Days before he was set to be a possible Top 10 pick in the NFL draft, Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley was accused of rape. He fell out of the Top 10 last night, but not the first round, getting selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 24th overall pick. Before doing so, however, the Raiders want you to know that they did their "due diligence" on Conley, which included examining the results of a polygraph test, according to a report by ESPN. According to Ian Rapoport, the Ravens requested he take the test, and he passed. The results were then shared with other NFL teams.
Despite the fact that most psychologists agree that polygraph tests are fundamentally inaccurate, the outdated methodology isn't an entirely unfamiliar method to the NFL. In 2015, top 10 draft hopeful La'el Collins wasn't selected due to the fact that there was an open investigation surrounding the shooting of his ex-girlfriend. Collins wasn't a suspect, but passed a polygraph test and later signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.
Conley was neither charged nor arrested in connection with the allegations, but a 23-year-old woman accused him of sexual assault in an incident that allegedly took place at a Cleveland hotel on April 9. Conley is currently in the process of submitting DNA to detectives in an attempt to clear his name and did not attend the draft in person after the accusations surfaced.
"The research was done, and it wasn't just a gut [instinct]," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of the decision. "It was based on research, and we are very confident in all the information that we gathered."
"It's off the charts, honestly," Conley said. "Just to know that they have faith in me."