Tanner Conner

  • WR Bengals
  • Graduate
  • #292
  • 6'3"
  • 225lbs
  • Prospect
  • Big Sky

2021 Season

REC

42

YDS

735

TD

4

YDS/REC

17.5

Prospect Summary

Idaho State’s Tanner Conner is a highly intriguing receiver prospect who offers tantalizing physical attributes. Conner entered the collegiate ranks back in 2016 where he wasn’t recruited to play football but rather to run track. A highly-decorated track and field athlete who won his state championship in the 300m hurdles, Conner had offers from multiple Pac-12 schools to run but very little wanted him to play football. In fact, Idaho State was the only school that offered him a full ride to compete in both sports. Conner has been an excellent track and field athlete in college, winning the Big Sky 60-meter dash as well as setting Idaho State’s record in that event. On the football field, it took time for Conner to develop into a consistent player. He finally broke through in the shortened spring season in 2021 where he led the team in every receiving category. He followed up that season with a very productive final year in the fall of 2021. Conner offers very good size and length on the outside. He has good height, long arms, and has a large catch radius. He is a terrific athlete with regard to his straight-line speed and he can easily get vertical and over the top of most corners. He flashes an excellent ability as a runner after the catch as he is physical and has the speed to defeat angles. There is a ton of rawness to his game with respect to his ability to cleanly bring in the football and run a full route tree, both of which are concerns moving forward to the next level. He is an excellent blocker at the point of attack and there will be some who think he could develop into “F.” Overall, Conner is extremely raw as a prospect but he offers high-end physical traits, which will make NFL teams very interested.

Ideal Role: Developmental outside receiver with big-time special teams upside

Scheme Fit: Vertical passing offense

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Brentley Weissman

Games watched: Weber State (2021), BYU (2021), UC Davis (2021)

Best Game Studied: UC Davis (2021)

Route Running: Conner is an unrefined route-runner who lacks much wiggle or fluidity. He is a straight-line athlete who excels on vertical routes and crossers where he can maintain his speed on a linear track. His best role will likely be used as a vertical deep threat at the next level.

Hands: Conner has inconsistent hands overall. He flashes an ability to track the long ball and adjust to throws over his shoulder. He shows he can win in 50/50 situations where he puts himself in an excellent position to play the ball in the air. That being said, far too often there are easy drops where he attempts to run before fully securing the ball. He needs to work on this, but it can be corrected.

Separation: Vertically, Conner can take the top off the defense with relative ease. A high-end track athlete, Conner has excellent speed down the field, where he is able to separate. On routes that force him to change direction laterally or work back to the ball, he flashes a bit of stiffness and isn’t as fluid as you would like.

Release Package: Conner is relatively raw in this regard. You don’t see a wide variety of moves off the line and he primarily gets by with his speed and being able to physically impose defenders. He needs to continue to refine his craft and identify new ways to win off the line.

Run After the Catch: Conner is an excellent player after the catch. He has very good speed to defeat angles with the ball in his hands. Additionally, he is a very strong and physical runner who easily breaks tackles. It takes an army to bring him down and he seems to enjoy contact.

Ball Skills: Conner has good overall ball skills. He can track the ball down the field with ease and has shown an ability to win in contested-catch situations. He needs to refine his concentration drops but this is not a major area of concern.

Football IQ: Conner displays above average football IQ and instincts. He does well working against zone coverage and knows when to sit down and come open for his quarterback. He takes good angles when blocking defensive backs and displays good use of leverage when working his stem.

Versatility: Conner has the makings of a versatile playmaker at the next level. He primarily played outside in college and was highly successful. With his height-weight-speed combination, there could be opportunities to play him as an “F” to create mismatches against slower linebackers or smaller defensive backs.

Competitive Toughness: Conner is a very physical player. He is strong and tough as nails and relishes contact with the ball in his hands. Additionally, he is an excellent blocker who has plenty of pancake blocks under his belt. His toughness and physicality should transfer to special teams as well.

Big Play Ability: Conner displays very good big-play ability as he offers excellent height-weight-speed combination to be a deep threat at the next level. He also has the speed and power to be a threat after the catch with the ball in his hands.

Prospect Comparison: Justin Watson (2018 NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 68.00/100 (Sixth Round Value)

Crabbs Grade: 68.50/100

Weissman Grade: 67.50/100