Chamarri Conner, DB, #1, Las Vegas Raiders Prospect (Photo via USA Today Sports)

NFL Draft: How Chamarri Conner Can Lead the Raiders’ Secondary

The Las Vegas Raiders need leaders this off-season. The word ‘leader’ is often thrown around incorrectly. Some believe that being a leader is by being the best player on the team, which is not always the case. However, Raiders like Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Maxx Crosby walk the walk and talk the talk, as they are undoubtedly the team’s top three players on the roster. While some believe every quarterback is a leader, plenty of defensive players can be leaders. Unfortunately, Denzel Perryman and 2022 team captain Duron Harmon are set to become free agents next month. Virginia Tech’s Chamarri Conner could fit the bill in the secondary as the team’s next dynamic leader.

Chamarri Conner’s Background

Conner hails from Jacksonville, Florida, where he was a three-time state champion at Trinity Christian Academy in high school. He was a safety who helped his team maintain a 2.5 turnover average a game while there. From there, Chamarri Conner went to Virginia Tech, where he immediately made an impact as a freshman on special teams.

He started 50 consecutive games for the Hokies for the next four seasons as both a nickel cornerback and safety. He played in 61 total games for Virginia Tech and was named a team captain in his final season. Moreover, Conner ranks 10th All-Time in Hokie history with 311 career tackles. Here are a few of his other accolades:

• Reese’s Senior Bowl selection – 22′ & 23′
• All-ACC Honorable Mention (S) – 21′
• Phil Steele All-ACC Second Team – 21′
• ESPN All-ACC Midseason Team – 21′
• ACC Defensive Back of the Week (Sept. 7, 2021)
• All-ACC Honorable Mention (CB) – 20′
• Phil Steele All-ACC Third Team – 20′

To clarify, he is a decorated player who has made a name for himself by setting the tone.

Chamarri Conner is a Hammer

The 6-foot, 205-pound Virginia Tech defensive standout is a tackling machine in traffic and the open field.

What makes him unique is his versatility to fill his role as a nickel corner, big nickel (coverage linebacker), or even as a single-high safety, as the Hokies tasked him to do last year. However, when it comes to making plays when his team needs him most, his clutch gene plays a factor due to his above-average mental processing as a defender.

Leading by example, with great route recognition and plenty of play experience, will make Chamarri Conner an excellent fit for any team. As far as his coverage abilities, he offers a unique skill set.

Conner is Sound in Pass Coverage

Chamarri Conner may not be the most explosive of athletes, but his size and mental processing make him an ideal candidate for covering tight ends. Unless he is matched up against a super athlete at the tight end position, Conner projects nicely as a defender who can match up well against them.

As you can see above and here, the Florida native can get in the receiver’s chest by fighting through his opponent’s hands to make him uncomfortable. Again, his ability to recognize routes and track the football is critical to who he is as a player. Moreover, his play strength and mental toughness are ideal to fare with opponents of any size – big or small. Last but certainly not least, the entire body of Chamarri Conner’s work makes him one of the top special team prospects in the country. He participated in 852 special team snaps over five years of play for the Hokies, and his experience shows.

Overall, he is an experienced player who studies, loves, and takes great pride in football, whether on defense or special teams.

The Las Vegas Raiders Need a Player Like Chamarri Conner

Plain and straightforward, Chamarri Conner would check many boxes for the Raiders. Whether it is on defense covering tight ends or flying downfield on special teams – he would be a valuable addition. While he may not be a super athlete, his other positive qualities make up for it. There are not many well-rounded players who are aggressive, versatile, and authentic leaders in all of football, let alone in the 2023 NFL Draft class. In conclusion, investing in a standout player for the Silver and Black should be a no-brainer with one of their many mid-late round picks in April.

Frank Okam Was Clearly The Fall Guy For A Putrid Raiders’ D

*Top Photo: USA Today Sports

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