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NFL Draft Profile: Chamarri Conner, Safety, Virginia Tech Hokies

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Virginia Tech S Chamarri Conner

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259

#1
Pos: S
Ht: 5116
Wt: 205
40: 4.54
DOB: 7/11/2000
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
High School: Trinity Christian Academy
Eligibility: 2023

Chamarri Conner
Virginia Tech Hokies


One-Liner:

An experienced defensive back who was misused in 2019 and 2020, Chamarri Conner has flashed the athleticism and potential to develop into a contributor at strong safety in the NFL; to reach that point, he must improve his tackling and awareness in coverage.

Evaluation:

In an effort to field its best 11 defenders, Virginia Tech misused one of its most experienced defensive backs. Chamarri Conner started at nickel for the Hokies in 2019 and 2020. In the NFL, he projects as a strong safety. Conner plays with above-average movement skills, fluidity and explosiveness; he also makes mostly clean transitions and has sufficient top speed. He is still a work in progress in coverage despite a massive step forward from 2019 to 2020 in that phase of his game. In 2020, he exhibited flashes of spatial awareness, route recognition and lower body discipline as he gained experience. He has also shown he is capable of being physical in man or zone coverage. Conner has the strength and movement skills to cover tight ends in the NFL. In fact, his play strength is one of his best traits. Conner is exceptional at taking on and subsequently disengaging from blocks. Similarly, he is a capable blitzer. In run defense, he typically practices sound gap integrity and plays the outside leg as a tackler. His tackling efficiency improved from 2019 to 2020. When the opportunity arises, Conner can be a big hitter. He should offer immediate special teams value. While there have been signs of improvement in his coverage ability, the Virginia Tech defensive back currently projects as a box safety. He regularly leaves his assignment in coverage and has a bad tendency to let receivers behind him. Conner also has exhibited issues with hip discipline throughout his career - namely, he can flip his hips late and put himself in a recovery position. He struggles against breaking routes as he tends to lose speed out of his transitions. What’s more, he occasionally bites on jab steps and head fakes by the receiver. In man coverage, Conner locks his eyes in the backfield which leaves him scrambling to recover. He must build on his improvements in coverage from 2019 to 2020 to be a reliable defender at the next level. Furthermore, Conner’s inconsistent tackling is concerning considering his playstyle. The Hokie defender plays with poor technique and can whiff at the tackle point. A defensive back prospect who was likely misused as a result of Virginia Tech’s intention to get its 11 best defenders on the field. Chamarri Conner is an experienced starter who will likely transition from nickel corner to strong safety in the NFL. He is an above-average athlete with exceptional play strength. His power profile translates well to his ability to take on blocks and play in the box. Although he improved in coverage as his college career progressed, Conner can fall victim to mental lapses and issues in hip discipline. He will need to continue to develop in both man and zone coverage while also improving his tackling in order to be a consistent contributor in the NFL. Still, his athleticism and experience can make him a rosterable option while he grows into a role player. 

Grade:

6th Round

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Background:

Born to Charles Conner and Erica Williams. Chamarri Elijah Conner has two brothers and one sister. He majors in criminology at Virginia Tech. Listed as a 4-star recruit by 247Sports Composite rankings. He was the 55th ranked high school player in the state of Florida and the 24th ranked safety in the nation. Conner attended Trinity Christian Academy and is from Jacksonville, Florida. Dealt with a nagging hamstring injury early in his career; he has not been limited by any other injuries. Has accumulated most of his playing time out of the nickel. He was named ACC Honorable Mention in 2020 after leading the Hokies in tackles with 81 (60 solo).