Chris Conte, FS, California

Scouting reports of the safeties in the 2011 Draft.
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Chris Conte, FS, California

Postby Pudge » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:06 pm

California Senior
40: 4.54


Shows nice speed and closing burst on the ball in pursuit. Can come up on the edge and make the open field tackle, doing a nice job wrapping up. Flashes speed and burst off the edge as a blitzer. Does a good job when he can keep things in front of him and comfortable in medium zones. Shows some ball skills to break up the deep pass or come upfield and disrupt the catch over the middle. Can get the jam against the slot receiver. Makes plays on special teams.


Doesn't have good hips and struggles to cover slot receiver unless he can get the jam. Will draw some penalties when he's in man coverage and can be a bit overaggressive at times. Tackles a bit too high at times and doesn't always do a good job breaking down at the point of attack. Doesn't always show the same speed and range when the ball is in the air and working in deep coverage. Will let receivers get behind him and get beat deep.


Conte is a nice complementary player that doesn't make a ton of plays, but usually plays his assignments well. He has good speed and burst to the ball, and is decent in coverage from his experience playing corner. He entered Cal as a reserve corner, started 5 games during his first three seasons and combining for 85 tackles, 3 for loss, 1 INT, and 8 pass breakups. Moved to free safety as a senior, where he started 12 games, recorded 72 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 INT, 3 breakups, and also blocked a punt for a touchdown.


I think Conte projects best as a safety in a Cover-2 scheme. He's not going to be a big-time playmaker there, but can manage his assignments and be a decent option. I think he's more of a stopgap option as a starter rather than someone that teams will really want to lock in at that spot. So I would compare him more to a Sean Considine-type, that manages to start when the team doesn't have a better option, but isn't the ideal candidate and will have difficulty holding the job permanently. He can produce on special teams and thus earn an immediate reserve role, which will give him a few years to develop as a safety. He's more of the type of guy that develops into a journeyman backup after his rookie contract. Good enough to compete for a starting role, but probably not a guy that most teams will pay big money to hold the job long-term. Teams should target him for depth more than anything else.


Conte could stick as a reserve in Atlanta. His career path at Cal was comparable to DeCoud's, and both are fast, but undersized safeties. Conte would work well as a reserve behind DeCoud at free safety, and if he can bulk up some more can also get some work at strong safety as well. He would make a suitable replacement for Coleman as the No. 3 safety, with better tools and athleticism than Schillinger, but they are overall similar players. He could produce on special teams, be a nice backup, and a decent stopgap option down the road in case of injury. But he's not a guy that is going to be developed as a long-term starter in Atlanta.


Conte's value as a reserve might have some teams looking for him in the late fourth round, but because of his lack of ideal upside as a starter, teams are better off waiting until the fifth or sixth round to take him.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 3.5
Tackling: 3.0
Coverage: 2.5
Ball Skills: 2.5
Range: 3.0
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