In a rather bold move, the Oakland Raiders traded CB Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans. In exchange, the Raiders receive a 2020 third-round draft pick. This ended the Oakland career for Conley in rather curious fashion. Now, the Raiders will face Conley as Oakland heads to Houston this Sunday.
Granted, no one sitting inside of the administration buildings in Alameda will want to say this aloud. Yet, Conley failed to live up to his status as the number one corner that Reggie McKenzie wanted him to be. In his defense, Conley flashed lockdown potential. With four career picks, and reels of awful tape, Jon Gruden saw enough. As a a result, Conley heads east to a Houston team, poised to make a run at the New England Patriots.
What Went Wrong?
If you are honest, Conley’s career did not start off with the best note. Now, injuries occur to everyone and sit beyond the realm of control, but Conley could not shake the injury bug. After starting only 14 of a possible 32 games to begin his tenure, he never flashed enough to keep his spot secure. In addition, Conley failed to learn and apply proper tackling technique. Too often, he’d guess or arm tackle, leading to chunk yardage after the catch. As a result, teams would scorch the Raiders on his side.
What He Brings to Houston
During his college career, Conley featured the ability to play man. Granted, that doesn’t absolve his poor play. Yet, in a division that remains up for grabs, anyone to help stop the pass should help Houston.
Right Before the Game?
When Andy Reid shipped Donovan McNabb to Washington, he sent a clear signal of not being afraid. Similarly, the Raiders display no fear of Conley. Sending him to a conference rival is bold. More importantly, shipping him to your next opponent is dismissive and unafraid. If the Raiders can get healthy in the receiver room, look for Derek Carr to pick on Conley.
If you look at the Raiders for a roster standpoint, Gruden and Mayock applied the Thanos fingersnap to Reggie McKenzie’s work. Conley leaves the ” if only” status in Oakland. The Raiders could have drafted TreDavious White in the same round. White found his way to success in Buffalo. Meanwhile, Trayvon Mullen will step into the starting spot immediately. His first assignment? DeAndre Hopkins.
In all honesty, Gareon Conley wasn’t a Gruden/Mayock pick. Yet, he never consistently played up to his draft status. While he gets another chance in Houston, the Raiders continue to push their chips into the middle of the table with Gruden and Mayock.