Fast-rising Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley couldn't claim the Atlanta Falcons as one of the team's that have expressed strong draft interest him. However, Conley always has had an affection for the Falcons, and not just because his hometown is Dallas, Georgia.
As a kid, Conley took a liking to two teams in particular, the Falcons being one of them.
"I moved around as a kid but believe or not, I did watch the Falcons as a kid because of their logo," Conley said. "I knew nothing about them, but I did watch them. When I was kid, we knew nothing about football so we picked our favorite football teams based on who had the coolest logos. So my teams were the Falcons and the Broncos. I remember those days, and it's interesting that I moved here right outside of Atlanta."
Conley got a up-close view of a Falcons game from the sideline during his high school days.
"I always watched Roddy White and Matt Ryan," Conley said. "It was interesting to be able to see those guys down on the field. Then they got Julio [Jones] and to watch his game and the success that he's had there, the champion he's been for the state. I've been able to watch those things, and I'm proud of their success."
Conley is on the verge of making his own mark, as he continues his ascent. The 6-foot-2-inch, 217-pound specimen created a buzz at the combine by running a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash -- third-fastest of the receivers -- posting a 41-inch vertical leap and throwing up 18 reps on the bench press. Conley showed his ability on the field during Georgia's pro day this week with his fluid motions from his initial get-off and in and out of his breaks to his sharp hand-eye coordination. Not to mention how impressive the scholarly Conley is while conducting interviews, a trait Conley said he developed having a mother who is an English teacher. His impressive off-the-field résumé also includes a "Star Wars" fan film he produced and directed.
Conley, initially projected as a fourth or fifth-round selection, worked out for the Carolina Panthers following his pro day. The journalism major was asked about the Falcons' level of interest.
"I haven't had much going on with them in terms of their coaches or working out for them, but people are always watching," Conley said. "You've got to be ready for everything.
"I think they are a program that's rebuilding. They're a program that's taking a new direction right now with a new head coach [Dan Quinn]. I think they are putting themselves in a position to be successful."