After he wasn't selected in the NFL draft, Conner Vernon signed with the Oakland Raiders. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY
Shortly after the NFL draft ended, former Duke WR Conner Vernon agreed to go to the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent
Vernon is the all-time ACC leader in catches (283), receiving yardage (3,749) and consecutive games with at least one catch (48). He caught a Duke single-season record 85 catches for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns as the Blue Devils made their first bowl game since 1994.
Vernon doesn’t post combine numbers that jump off the charts. But he has a knack for catching passes and making plays. That’s an ability both Peyton and Eli Manning noted earlier this month, as they have worked with him during their offseason visits over the years.
"The last couple of years I’ve worked out with Conner a little bit, thrown routes with him, played 7-on-7 with him a few years ago, and he kept getting open," Eli said. "I noticed that I keep going his way. He’s my first read on some things, and he’s winning on some post routes and go routes.”
“What an unbelievable career he’s had here,” Peyton added. “I’m pulling real hard for him. I think he’d be a good addition to an NFL roster.”
Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe has been adamant throughout the year that Vernon has what it takes to play in the NFL.
“Whoever gets Conner Vernon is going to get an outstanding football player,” Cutcliffe said earlier this week, “And a guy that's going to contribute to their team.”