How to identify the next breakout NFL superstar

How to identify the next breakout NFL superstar

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

NFL draft profile scouting report for Virginia Tech safety, Chamarri Conner
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#1
Pos: DS
Ht: 6000
Wt: 211
DOB: 7/11/00
Eligible: 2022
Jacksonville, FL
Trinity Christian Academy

Chamarri Conner
Virginia Tech Hokies


Pros:

Ezring: 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.

Dietz: Conner splits his reps as a slot cornerback and box safety for the Hokies. He is a good athlete with really good size and muscle mass for the position. Not extremely rigid in any facet across his frame. Doesn’t possess any physical limitations that are noteworthy. Tremendous instincts in the run game. Technique with tackling is crisp - squares up defender and uses his upper half to drag the runner/receiver to the ground. While not his go-to skill, he is adequate when dropping into coverage. Backpedals nicely and plays with the requisite physicality you’d like to see.

Cons:

Ezring: 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.

Dietz: Outside cornerback is not in his professional future. Long speed is a tad worrisome and his hips are not quick at all. When angling for a tackle in the backfield, will easily get beat by a faster ball-carrier and miss a tackle. Plays very upright. Clear on tape that he relies on his top-half strength to simply stop players in his way. Range when he drops into coverage is minimal - won’t ever be known as a ballhawk.

Summary:

Ezring: 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. 

Dietz: Chamarri Conner has a ton of starting experience for the Virginia Tech Hokies and he has earned it. He’s a reliable player in run support and has shown he can drop into coverage and erase passing plays in a pinch when needed. He shouldn’t be put on an island, as his lateral quickness and knowledge of zone drops is lacking, but for what he is he can be a valuable nickel defender in the NFL.

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). 


One-Liners

Ezring: 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.

Dietz: A reliable player with good instincts and improving coverage skills, Conner is best suited as a nickel/box safety hybrid with the potential to be a solid starter in the NFL.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Ezring: 7.1 / 7.8

Dietz: 7.6 / 8.5


#1
Pos: DS
Ht: 6000
Wt: 211
DOB: 7/11/00
Eligible: 2022
Jacksonville, FL
Trinity Christian Academy

Chamarri Conner
Virginia Tech Hokies


Pros:

Ezring: 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.

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