Shane Carden, the starting quarterback for the ECU Pirates, enters the 2015 NFL Draft after registering 37 starts during his collegiate career. During that time, he totaled 11,991 yards, 86 TDs and 30 INTs. He holds the ECU school records for career passing yards and TDs, as well as the single-season records in each category. In 2014, Carden threw for 4,736 yards, 30 TDs and 10 INTs, completing 63.5% of his passes along the way. He added 6 rushing TDs as well. In 2013, Carden had 4,139 yards, 33 TDs and 10 INTs with an impressive 70.5% completion percentage. He added 10 rushing TDs that year. His 2013 completion percentage was 2nd best in the nation. In 2013, Carden was the Conference USA MVP as well as its First Team quarterback. He was also recognized with Honorable Mention All-American honors. Physically, Carden is a well-built guy who meets the minimum requirements for quarterback play in the NFL. He has the kind of developed frame that should be able to take on NFL punishment. Athletically, Carden is an average movement guy who can keep plays alive with his feet, but he’s not going to be a two-dimensional threat in the pros. He displayed the ability to manipulate the pocket and slide laterally to avoid pass rushers, but he lacks the kind of burst or quickness needed to really threaten the second and third levels as a runner. As a passer, Carden throws the ball with a 3/4 release that is a bit elongated. He’ll need to clean up his throwing motion (or at least speed it up) to have success in the NFL. He’s a generally accurate short and mid-level passer, although he is somewhat inconsistent in his ball placement. Carden really struggles when letting the ball fly more than 20 yards, as his passes simply lack the velocity and accuracy to challenge NFL defensive backs. At times, his deep passes flutter and die in the air. At other times, they simply don’t travel the distance needed to give his receiver a chance. His completion percentage and TD/Int ratio is a bit deceiving, as many of his completed long balls would be INTs in the NFL. In the pocket, Carden tends to “hear ghosts” and loses his composure a tick or two too soon. He drops his eye level, tucks the ball, and either tries to escape or ends up wrapped up for a sack. He needs to develop a better overall feel for pressure.
BOTTOM LINE: Shane Carden is another example of a college quarterback who enjoyed a high level of collegiate success but who will likely struggle when transitioning to the NFL. His inability to throw the long ball is a real concern for me, and his overall arm strength and accuracy fall below NFL standards. He’s a gamer, though, and has a lot of starting experience, so an NFL team is likely to give him a shot in training camp. I’d be surprised if he’s drafted, as his arm simply lacks the traits required for competent play in the NFL.
GRADE: 5.0 (PFA)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)