Monday, May 19, 2014

Scouting The 2014 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears Selection Ka'Deem Carey

After being uninspired with the Bears first two picks, third round pick Will Sutton got my heart beating faster. I had butterflies in my stomach and wanted to give him heart-shaped candy that says, "Will You Be Mine?" Luckily, the Bears already drafted him, so he will be mine. But more importantly, I was hoping that this was a sign that the Bears were going to dominate the later rounds of the draft. Before we get to that next player, here are links to their first three picks.

Round One - Kyle Fuller - CB - Virginia Tech
Round Two - Ego Ferguson - DT - LSU

Round Three - Will Sutton - DT - Arizona State

Their next pick was in the middle of the fourth round when they selected Ka'Deem Carey from Arizona.  He had great production in his final two seasons in Tucson, but would the tape match the stats? I decided to break down his game against UCLA to find out.

Unfortunately, the first thing that shows up on tape is average acceleration as he goes through the hole. There are guys who get up to top speed quickly, but Carey doesn't appear to be one of them. I actually think it is less of a hindrance for him in the NFL than it would be in the spread offense he played in during college as the quick backs are usually the ones that succeed in those systems.

The good news is that he delivers hits in the hole. This is not a guy who is afraid to lower his shoulder and take on a defender. This should make him a good short yardage back while Forte takes the bulk of the carries.

Another thing that he shows is good balance.

A lot of running backs lose their footing when faced with that sort of contact, but he keeps chugging forward until there is no place for his feet to land and picks up an extra five yards after the initial contact.

I really liked what he did in both run and pass blocking.

The first play is a QB draw where he nails the safety who tries to come up and plug the hole. He laid down the boom to the point that the safety was slow getting up from the block. After that, he does a nice job of seeing the blitzer from the opposite side, crosses in front of the quarterback and takes out the blitzer before he can get to the quarterback.

The reason he was able to rack up all of those yards despite not being elite in speed or acceleration is that he showed a great ability to make strong cuts when he got in the open field.

He did show some nice burst by getting through the hole, but then does a nice job of making the safety miss. He is still immediately wrapped up by the trailing linebacker, but the linebacker pushes him forward and since he loses such little speed despite cutting to make the safety miss that his legs keep churning him forward even with a player wrapped around his waist.

The big flashy things like speed are not his forte, so his slow 40 time is not really a surprise, but the little things are where he excels. He will do everything to help his team gain an advantage, and although it may never add up to an explosive game-changing back, there is no reason it can't lead to a good one. If he was picked in the first round, I'd be very disappointed, but in the middle of the fourth round, this is good value and Carey should complement Forte well. 

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