2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Virginia Tech DB Chamarri Conner

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Virginia Tech defensive back Chamarri Conner.

#1 Chamarri Conner (Senior) — 6000, 202 Lbs.

2023 Senior Bowl participant


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Chamarri Conner 6000, 202 9″ 31 3/8″ N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.51 1.56 N/A N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
10’5″ 40.5″ 20

The Good

-Versatile defensive piece who can line up all over defensive formation
-Experienced player who made 47 straight starts in college; two-year team captain at Virginia Tech
-Has played big nickel, boundary corner and safety
-Comfortable playing in the box and comes downhill with force
-Physical defender at the catch point with good hand/eye coordination to get hands on football
-Showed ability to stack and shed in box to make plays against the run
-Fills run lanes with speed and force, plays with reckless abandon downhill

The Bad

-Has had struggles as a tackler in the open field
-Will take ill-advised, risky routes to the ball; can take himself out of plays
-Average athlete overall; doesn’t have that quick twitch
-Better in zone coverage than in man; has issues sticking in man due to lack of long speed, quick twitch
-Has to learn to turn and find the football in coverage to make more consistent plays on the ball
-Ball skills a real concern for the position; too many dropped INTs on film


-Played in 61 career games at Virginia Tech, making 47 starts
-Finished career 10th all-time in tackles at Virginia Tech with 314
-Posted career numbers of 314 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, four interceptions, 23 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and one blocked kick
-Named an ACC Honorable Mention cornerback in 2020 and Honorable Mention safety in 2021
-Participated in the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
-Two-year captain at Virginia Tech
-Wore famous No. 25 jersey at Virginia Tech for a game in all four seasons honoring legendary VT head coach Frank Beamer
-Majored in criminology during time in Blacksburg

Tape Breakdown

Versatile defensive backs that can wear many hats and play the boundary, deep safety, in the slot or in the box are all the rage in today’s NFL. They’re hard to find, and even when they are found there’s no guarantee that they’ll fit into the style of today’s game.

Fortunately for NFL teams, Virginia Tech defensive back Chamarri Conner is flying under the radar a bit despite 61 career games (47 straight starts) with the Hokies, playing boundary corner, slot corner, box safety and deep safety in Blacksburg, serving as a versatile, key piece for Virginia Tech the last four seasons.

His career production speaks volumes to his abilities, finishing his career with 314 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, four interceptions, 23 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and one blocked kick. Those 314 tackles are good for 10th all-time in Virginia Tech history, quite impressive for a defensive back.

He’s an aggressive defender overall, one who flies downhill with speed and force to set the physical tone.

Once he reads run here against Boston College in 2021, he’s able to plant and fly downhill, taking a good angle to the ball carrier, cutting him down quickly near the line of scrimmage.

Though he had some issues with tackling throughout his career with the Hokies, Conner plays with a real physical presence and reckless abandon when searching out contact, especially against bigger players.

The power and strength is quite evident in Conner’s game on tape.


Look at the way he meets the West Virginia running back in space on the third-down run, striking him through the numbers to stop him short of the first down. That’s how it’s taught. Too often though, defensive backs don’t play that way.

Conner seeks out contact and loves to stick his face in the fire.

When he triggers downhill, he’s going to get there in a hurry. He’s a heat-seeking missile.

No other way to describe it.

What really impressed me the most about Conner’s game was his work in the box.

He’s not the biggest, certainly not the fastest and doesn’t have the strongest frame overall. He’s just a gamer and really just competes his tail off against bigger, stronger players.

Look at this rep against Middle Tennessee State in 2021 as the box safety.

Stacks and sheds the tight end and then is able to slip underneath the pulling lineman to cut the running back’s legs out from underneath him. Pretty impressive stuff overall.

It’s all about the want-to and competing in situations like this. He loves to be around the football and has a desire to make every single play possible. You can’t teach that, and that’s the type of mentality needed in those nickel defensive backs in today’s NFL.

Virginia Tech did a great job of letting Conner hunt, even as a blitzer.


Great click and close here for the sack against Middle Tennessee State, taking a great line to the quarterback on the rollout and finishing with force.

There’s a real physicality to his game. It showed up time and time again, even on special teams.

That’ll play at the next level, no doubt.

Special teams coordinators will be salivating to get their hands on a player with that type of physicality, experience and mentality, with that much versatility and willingness to do whatever it takes.

Coverage is a real concern though. He’s much better in zone than in man, and the lack of ball skills overall are a concern. Too many dropped interceptions on tape.

But he showed he can change directions and mirror in man coverage when things are kept in front of him, especially in the box safety role.


The ability is there, though it’s not something you want to ask Conner to do a ton. He’s better playing in zone, reading the quarterback’s eyes and letting his instincts take over.


There is a lot to like with Conner as that versatile nickel defensive back. He can play cornerback in a pitch, works well as a two-high safety and really thrives in the box with his physicality and instincts. He’s a well-built player with a serious chip on his shoulder too, and wants to dish out punishment every chance he gets.

The tape sure is tantalizing as he’s a versatile piece who moves all over and simply makes plays. That said, the issues in coverage are very clean. He’s not a twitched-up guy and can get lost in man coverage. He’s much more comfortable and impactful in zone coverage where he can keep things in front of him and let his eyes lead him to the play.

While the testing numbers are impressive, they don’t really show up on tape, which is concerning. However, I believe Conner has a nice career in front of him as a depth piece who can come in as a sub-package defender and will be a special teams ace in the NFL. He’s worth a Day 3 pick and a real look at cracking a 53-man roster.

Projection: Late Day 3

Depot Draft Grade: 6.4 (End of Roster/Practice Squad)

Games Watched: Middle Tennessee State (2021), Pittsburgh (2021), Boston College (2021), Wofford (2022), North Carolina State (2022), West Virginia (2022), Pittsburgh (2022)

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