Atlanta Falcons 2016 Scouting Report: SS Tony Conner


It’s time for another Atlanta Falcons scout report. Let’s take a look at Ole Miss safety Tony Conner.

As noted in previous scouting reports, the Atlanta Falcons could look to add some reinforcements at the safety position via the 2016 NFL Draft. In Quinn’s “4-3 under” scheme, one requirement is a strong safety with the flexibility to “roam” near the line of scrimmage and provide a solid additional force in the second level of the defense.

In Ole Miss strong safety Tony Conner, the hard-hitting safety provides a mirror image of what Quinn had in Seattle with Kam Chancellor. Here is the scouting report on the rock solid safety.

SS Tony Conner, Ole Miss

Height: 6-0

Weight: 217 lbs

2015 stats: 17 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss *limited to five games due to meniscus tear*

2014 stats: 69 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT, 2 pass deflections

Strengths: Hard-hitting safety of the Ole Miss “Landshark” defense. He possesses a reputation of being one of the hardest hitters in college football. Very aggressive and one of the most reliable tacklers in this year’s draft, rarely allows broken tackles.

Shows good discipline in the tackling department as he will lower the boom when needed and wrap up ball carriers at the opportune time. Utilized by Ole Miss in their 4-2-5 defense closer to the line of scrimmage. Conner has the ability to set the edge in stretch run plays while also having the ability to work his way off blocks and make a play.

Also shows versatility to line up in the slot on obvious passing downs while a good number of strong safeties in college football don’t.

Weaknesses: Speed is definitely not a strong suit of Conner which is somewhat a concern as he will add weight at the next level. His placement in the defense at Ole Miss rarely had him in position on the back end of the secondary, so how his skills are displayed on the back end is a little of a mystery at the moment.

Every now and then, he takes questionable angles in run pursuit. Looks ‘ok’ in coverage at times but also looks completely lost on certain occasions in zone.

Outlook: In my opinion, Conner is easily one of the most underrated defensive backs in the draft. Right now, he may be hovering around the second or third round stage but I wouldn’t be surprised if he somehow sneaks into the back end of the first round.

Just based on his usage at Ole Miss, Conner was Kam Chancellor-lite. A versatile guy with physical as well as mental toughness. I would like to see his angle pursuit improve based on him not being a guy known for speed. Conner would be a really nice fit in the Falcons defense if selected.