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Leader of the Pack

When the Rainbow Warrior football team takes on Mountain West Conference rival Nevada tomorrow in Reno, one opposing player to watch is Wolf Pack QB Carson Strong. The 6’4, 215-lb. junior from Vacaville, California is the reigning MW Offensive player of the Year and is considered an intriguing NFL prospect.

In 2020, Strong led the conference with 2,858 passing yards and 27 TDs in nine games. He is on pace to duplicate that success this season, with 1,595 passing yards and 14 TDs in five games. The Wolf Pack are currently 4-1 overall and 1-0 in MW play.

Does Strong have a future at the next level? Here are some observations from a five NFL Draft pundits:

“What is apparent quickly when evaluating Strong is a great arm. He can drive the ball to the field and make any throw on the field. With that arm strength comes excellent touch. Strong knows how much mustard to put on the ball as not everything is a fastball. He leaves a lot of air under the football on deep shots, which, if judged correctly, allows his receivers to run under it and make a play. Occasional underthrows are turnovers waiting to happen at the next level.” – Lorenz Leinwebersep, SI.com

If this was Strong’s report before the draft, we’re talking about a mid round pick. Anyone with his arm strength and prototypical quarterback size will always catch scouts’ eyes.Currently, Strong is far from the complete package, he’ll need to add to his game. A chat with his coordinator to include some planned runs will definitely help tick boxes for NFL teams. If he can learn to read the field better, which typically comes with more experience, Strong has every chance of making a career in the NFL.” – Bryan Dickie, Ninetynineyards.com

“The Nevada QB has a great arm along with natural mechanics, accuracy, pocket navigation ability, eye discipline, and anticipation. In structure, he has the processing ability and quickness to make the most of his system. He also has enough mobility to manipulate the pocket, stay on his feet, and perform some limited work off-platform. There’s still some work to do, but Strong can undoubtedly be a first-round pick next April.” – Ian Cummings, ProFootballNetwork.com

“He can rifle the ball into tight window in the red zone and makes deep outs and comebacks to the field look easy. His accuracy on down field shots is very good, but he struggles hitting underneath receivers on a consistent basis. He is not totally comfortable in the pocket, leading him to try to escape when he doesn’t have to.” – Matt Crisafulli, NFLDraftDiamonds.com

“Strong has quality size to him and some arm talent that he put on display over the past two seasons. In 2020, he completed 70 percent of his passes for 2,858 yards, 27 touchdowns and four interceptions. That was a big improvement from 2019, when he completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 2,335 yards, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Strong could be a mid-round prospect who has backup potential for the NFL.” – Charlie Campbell, WalterFootball.com

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