Shane Carden: Pirating the Ship

The best college quarterback no one is talking about.

by Justin Day | @JDayErrday |
My favorite thing to do is to scout college football players, most importantly, college quarterbacks.
It has always been a hobby of mine and something that I take immense pride in.
Which is why I cannot believe the lack of fanfare surrounding one of my favorite quarterback prospects in East Carolina’s Shane Carden. In his time at East Carolina he has been nothing but a model of consistency and a true leader of that football team.
In a quarterback class that is very thin and the top two quarterbacks both have question marks surrounding them, it amazes me that a player that has been so consistent has yet to climb many draft boards.
Let’s examine the statistics and let’s highlight some of the reasons why I believe that Carden is potentially the second best quarterback in this draft, only behind Jameis Winston.
Shane Carden
Consistency. That is the one word that comes to mind when I look at Shane Carden and the statistics that he has been able to compile over the last three seasons at ECU.
After a very good sophomore campaign, Carden followed that up with a huge junior season, which led me to believe that he was going to forgo his senior season and head to the NFL. He did no such thing and he returned for his senior season, in which he took a little dip in certain areas, but he still put up 30 TDs and no more than !0 interceptions.
When I look at a quarterback coming out of college, not a lot of things impress me more than consistency and in that area, Carden is a standout.
At six foot and two inches tall and weighing 221 pounds, Carden has the size that a franchise looks for when scouting a quarterback.
Carden is able to use his height to scan the entire field and see some holes that certain quarterbacks may not. He can also use his weight to shed tacklers inside the pocket.
Size doesn’t necessarily mean that much, i.e Drew Brees & Russell Wilson, but it does help.
Even though the majority of his snaps come from the shotgun formation, Carden still uses his feet to climb the pocket, survey the entire field, and find his target.
Carden rarely gets off balance, never really makes throw off of his back foot, his feet always seem to be in rhythm with his body and his footwork is just very fluid. Which is a main part of the reason why he rarely turns the ball over.
Patience & Accuracy:
When you run an air raid style of offense like ECU does, it is pivotal for your quarterback to have patience in the pocket and to be extremely accurate. Carden possess both of these qualities.
He doesn’t have a huge arm so you don’t really see him going deep very often. but what he does do well is sit in the pocket and let his receivers get open in the middle of the field.
Carden is an assassin when it comes to playing against zone defenses. He will pick defenses apart when you play him in a zone, He just has the ability to be calm in the pocket and find those empty areas inside the zone.
NFL Comparison: Phillip Rivers
My only two knocks on Carden are that he doesn’t have a rocket arm and he has a little bit of a long delivery, very similar to a Phillip Rivers.
Rivers has done well with a little bit of a long delivery, but Carden will probably need to shorten that up a little bit at the NFL level.
When it comes to arm strength, he has more than enough to succeed. When he needs to make a play down field he can, but that’s not his main area of expertise as a quarterback.
He strikes me as a player that would be best fit in a west coast offense, but I don’t think it will define him because I think he is compatible with any system.
The two teams I would project Carden to go to would be the Rams or the Texans. Both teams won too many games to be able to land Winston and Carden should be available when those teams are selecting in the 3rd round.
I think if given the ball and the starting job day one, Carden could have similar success as Derek Carr did in Oakland this season.
Carden is a player to keep an eye on, as the draft draws nearer.

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