2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ka’Deem Carey
To prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft InsidetheFilmRoom is breaking down the best 5 prospects from every position. This week we are examining the top running back prospects and we are focusing our attention on Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey today.
Ka’Deem Carey burst onto the national scene two years ago with a 1,900 yard season in Rich Rodriguez spread system. He followed up his impressive sophomore campaign with another outstanding season in 2013 finishing with 1,885 yards and 19 touchdowns. Extremely productive in his two seasons at Arizona, Carey is an all around back that displays a good combination of strength and agility. The main risk with Carey is his lack of elite athleticism which raises the question whether he can replicate his success at the next level.
Carey’s combine number illustrate his average athleticism and his lack of speed/explosiveness.
Blend of Power and Elusiveness: Carey is a well rounded back that displayed the ability to beat defenders with both power and agility. When he was in tight spaces or attacking smaller defenders Carey would lower his pad level and drive through contact, often dishing out more punishment than he received. Equally impressive was his ability to make defenders miss in space with a combination of jukes, spin moves and stutter steps.
King of the Cut Back: Often Carey’s jukes would be the beginning of a well timed and executed cut back. With his excellent vision Carey often cut back against the grain looking for more space and the big play.
Pass Protection: While Carey wasn’t asked to pass protect much last year he showed a good grasp of picking up blitzers and the demeanor to be an effective blocker. Additionally, Carey made a number of great blocks in space as Arizona liked to move the pocket and call designed quarterback draws.
Average Athlete: If Carey with an above average or elite athlete there is no question he would be the top back selected in the draft. But he isn’t as his combine numbers show. He does possess good lateral movement — as witnessed in the cutbacks and jukes — but his lack of speed and acceleration are a real problem. He simply cannot blow by defenders with his first few steps or separate in the open field. This lack of game changing speed is particularly worrying in Carey’s case because he is a 207 pound running back. The most upsetting thing about watching Carey’s tape is when he makes a great cut back into space but is unable to turn on the jets and take full advantage of the open field.
Overall: Carey is a classic example of a great college player. He has the instincts and desire to be successful NFL running back but lacks the elite athleticism to be a difference maker in the NFL. Still players like Carey can crave out a solid niche in the NFL. I see him as a Ahmad Bradshaw type — tough, dependable back that will excel on 3rd down– and Carey easily could become a important part of a running back rotation. I could also see him fitting in well with a zone blocking scheme like the Texans where vision and lateral movement are emphasized over speed and power.
Prediction: Early 3rd Round
Other 2014 Running Backs: