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NFL draft: Gareon Conley selected 24th overall by the Oakland Raiders

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The Buckeyes celebrate as redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley (8) intercepts the ball during the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Amidst accusations of rape that were reported Tuesday, former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley has been selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 24th pick in the first round.

On Tuesday, Conley was accused of raping a woman in the Westin Hotel in Cleveland on April 9, and decided after the accusations were made that he would not be attending the draft. The investigation is ongoing and no charges or arrests have been filed or made.

Conley is the second OSU cornerback taken in the draft, coming 13 picks after former teammate Marshon Lattimore was selected with the 11th pick in the first round.

Conley originally declared for the draft on Jan. 3, a day after former teammate safety Malik Hooker declared and eight days before Lattimore announced his intentions to enter the draft.

The junior cornerback played all three years he was eligible at OSU without redshirting in any season. He only played in nine games as a freshman in 2014, but was a starter in 2015 alongside current New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple.

In 2015, he played all 13 games and totaled 49 tackles and seven passes defended, two of which went for interceptions and five were just broken up. As a junior last season, he again played in all of the team’s 13 games, racking up 26 tackles with 12 passes defended (eight broken up and intercepting four).

Conley and Lattimore helped the Buckeyes own one of the most airtight passing defenses in the NCAA last season. OSU allowed the seventh fewest passing yards last season (172.2 ypg). The unit also picked off 21 passes last season, fourth most among Division I schools, and returned a Division I-leading seven of them for a touchdown.

At the combine, Conley participated in six of the seven events outside of the 60-yard shuttle, placing within the top-10 finishers among defensive backs in four of the six. He finished seventh with a 37-inch vertical jump and completed the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds (11th best).

The Raiders allowed the ninth most passing yards last season (4,120) and were tied for the 10th-most passing touchdowns allowed (27).

Conley and the Raiders will play in their first game of the NFL regular season on Sept. 10 when they travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans.

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