It’s been a weird season as far as quarterbacks go, considering that there hasn’t been a consensus No. 1 signal-caller among analysts even to this point—though names like Matt Cottal of Ole Miss and Kenny Pickett of Pitt have become popular picks for the top of the class. Another quarterback—the one who I currently have as the best at the position among draft-eligible passers this year—who has received a lot of attention ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft is Nevada’s Carson Strong.
If you’re looking for a player who can do all things quarterback (you know, throwing the ball even though there’s all that trendy mobility talk out there these days), Strong is your guy. He’s got NFL-level arm strength, advanced ball placement (even in throws down the sideline), works the pocket well (even if he can’t do much outside of it), lightning-quick mental processing, the type of grit and toughness guys like to rally around, and a comeback ability like no other—oh, and he has an even higher level of accuracy than his 70% completion percentage suggests. Some may call him the next Mac Jones, to which, I would have to agree, though it could be argued some of his traits could prove even stronger than Jones’.
Here’s a look into three potential landing spots for Strong.
It’s been a long time since we could say the Broncos truly had a great quarterback—the Peyton Manning era was years ago. After going through names like Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater and not finding a high level of consistent success, it seems likely the Broncos go ahead and address this need by picking a passer around the middle of the first round of the upcoming draft. Of course, there have been rumors surrounding the Broncos and Russell Wilson, so if they are to land the dual-threat quarterback who already has had plenty of bright moments in the league, there’s virtually no chance they’ll snag a quarterback in the first round. If not, Strong needs to be on Denver’s radar.
It’s safe to say the city of Detroit misses Matthew Stafford. The Lions’ quarterback room is currently made up of Jared Goff, David Blough, and Tim Boyle. While it’s far from Goff’s fault the Lions have just one win this season, he’s not getting the job done there. His near 67% completion percentage isn’t anything to be upset about, but his touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13:7 does leave some to be desired—and it’s no secret he hasn’t gotten it done through the air this season. Regardless of what the future holds for him in Detroit in the long term, the Lions could afford to draft their potential quarterback of the future, especially with multiple first-round picks.
Pocket passer Ben Roethlisberger has thrived in Pittsburgh, which would imply that Strong, also a pocket passer, could have some success there too. There is plenty of speculation that Roethlisberger will be on his way out after this season, though there hasn’t been any confirmation of that. Granted that there are multiple quarterbacks selected in the first round and that one or two of them (possibly Corral and Pickett) come off the board first, Strong could be there for the taking. The Steelers do have some tweaks to make within their offensive line, and that would be an important order of business to handle next if they take Strong with their first selection.