accusations, vehemently denied the allegations, believing that video evidence will prove his innocence.
Despite the accusations, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is confident after vetting Conley’s character.
“The bottom line is we’ve done miles and miles of research to make sure we were totally comfortable with our decision, which we were,” McKenzie told Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Conley said he was extremely grateful to the Raiders organization for using their first-round pick on him.
“It’s off the charts, honestly,” he said. “Just to know they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person, it speaks highly of them. … It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”
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