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Raiders CB Gareon Conley says he feels like he’s ‘back’

gareon conley, Raiders

The Oakland Raiders had high hopes for cornerback Gareon Conley, whom they selected with the 24th overall pick in last year’s draft. Unfortunately, Conley had an injury-hit rookie campaign which saw him play just two games.

Fast-forward to this offseason, though, and after a long and grueling rehabilitation process, Conley finally feels like he’s back to his best. Raiders coach Jon Gruden is certainly pleased that’s the case.

“It’s been a dark world that he’s been in, this young man,” Gruden said, via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He had a terrible injury he had to rehab from. He’s had to change coaches, learn a new system.

“It’s been a slow, steady process. But man, is he a good player. And when he’s feeling good, you can see why we picked him [in the first round].”

Gruden has been very high on Conley, remarking that he will build his new secondary around the second-year player. The Raiders completely overhauled their cornerback corps this offseason as they brought in the likes of Rashaan Melvin, Daryl Worley, Leon Hall and Shareece Wright to accompany the young corner.

The Raiders pass defense was one of the team’s big weaknesses last season, which was why they’ve decided to make such wholesale changes. But the absence of their first-round pick was a big one, and they will hopefully have him back for this campaign. And if Conley is really “back” as he feels he is, his presence could just see a major improvement in that position group this season.