Possesses above-average instincts when asked to read his run/pass keys, locate the football and routinely is able to get early jumps on the play. Displays some natural coordination when asked to slip blocks inside the box. However, is a leggy defender who struggles to maintain balance and quickly get back up to speed.
Doesn't do a great job sitting into his stance in his back-pedal. Has a tendency to get bent over at the waist or will just allow himself to get too upright down the field. Struggles to cleanly break down and change directions quickly out of his breaks.
Allows himself to get either too upright or leggy when asked to change directions and doesn't have the ability to generate a ton of burst for himself when closing on the football. Lacks a second gear to allow him to make up for a false step and doesn't have the closing range to routinely make plays on the football.
Impression: A nice-sized defender with some good instincts, but will struggle in the deep half and looks more like a special teams type guy who needs to make a roster as a free agent."
Conte has prototypical size and good athleticism overall for the position and proved to be a very reliable open-field tackler. Pessimists will argue that he's only been successful one season. Optimists will point out that it was his first season as a safety and that his blend of size and athleticism should translate into a more productive NFL career than the one he had in college. In a weak year for safeties, Conte's upside could ultimately earn him a top-100 grade.
Positives: A former cornerback with good balance, agility and speed for coverage. Improving instincts for the position, showing better awareness as he gained experience. Reads the quarterback's eyes and has the range to get to the sideline. Long arms and good timing to break up the pass. Reliable open-field tackler. Breaks down in space and can make the one-on-one stop against smaller, quicker athletes. Takes good angles in pursuit.
Negatives: Developing instincts. Will take a false step toward the line of scrimmage when he reads run and can be caught out of position on play-action. Adequate ball skills. Has only two interceptions over his career. Has only one season as a starter and played behind an aggressive pass-rush."
Positive: Intelligent and fierce defensive back with an improving game. Quickly picks up assignments in center field and remains cognizant of what's happening in front of him. Displays solid sideline-to-sideline range, gets outside the numbers to make plays, and shows a burst of closing speed. Stays with defenders down the field and shows the ability to burst to the ball out of his plant. Explosive run defender who aggressively lays his pads into ball carriers.
Negative: Lacks ball skills in man coverage. Marginally productive until his senior season.
Analysis: Conte watched his game takeoff as a senior and as a result is moving up draft boards. He possesses the physical skills and football abilities to be used in centerfield at the next level and enters the league with a solid amount of upside."
Negatives: Did not get a lot of experience while at Cal, only started senior year and still looks a little raw... Instincts need some work, seem to be below-average at this point... Is a better run-stopper than coverage safety, not a good man coverage defender... Has somewhat stiff hips, overall body control is lacking... Is not a playmaker or ball-hawking safety, may be a better fit at strong safety in the NFL... Gets a little too high, backpedal is a bit sloppy."
Weaknesses: Conte needs to improve his hand quickness and use, as he struggles to disengage from blocks. For a guy his size, he's not the strongest guy in taking on blocks. Not as quick in his backpedal as he is getting downhill or in getting width in coverage. Not much of a ball hawk when the ball's in the air.
Projection: Seventh rounder or UDFA. Conte's speed and aggressiveness will help his chance of making a roster, as he'd be a good special teams player along with a decent backup safety."
Chris Conte has good Instincts and notable Diagnostic Skills + Processing Speed, but his Verticity ~ his ability to rapidly Turn + Burn ~ is just awful, his Long Speed is mediocre, and his Range, consequently, is limited.
He's looking like a Mid Rounder projection, and that is far and away more than I expect his production to justify.
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