Chris Carson started the day in fine fashion with a good height and weight combo at 5’11” & ¾ and 218lbs and an “outstanding body” according to an NFL scout. He also had the longest arms of any RB at the combine with 33’ & ¼ long, something that is very good for blocking and catching. His hand size was over 9’, good for a running back. During the peacocking stage of the combine, when the players stand in their underwear in front of all the scouts to see them from the front, back, and side, Carson was one of the most impressive players of the day. A scout told me “He looks the part with a beach body and is put together well. He and Cook (FSU back) looked the best to me”.
Carson continued to impress, grabbing a top finish in the bench press and both the jumping drills. His 23 bench reps of 225lbs was 2nd best of all RB’s, Perine 30 and Freddie Stevenson with 24, however Stevenson is a FB. His broad jump was 10’10”, an outstanding number and 2nd best of all RB’s. That would have been good enough to tie for 2nd in last year’s combine, tie for 1st in 2015, 3rd in 2014, 1st in 2013, and 2nd in 2012, and tied for 8th all time since 2006.. He also had a 37’ vertical jump which was good enough to finish 4th among RB’s. These numbers are exceptional and even more impressive for someone who is 218lbs, in fact, he and Derick Henry are the only running backs over 210lbs to jump a 10’10” in the last six combines.
Carson finished with unofficial 40 yard dash times of 4.58 and 4.60. His official was posted at 4.58, which was close to what most people though. I talked on RA’s show that I expected him to run closer to a 4.5, but that most teams thought he would be close to 4.55. His 40 was the first event that he failed to secure a top finish in. This was a good, but not great time for Carson, but will not hurt his draft stock.
The first segment of the on the field drills tests hip and foot movement that focuses on first step, cuts, jukes, and acceleration. Carson performed well and showed the ability to be a good fit for a one cut system. He showed quick reaction and a smooth cut in the high knee cut drill and showed an impressive first step. The toss drill was maybe his best on field drill of the day, “He secured the ball and made a great cut inside. He’s got enough quickness and speed for his size. At 218lbs he really is a great athlete and powerful enough to get the extra yards after contact” a scout told me.
The catching aspect of the combine was something I was interested in seeing because Carson had 30 receptions and almost 300 yards at Oklahoma State as a split time back, and is something I think he will do well in the NFL. He had a very strong start and caught every good pass thrown to him. I was told “I didn’t see him drop a ball, he’s not as natural as Caff (Christian McCaffery from Stanford), but no one is, but he can make an impact with that part of his game”. Carson did not participate in the last of the receiving drills.
Overall Carson had an outstanding day, showing a freakish ability to jump, outstanding strength, and enough speed to be an NFL running back. Steve Smith was excited to see how Chris tested out and was very impressed with the results. A team scout told me “We were really looking at him, but we have two great back that play a lot and so we were looking at maybe getting a guy in the 6th or 7th round” (laughing he continued) “but after today it doesn’t look like that’s going to be an option with him”. Carson helped his draft stock today and generated a lot of buzz that will follow him into his pro day. As long as he interviews well and looks good in field drills during the March 9th pro day, he should be a day three pick. I have yet to talk to anyone that thinks he’s likely to go undrafted. The draft is still more than a month away, but Carson is defiantly on the right track.
NOTE: 3-Cone, 20 yard Shuttle, and 60 yard shuttle official times have not been posted.