James Conner

Overall Rank
RB18
2023
Height
6' 1"
Weight
233 lbs
BMI
30.7
(67th)
Draft Pick
3.41
(2017)
College
Pittsburgh
Age
29.2
Best Comparable Player
Samaje Perine
Workout Metrics
4.65
30th
99.7
65th
105.8
6th
11.72
19th
20
53rd
40-Yard Dash
Speed Score
Burst Score
Agility Score
Bench Press
34.4%
(81st)
College Dominator
5.5
(54th)
College YPC
7.7%
(61st)
College Target Share

James Conner Bio

James Conner is an NFL running back from Erie, Pennsylvania. Before making his way to the NFL, Conner was a star at McDowell High School in Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania. Conner stayed close to home for his collegiate career, where he became a Pittsburgh Panther and posted monster college stats. He first burst onto the scene in the 2015 season, where he rumbled for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns. The next season, however, Conner ran into adversity. He tore his MCL in the 2015 season opener. More frightening than that was that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma during his rehab. Conner missed the rest of that season but miraculously returned in the 2016 season. Conner ran 216 times, rushing for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding 21 receptions, 302 yards, and four more touchdowns as a receiver.

James Conner declared for the NFL Draft in 2017. His 40 time and other athletic measurables underwhelmed, but Conner didn’t have to move far for his new job. In as good a feel-good story one could create, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the broken tackle savant in the third round with their 105th overall pick. It took a season for Conner to make his name in the NFL but got his chance in the 2018 season. Teammate Le’Veon Bell missed the entire season looking for a contract extension that never came. Bell missed the entire season, and Conner was the beneficiary. Through 13 games, Conner rushed for 973 yards on 215 attempts, scored 12 touchdowns, hauled in 55 receptions for 497 yards, and added another receiving touchdown. Unfortunately, he got injured and missed three of the last four weeks of the regular season, which would go on to be a theme for Conner throughout his career.

Conner only played 50 of a possible 64 games in Pittsburgh. This factored in the Steelers not prioritizing bringing James Conner back, so he signed with the Arizona Cardinals before the 2021 season. Running behind a beleaguered run blocking offensive line, Conner's next gen stats were worrisome, particularly his 3.6 true yards per carry (No. 67 among NFL running backs) and 2.85 yards created per touch. Despite the inefficiency, Conner scored 18 total touchdowns in 2021, which ranked third among NFL running backs, despite seeing less than 60-percent of the backfield snaps. As a receiver, he averaged 10.1 yards per reception and 2.29 yards per route run with only one drop on a 7.9% target share. Both marks finished in the top four at the running back position. Conner earned a long-term extension in 2022 worth $21 million, and includes $16 million over the first two years. The Cardinals may have overpaid given Conner's 7.5% TD Rate in 2021 is unsustainable. Expect Conner's fantasy ranking and ADP to stay parked in those dead zone rounds.