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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | Last updated: 8:25pm

Column: Ka'Deem Carey will be a late round NFL Draft steal



An average fan looking at a team’s draft needs on a draft website would probably never guess most experts do not have Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey on their list of the top five running backs.

It’s a shame that fans won’t see the eye-popping highlight link next to Carey’s name, who might happen to be this year’s Alfred Morris. You might remember Morris as the former 2012 six-round pick by the Washington Redskins and 2013 Pro Bowl selection who only ran for an impressive 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first season. Despite his brilliant performance at Florida Atlantic University, draft experts didn’t covet Morris since he had disappointing NFL Combine numbers, running a 4.67 second 40-yard dash and only bench pressing 16 times.

Similar to Morris’ combine results, Carey’s numbers were unimpressive, as Carey, a Doak Walker Award finalist this past season, ran a 4.7 and bench pressed only 19 times. But those numbers shouldn’t matter, because his performance on the field this past season should carry more weight for the NFL teams evaluating running backs when picking in the later rounds.

Some draft experts, such as ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. or NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, don’t seem too concerned about Carey’s lack of size or lack of elite speed, and have him as a top-five running back in this year’s draft.

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Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ The Daily Wildcat UA Junior Ka'Deem Carey runs past the line of scrimmage during the Advocare V100 Bowl game against the BC Eagles Tuesday, Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La in his last game as a Wildcat.

But the majority of NFL draft experts, such as NFL.com’s Mike Mayock or ESPN’s Todd McShay, do look at those weaknesses as a major concern. Not only do they not have Carey in their top five, but they also have Boston College’s Andre Williams ahead of him in their rankings.
Are you serious?

Carey outperformed Williams in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Williams only had 75 rushing yards and a meaningless touchdown at the end of the game, when a win was well out of reach.

Let’s take a look at Carey’s performance on the field alone this past season.

Carey accumulated 1,885 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. His durability was impressive given the 349 carries he had.

Carey rushed for well over 100 yards in each game, which is remarkable since the Pac–12 was heralded by many as the second-best conference in the NCAA.

Despite poor defensive play and bad decisions at the quarterback position for Arizona, Carey was no afterthought during the Wildcats’ four losses this season.

Carey’s motor to get the extra yards is what kept viewers tuned in, and the fact that he had the patience to find the open gaps and not get frustrated was impressive.

In Arizona’s blowout loss to ASU Carey had 157 yards and one touchdown. His 138 rushing yards on 21 carries against USC, which finished 14th in the nation in rushing defense, was quite impressive as well.

Carey’s numbers were just as remarkable during the team’s biggest wins, especially against Utah earlier in the year and then-No. 5 Oregon back in November.

So those teams that consider passing on Carey on day three of the draft, beware of Carey’s vengeance, as he might be looking to capture the rushing title when playing your team in week 17 this upcoming NFL season.

—Follow Tyler Keckeisen @tyler_keckeisen


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