QB – #12 Nevada
Year: Redshirt Sophomore (4th year)
High School: Wood (Vacaville, CA)
HS Rating: 3 star (0.8043)
Phil Steele: PS#129
Carson Strong Scouting Report
Very strong arm strength. Pushes the ball well down the field. Has the ability to throw off-platform pretty well. Doesn’t drive the ball with a lot of velocity when throwing far out. Throws with excellent touch. Does a good job throwing with velocity when he needs to. Takes steam off of the ball when it doesn’t need to. Release is a little bit wonky. Looks awkward coming out of his hands and going through the motion. Could speed up the time with better footwork. Box accurate. Throw some really nice balls, but oftentimes when going downfield the ball is behind the receiver. Tends to underthrow the fade. Tends to underthrow footballs in general.
Eyes come off the play downfield when under pressure. Not sure how well he reads through progressions, the bit I’ve seen he’s staring down receivers. Does have the ability to work through some full field progressions. Really happy with some of the stuff I’ve seen. Flashes the ability to hit the deep ball and throw with touch into the soft spots of zone. Struggles with placement in the red zone. Doesn’t display strong pocket awareness to me. Seems to struggle to feel it out well. Wants to stay in the pocket but doesn’t often move to good spots. Needs to learn to get the ball out sooner. Needs to get that internal clock running in his head.
Flashes the ability to move well in the pocket. Not consistent. Takes some unnecessary sacks at times that could have been avoided with better pocket presence. Moves into sacks at times trying to keep the play alive. Stands in under pressure and delivers the throw even while under duress. Consistent footwork, but could be better. There’s a lot of time where he’s moving and not ready to throw. Will become stone-footed at times and stop chopping his feet. Doesn’t throw well off his back foot. Strong’s footwork oftentimes looks heavy and clunky. Fairly mobile. Moves well around defenders outside of the pocket and buys himself a lot of time. Really needs to be better with the football. Doesn’t have the “eyes-in-back-of-head” feel for the play.
Not very effective as a runner downfield. Doesn’t often try to run. Shows flashes of some natural improvability to try and keep plays alive. You don’t see a lot of improvability from Strong overall, who prefers to keep things in structure. I don’t know if that’s an issue with his receivers not working back to him, or if that’s a Strong issue. Has the ability to extend the play despite not being the most athletic or mobile quarterback in this upcoming class. Can make big plays while extending with his big arm and ability to throw off platform. Does consistently throw well off platform while keeping the play alive. Too hesitant at times. Very frustrating. Does show good eyes, moving defenders with his vision. Displays the ability to make good pre-snap reads.
What we want to see from Carson Strong in Mobile
- We want to get a better feel for the vision that Carson Strong has and how well he can place/layer throws to his receivers. A lot of his passes at Nevada were throwing to space and wide open receivers. Some of the 1v1’s will give us an idea, but the 11v11’s on day two and gamely could give us a great idea of that and how well he can build chemistry with his receivers. His Nevada teammate, Romeo Doubs, should be with him which should give him some confidence throughout the week.
- Footwork, footwork, footwork. This is the issue that we see with a lot of younger quarterbacks, especially coming from group-of-five or FCS schools. It’s hard to stay focused with lower body mechanics when the competition doesn’t put a lot of pressure on you and force you to constantly be ready to move. We want to see him clean up some of his “heavy-feet” that he’s showcased and try to show more consistency without getting stone-footed in the pocket.
Pre-Senior Bowl projection
Carson Strong’s style is a dying breed of quarterback in the NFL. He’s a traditional drop-back quarterback with strong pocket mobility but is very limited outside of that. It’s a tried-and-true style in the league as long as the quarterback is accurate. We’ve seen some accuracy issues with Strong, mostly related to lower body mechanics, which he will need to clean up before he’s ready to start.
We like Strong as a second/third-round projection, depending on how the rest of the class shakes out. He can become a starter in this league, perhaps with a ceiling of a top-15 quarterback. His floor, though, is what is worrisome. Strong has an excellent opportunity to showcase what he can do well and solidify that ceiling.