Carson Strong Draft Profile
When evaluating quarterbacks, I categorize them into five groups: Superstars, starters, potential starters, backups, and Non-NFL players. In the first round, I am not touching a quarterback unless he is either a superstar or a starter with superstar potential. Drafting a first-round quarterback means that you are tied to that player for at least three seasons; I’m not settling for three years of mediocrity if I’m a head coach or general manager. There is no reason why Carson Strong should be touching the first round; while some people may see him as a potential starter, the earliest I can touch a potential starter is in round three. I see Carson Strong as a career backup who should be picked at the end of day three. I don’t believe his potential is as high as the other highly-touted signal-callers in this class.
The first thing that stands out on Strong’s tape is his arm strength. He is a traditional pocket passer with a cannon for a right arm. Whether it be deep outs thrown towards the sideline or tight window seams, Strong’s name is fitting as a description for his arm. As a deep passer, he doesn’t just have the arm strength to make every throw, but he is accurate downfield. Strong has a sense of confidence when he is sitting in the pocket and he does a good job at sliding laterally when edge rushers are closing in on him. In his final year at Nevada, Strong had a 70% completion percentage which is by far the highest in this class. When Strong has a good base and a clean pocket, he is an extremely accurate quarterback and one that can exploit matchups downfield. I don’t believe Strong has game-changing ability nor do I believe he can be a top ten quarterback in the NFL. I believe he will be a solid backup in the NFL that bounces around and starts occasionally due to injury.
I am very critical of Strong because I am trying to inherit the perspective of a general manager that is looking for a franchise quarterback. On tape, Strong showed me that he crumbled under pressure, struggles to extend plays, and can’t get out of the pocket. While Strong does a solid job at sliding his feet while in the pocket, he doesn’t have the athleticism to make throws on the run or run for first downs. The only pure-pocket passer to have a lot of success coming out of the draft in recent history is Mac Jones, who has great feet, he just isn’t very fast. Strong is a statue quarterback who struggles to make throws unless he has a set base. What makes Jones such a good quarterback is his ability to manipulate defenses with his eyes; Strong’s eye discipline isn’t on the same level as Jones. I also wouldn’t consider Jones a statue quarterback, he is capable of using his legs (to an extent). When I think of big-armed statue quarterbacks, I think of Drew Bledsoe; the infamous Patriots quarterback who was replaced by Tom Brady. While I wouldn’t consider Brady, Kirk Cousins, or Jared Goff mobile quarterbacks, they all make throws on the run and are mobile within the pocket. I believe Strong will be a career backup if he can’t loosen up and become a more accurate passer on the run.
Arm Strength + Deep Ball 8/10
Pocket poise 5.5/8
Improvisational Skills 1.75/5
Decision Making + IQ 7.75/10
Against the Blitz 3/8
Throw on the Run 2.25/5
Final Rating: 63
Pro Comparison: Drew Bledsoe
Team Fits: Patriots, (waiting for coaches to be hired)
Draft Grade: 6th Round Pick
Draft Projection: Early Day Three Pick