Carson Strong - QB - Nevada
Welcome to the rookie profile for Carson Strong. Strong is a very talented pure passer, who can fit passes into the tightest of windows. He has insane arm strength and provided huge production during his time at Nevada, improving upon each season. He’s the perfect size to become an NFL Quarterback, something that will appeal to NFL scouts. In a quarterback class that is wide open, it’ll be interesting to see where he comes off the board.
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 226 lbs
40-yard dash: DNP
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Out of high school, Strong wasn’t the most highly sought-after Quarterback by college programs, largely due to him suffering a season-ending knee injury in his senior season in high school. Before the injury, however, he was viewed as a four-star recruit as he had put up over 2,700 passing yards at a 69% completion rate and 26 touchdowns.
Strong only received one collegiate offer as he opted for the Nevada Wolf Pack. Strong exercised his option to redshirt his freshman year after logging just one carry for four yards after playing backup to Wolf Pack veteran Ty Gangi. In 2019, Strong locked down the starting spot for the Wolf Pack, starting all ten games and racking up 2,335 yards with a 63.4% pass completion for 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
It was in the shortened 2020 season that Carson Strong started to gain the attention of the country. Starting all nine games for Nevada, throwing for 2,857 yards with a 70.1% pass completion, 27 touchdowns, and threw just four interceptions. This led to Strong receiving the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and First-team All-Mountain West honors. He was also named the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl MVP after leading the Nevada Wolf Pack to a 38-27 victory over Tulane Green Wave.
This past season we once again saw Strong take a huge leap in his progression and production. Starting 12 games for the Wolf Pack he threw for 4,186 yards with a 70.2% pass completion and contributed with 36 touchdowns and threw eight interceptions. Repeating his previous year’s feat he was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season and once again received First-team All-Mountain West honors.
When you look through Carson Strong’s tape it doesn’t take too long to notice his arm strength, an asset that makes him one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class. It may not be a generational arm strength but it’s impressive nonetheless, making it look effortless when he changes his arm speed in accordance with the play. A traditional pocket passer that has good velocity in his arm to operate the ball into tight windows, make immediate throws and spread the ball anywhere when he’s allowed enough time in the pocket. He makes plays of 50+ yards look easy and when you combine this with his solid accuracy whilst keeping turnovers to a minimum, this will impress NFL scouts.
A consistent Quarterback with a very good level of accuracy. Strong will throw catchable balls for his receiving corps and will often allow his receivers a chance to make extra yards after the catch thanks to his ball placement, often just in front of his receivers. He has a great ability to make passes at all three levels of the field, very cliché; however, consistency is key in the NFL and Strong may well be one of the most consistent Quarterbacks of the class. When he makes throws into tight windows he has a natural ability to tease defensive backs and safeties by throwing it just out of their reach.
Not only is Strong’s arm as NFL ready as they come but he is also the perfect size for the league, similar in stature to Detroit Lions Quarterback Jared Goff. His height allows him to see over his offensive line and he has a frame that is strong enough to withstand pressure and hits when operating in the pocket.
Most NFL teams tend to love having the option of a dual-threat Quarterback, Strong doesn’t fit this bill at all. Surprisingly he does have good legs as seen when he operates the pocket and will avoid sacks; however, he doesn’t look to run the ball at all. If you take a look at his stat line, he only boasts season-high rushes of 13 yards the past season and 14 yards the season before that. That is whilst losing over 300 yards across the past two years.
His accuracy is good enough however it is a little concerning on deep throws. His arm strength can get the better of him as he’ll often overthrow the ball, hardly ideal when throwing downfield. And in the NFL this is a red flag as better defenders will punish this. In his tape, he will often throw the ball to where he thinks a receiver should be rather than to where his receiver is, an area of his game that will need slight improvement as he enters the NFL.
Even though it was a while ago, that knee injury will be a cause for concern. At times Strong has looked as though he plays with a style to protect his knee, limiting his playmaking capabilities. It is a factor as to why he rarely uses his legs apart from when he looks to avoid the pass rush.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 3
A big question looms for the Steelers. Do they rip up the playbook and target a dual-threat quarterback in the draft, or do they stick to what they know?
Carson Strong is a similar player to the recently retired former Steelers Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Strong is a pocket passer in a similar mold to what we have become accustomed to seeing of Roethlisberger over the years, he doesn’t look to run the ball and trusts his arm to get the job done.
Other potential spots where we could see Strong land are with the Denver Broncos, Washington Commanders, and the Carolina Panthers. A lot will depend on where the prospects ranked above him come off the board, but the Steelers just seem to make sense. And with their current backup options of Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, we’d likely see Strong as a day one starter in the NFL.