When the Oakland Raiders drafted Gareon Conley with the 24th pick in the first round, they understood that the pick would come with some baggage. Conley was in the midst of sexual assault allegations, to which he firmly believed he was innocent of.
However, the Raiders understood the possibility that they could lose their first-round pick for quite some time if he was convicted guilty. The Raiders themselves had to do their own research, in order to convince themselves the defensive back was the right selection.
Conley participated in the pre-camp workouts with his team, but was unable to participate since he hadn’t signed his rookie contract yet. Conley was able to finalize the deal this past weekend, with the one remaining obstacle in his way. Both the Raiders and Conley both let out a sigh of relief on Monday, as the grand jury decided on no charges against the former Ohio State star, via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:
Kevin Spellacy, attorney for #Raiders CB Gareon Conley, tells me the grand jury returned "no bill." No charges. "He had faith in the system"
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 31, 2017
The case took a turn for the worse last week, when it was announced the case would be sent to a grand jury. At that point, things started to turn bleak for Conley, but he maintained that he still had faith in the system.
Now that the case has been cleared, Conley is free to join his teammates in training camp, as the Raiders gear up for preseason play. Conley could emerge as a starter sometime this season, which is why the Raiders were so high on the pick, even though it came with potential consequences.
Conley collected 91 total tackles (66 solo) during his three years at Ohio State University, to go along with six interceptions and 15 passes defended in just 35 games.