NFL Draft 2015: Grading The Kansas City Chiefs

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Nov 15, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Chris Conley (31) can

Round 3 – Pick 76 – Chris Conley – Wide Receiver – Georgia

After passing on the most talented receiver class in decades last season and passing on the position again in the first two rounds of the 2015 draft, the Chiefs finally invested a pick in a pass catcher in the third round, taking Chris Conley from Georgia. There is a lot to like about Conley. At 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, Conley ran a 4.35 40-yard dash and had a 45-inch vertical jump at the combine. That size/speed ratio is always going to get the attention of NFL teams.

Unfortunately, those physical attributes haven’t yet translated to big production on the field. Conley had 36 receptions his senior season and finished his career with 117. For comparison, Tyler Lockett had 106 receptions last year and 249 for his career.

What I like best about Conley is that he is a raw talent that seems to have the work ethic and attitude to improve with good coaching. I really liked how smooth he looked getting up to speed. If teams start to crowd the middle of the field to stop Jamaal Charles and short passes to Travis Kelce, Conley definitely has the size, speed, and leaping ability to be a threat down the field if left in single coverage. While Alex Smith hasn’t thrown the deep ball much since he arrived in KC, it’s not like he’s had any great deep threats to temp him into taking that risk. Conley may change that. You also have to think that, with his size and leaping ability, he’ll make a promising red zone target.

If Conley is only a big play and red zone weapon as a rookie that will still be a huge asset to the Chiefs and make this third round selection completely worth while. If Conley can eventually become a reliable and refined route runner than this pick would go from good to great. To get a player with this kind of upside that fills such a major need in the third round is a win. Conley may be raw and have some development to do, but if he didn’t the Chiefs never would have been able to land a player with this kind of physical skill in the third round.

Pick Grade: A

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