It was a forgone conclusion that Todd Gurley would be the first Georgia football player selected in the 2015 NFL draft, but there was much question to who the second would be.
Chris Conley provided an answer Friday when the Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the third round with the 76th overall pick.
“So proud to be part of Chiefs Kingdom,” Conley tweeted Friday.
Conley was a productive player in his four years at Georgia, collecting 117 receptions for 1,938 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Dallas, Georgia, native received playing time right away in Athens, appearing in 11 games as a freshman, but was most productive in his final two seasons with the Bulldogs.
Conley led the team in receptions (45) and receiving yards (651) in 2013 as a junior and was atop charts again in 2014, leading the team in receiving yards (657) and touchdowns (eight).
“You have to be a crisp route runner,” said Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey via the team’s website. “You have to become someone who is efficient and not only just runs fast and catches the ball well, but you have to be efficient in the way that you run routes.”
Despite his formidable numbers, Conley’s draft stock was most helped by his NFL combine performance. The wide receiver impressed scouts with a 4.35 40-yard dash (tied for 3rd among wide receivers), 18 repetitions on the bench press (No. 4), a 45-inch vertical leap (No. 1) and an 11-foot, 7-inch broad jump (No. 1).
But Conley was much more than a football player at Georgia, where he was extremely active off the field. He is most notably known for his Star Wars film called Retribution, which he wrote, directed and acted in. Conley also served as the SEC representative on the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for two years and as a football team representative on the UGA SAAC.
Conley is the highest wide receiver drafted since A.J. Green went to the Cincinnati Bengals with the fourth overall pick in 2011. He becomes the fourth Georgia player selected by the Chiefs, all since 2011, joining the likes of Justin Houston (2011), Sanders Commings (2013) and Aaron Murray (2014).
“Welcome to Kansas City Mr. Conley,” Murray tweeted Friday night after the selection.
The 6-foot-3, 206-pound wide receiver will join a receiving corps consisting of Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, Da’Rick Rodgers, Junior Hemmingway, Armon Binns and Albert Wilson.
“If a team is going to move up and they’re going to draft you in that position, they’re going to need you to be ready to make some plays,” Conley said on the team’s website. “I’m so looking forward to working with Coach Culley and learning the nuances of the position, and being able to learn under a veteran like Jeremy Maclin and those guys there.”