Connell was drafted in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL Draft, the 115th overall pick. The 6'2", 190-pound receiver played in five games in his first season with the Washington Redskins. He had nine receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. In 1998, he played in fourteen games and had 28 receptions for 451 yards and two touchdowns. In 1999, he played in fifteen games and had 62 receptions for 1,132 yards and a career high seven touchdowns. In 2000, he played in 13 games and had 39 receptions for 762 yards and three touchdowns.
In the spring of 2001, the New Orleans Saints signed him to a five-year, $13 million contract that included a $2.5 million signing bonus. In 2001, he played 12 games for the Saints, recording 12 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns. His future in the NFL was cut short when he was accused of stealing from Deuce McAllister. He allegedly stole $4,000 from his former Saints teammate and was released from the team. He never played in the NFL again.