Carson Strong Takes A Beating But Maintains Draft Stock

Photo: David Calvert-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada quarterback Carson Strong is one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft, though Saturday night’s performance in the 27-24 win over San Jose State was one of the toughest outings he’s had this year. He completed 36-of-54 passing attempts for 314 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions—the most interceptions he’s thrown in a single game this season. Strong took quite a few shots throughout the night and didn’t quite look like himself for the full length of the game, but his toughness was admirable as he hung in there in a situation in which most players would have exited the game after being knocked around the way Strong was.

Despite having to work through that and taking a beating (he was sacked three times on the night), Strong was still able to get the job done and lead the Wolfpack’s game-winning drive to put Nevada in field goal position so that kicker Brandon Talton could seal the victory and help the Wolf Pack move to 7-2 on the season in what’s been a good one for the team as a whole—and especially this potent Air Raid offense.

It’s also important to note that Strong was not only fighting through the adversity of the big hits he was taking but also through the loss of tight end Cole Turner, who took a nasty blow of his own that was textbook targeting, knocking him out of the game. Turner has become an important part of this offense and has played a good role in some of Nevada’s biggest drives over recent games, currently totaling 33 receptions for 390 yards with four touchdowns over the past four games.

Strong continued to complete impressive passes all over the field in this game, something he’s done all season long and came in clutch on a 4th-and-9 play late in the game that allowed Nevada to keep its hopes alive in a seemingly unlikely situation.

And the chemistry with wide receiver Romeo Doubs was fully on display, as per usual.

So, what’s the takeaway from all of this?

It may have been a bit of a down game for Strong in comparison to all that he’s accomplished this season as a big riser and a prolific passer, but he still showed all the things on tape that you want to see out of a quarterback who has the potential to perform at the next level. And some of the mistakes can be accredited to the circumstances Strong was under—after all, no player is playing at the top of his game whenever he’s being put in the dirt with force like in this game.

Chalk this one up to a performance that had bright spots that the stat sheet may not reflect and expect Strong to continue performing at a high level as one of the best quarterback prospects available to NFL teams when he gets back to action against San Diego State next week.

Written By:

Crissy Froyd

Feature Writer

Crissy Froyd is a graduating senior at LSU, also serving as the managing editor of the LSU division of USA TODAY SMG. Crissy has specialized primarily in quarterback analysis and features for the better part of her career and covers the Tennessee Titans in addition to the LSU Tigers.