QB Carson Strong, Nevada*

6’4” – 215 lbs.

Background:

Sustained a knee injury which prevented him from playing high school football as a senior, but ended up as a three-star recruit, Nevada being his only scholarship offer. Redshirted in 2018, then took over the starting job the next year, going 5-4 in nine starts and finishing with 2,335 yards (63.4%, 6.2 YPA), eleven touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Became much more efficient the following year, going 7-2 and finishing with 2,858 yards (70.1%, 8.1 YPA), 27 touchdowns, and four interceptions. Had a similar season in 2021 before declaring: 4,186 yards (70.0%, 8.0 YPA), 36 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Career 20-10 record.

Positives:

Three-year starter who made clear strides since his redshirt freshman season and is a proven winner at the college level. Has solid size for a pro quarterback. No heel click at the back of his drops; good alignment. Nice pocket presence; trusts his protection when it’s there, but does a nice job of buying time by climbing and moving in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield. Has experience going through progressions. Solid throwing mechanics with a three-quarters delivery. Aggressive passer who is willing to attack defenses downfield and didn’t pad his numbers with a lot of easy, manufactured throws, but who is willing to go to his checkdown when his primary read isn’t available. Shows some anticipation when throwing to the deep and intermediate levels. Overall arm talent and ball placement is solid; attempted a high rate of pro-style throws toward the boundaries and downfield during the games reviewed. Adjusts his velocity effectively, using appropriate touch but being able to generate solid velocity into tight windows or on throws to the sidelines. Gets a lot of arc under his throws downfield; excellent bucket thrower with very good placement and timing.

Negatives:

Might have a little bit too much confidence in his arm and receivers; takes more chances into tight coverage than you’d like and can sometimes end up lobbing throws deep toward blanketed receivers. Can be a little bit slow getting back to the checkdowns. Doesn’t always give his receivers a ton of opportunities to pick up yards after the catch in the short passing game. Muscles some of the shorter throws without transferring his weight. One of the less mobile throwers in this year’s draft class; can buy time but isn’t a threat to run with the ball. Played out of the shotgun, so will have to adjust to working from under center.

Summary:

A traditional pocket passer with sound mechanics, solid arm strength, appropriate touch, and good presence in the pocket, he loves to attack defenses aggressively downfield, showing a knack for completing big-time throws at the deep and intermediate levels. However, would like to see him play with a little bit more caution in terms of his overall decision-making, and work on improving his mechanics and rhythm when working underneath. Looks like a potential starter who was asked to make a lot of pro-style throws in college and will likely come off the board on the second day.

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