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NFL Draft Prospect Series: Chris Carson

A few Cowboys may see their dreams come true this month. We’ll be breaking down the Oklahoma State prospects likely to be playing on Sundays next season.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Colorado Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft begins this Thursday, April 27th. Multiple former Oklahoma State players are hoping to hear their names called this next weekend. We’re breaking down the draft profiles of each one through out the week leading up to round one of the draft.

First up, running back Chris Carson.


Chris Carson

Carson was a big time prospect out of Georgia who initially planned on starting his college career as a Georgia Bulldog. However he ended up playing two years in junior college before he flipped his commitment to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Carson is a big back at 6-foot-1, 218-lbs, and looks like he could’ve nabbed one of the leading roles in the movie “300”. He’s a running back that can do a little of everything; he has power, he has some quickness, and he can block and catch out of the backfield. He has spent the last two seasons in Stillwater dazzling fans with high hurdles and low shoulders.

Speaking of lowering shoulders:

Carson’s first season as a Cowboy was rough. Expectations were high, and the ground game was a disaster from the start. The offensive line was in the middle of an overhaul, and the passing game and the Walsh package was the offensive scheme that gave the Oklahoma State coaches the most confidence.

2015 Stats

Rushing Attempts - 131
Rushing Yards - 517
Average Yards per Carry - 3.9
Touchdowns - 4
Receptions - 17
Receiving yards - 130

Carson’s 2016 season is what put him on the NFL map. Even facing adversity (missing four games due to injury, sharing carries with a Freshman All-American), he made sure he was a major contributor in the Oklahoma State offense. On almost 50 less carries from the previous season, he found the end zone five more times, and more importantly, increased his average yards per carry from 3.9 to 6.8.

2016 Stats

Rushing Attempts - 82
Rushing Yards - 559
Average Yards per Carry - 6.8
Touchdowns - 9
Receptions - 13
Receiving yards - 128

Chris Carson was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine back in March where he put on a show. He ran a 4.58 second 40 yard dash, which is pretty good considering he is a bigger back who will likely by playing at 220lbs+ in the NFL. He put up 23 reps on bench press, which was third best among running backs behind only Samaje Perine (duh) out of Oklahoma and Freddie Stevenson from Florida State. He posted a 37 inch vertical jump, which was fourth among running backs, and a 130 inch broad jump, which was second best among backs.

Chris Carson’s NFL Draft Profile

OVERVIEW

Carson went the junior college route after a nice high school career in Georgia, signing with Butler Community College in Kansas and racking up over 1,600 yards and 17 scores in two years there. Though he led the Cowboys in rushing as a nine-game starter in 2015, his totals of 131 carries for 517 yards and four touchdowns (plus 17-170 receiving) weren't earth-shattering. Carson's senior year started off slow (12-45, TD in first two games) and then he missed four games with a thumb injury. He came on near the end of the year, though, finishing with 559 yards and nine touchdowns on just 82 carries, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 notice. Carson also caught 13 passes for 128 yards and a score in the nine games he played.

STRENGTHS

Built like an NFL running back. Chiseled from granite with a broad chest and thickly muscled shoulders. Reinvented himself from finesse to power after ribbing in the running backs meeting room. Lead shoulder carries pop in it. Drops pads at impact and is able to drive through initial contact. Bow-legged gait produces wider frame with better balance. Leg tackles often slide off and are left with nothing. Will press line of scrimmage to set up subtle cutback opportunity. Able to create separation out of backfield on crossing routes. Has adequate wiggle in open field after the catch. Never fumbled in 212 carries at Oklahoma State.

WEAKNESSES

Runs with tight hips and low-knee action. Runs too upright. Missing the flexibility to sink and cut sharply. Long strider who will struggle to gather his feet quickly enough for sudden change of direction against early penetration. Burst through line of of scrimmage is average. Lacks explosive, playmaking potential. Never notched a rush of over 26 yards during his 212 carries at Oklahoma State. Missed time this season and last with injuries.

Sounds about right. We never saw Chris Carson break off a 50 yard scamper, but if a team is looking for a guy to go get a first down, I think they are going to take a good hard look at drafting him. Everything we have been seeing from the NFL Draft “experts” are predicting Carson as a late round draft pick (5th-7th), but draft night is a tricky one. No one really knows what is going to happen on April 27th-29th. We just hope Chris Carson isn’t drafted by the Browns...