The race for QB1 in the 2022 NFL Draft is beginning to heat up in Mobile, Alabama at this week's Senior Bowl. Several quarterbacks with round-one potential are in attendance, including Nevada's Carson Strong, Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett, Liberty's Malik Willis, and North Carolina's Sam Howell to name a few. The Senior Bowl presents a premium opportunity for these signal-callers to separate themselves from the pack via on-field performance and off-field meetings with various general managers, coaches, and team-appointed scouts. Mobile's atmosphere allows for such healthy competition to thrive and take shape, and that sentiment rings particularly true in a draft class that lacks a clear-cut quarterback at the top. Strong arrived in Mobile as one of the more intriguing quarterbacks to participate in the annual all-star event after experiencing an excellent junior campaign that saw him throw for 36 touchdowns and 4,186 yards while thriving in Nevada's Air Raid offensive scheme and system. Strong now departs the Wolf Pack program as a sought-after draft prospect with the pro-ready tools necessary to make an immediate impact at the next level. Strong is aiming to boost his draft stock in Mobile while focusing on, and showcasing one trait in particular that he believes gives him a leg up on his fellow draft hopefuls. "My pre-snap abilities and mental processing are definitely a strength of my game," Strong told The Draft Network. "My coaches gave me that responsibility because they were confident I would make the right decision. I wasn't just checking into passing plays. I'm not just trying to throw it deep every single time. My coaches trusted me to make good decisions with the ball." Strong's maturation as a quarterback was evident on tape all throughout 2021. Strong projects as a traditional pocket passer with excellent mechanics and the arm strength necessary to attempt every throw to all levels of the field. Strong takes excellent care of the football, a trait that was well reflected by his ability to avoid costly interceptions and turnovers. Strong threw just eight picks on a career-high 523 passing attempts in 2021. Nevada's coaching staff placed a ton on his plate ranging from pre-snap coverage reads to adjusting protections, a bold coaching strategy that gave Strong the freedom to check in and out of certain play calls. Strong consistently handled all responsibilities with the execution and professionalism of an NFL-level quarterback. "If we had numbers to run the ball, I'm checking into running plays," Strong concluded. "If they're playing soft coverage, I'll check into something and throw a screen. If they're playing press-man, I might check it and throw something deep. That's been my big pitch with NFL teams this week. I'm a good decision-maker. That's the No. 1 quality you need in your quarterback. I'm going to give my team a chance to win every single game. I'm never going to lose you a game." By the conclusion of Thursday, Strong will have met with all 32 NFL teams via 25-minute off-field conversations which are permitted and allotted in Mobile. Strong continues to impress coaching staffs both on and off the field. He possesses all of the tools necessary to develop into a quality, high-end starting quarterback. Strong is currently showcasing the mental strengths and aspects of his game that set him apart from the other signal-callers in attendance. It could lead to Strong hearing his name called relatively early on draft weekend.
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