Ka'Deem Carey projected to be a second round pick
Junior Running Back Ka’Deem Carey gets tackeled by ASU during the UA vs ASU football game on Saturday Nov. 30, 2013.
Tucsonans live in a bubble, a medium-sized city in the Sonoran Desert surrounded by little more than cacti and sand.
For the past three years, once a week from August until December, Tucson saw one of its native sons break school records with ease.
So to shine some East Coast light on former UA star Ka’Deem Carey, the Daily Wildcat spoke with owner and president of Drafttv.com Shane P. Hallam, a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
What are your initial feelings towards Carey?
Carey is a very talented running back and can also catch and block well, but he’s not perfect by any means, especially in today’s game. He’s a strong running back, especially in the lower half of his body, and is one of the hardest to tackle in open space, which scouts love, but his quickness and breakaway speed is a concern.
It’s fun watching him break away from tackles from 250-pound linebackers in college, but I have a hard time believing he’ll be able to do that as much in the NFL. So maybe a 5-yard run in college is only 2 yards in the NFL. So when you have guys who are maybe not as strong or good at breaking tackles but have speed like a Lache Seastrunk, [they] are higher regarded or valued than a Carey.
Besides his speed, what are NFL teams most worried about when it comes to Carey?
It’s his wear and tear on his body. It’s not a huge problem, because when you draft running backs you’re not drafting for the second contract, you’re only drafting for the next four years.
But two of the most important factors when drafting a player is their character and medical. [Carey] hasn’t had any medical problems yet, or at least noticeable ones, but when you have over 330 rushes plus the catches it’s in the back of your mind.
Are Carey’s off-the-field problems from last year still a concern, or do you see it as a thing of the past?
I haven’t heard it being a issue yet. Of course the off-the-field stuff will come up when he meets with NFL teams; it’ll be the first and the last topic of conversation. But it’s not a huge issue.
Is there a current NFL running back who Carey is most similar to?
Montee Ball is a good comparison, or if you were looking for a more favorable player, maybe a Matt Forte. The way Ball and Forte run is similar to Carey, and how they quickly get their eyes looking down field and use their legs to break tackles is also similar.
Last year you said Carey was a second-round prospect. A year later, where do you see him being drafted prior to his pro day and NFL combine?
I still see him as a second-round pick. He’s maybe the third-best running back this year. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the first running back taken or the fifth. It’s difficult when you have guys like Seastrunk and Carlos Hyde in the draft too. But [if] at his Combine, Carey runs a 4.5 or faster, he probably could be a late first and go to a good team.
—Follow Luke Della @LukeDella