Photo of Alex Carder
Grade
53.4 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'1" Height
  • 216LBS. Weight

Overview

Under head coach Bill Cubit, Western Michigan has employed one of the more prolific offenses in the country including talented players like Green Bay Packers star receiver Greg Jennings. Carder took over the reins of the offense from Tim Hiller in 2010, and the Broncos’ passing attack didn’t see any drop-off –- in fact, the team’s scoring actually increased from 26 to 34 points per game from 2009 to 2011. Though Carder’s size and arm strength aren’t exceptional, NFL teams will like his mobility, toughness and ability to efficiently run an offense.


Carder wasn’t a highly coveted high school recruit playing in Kansas, with ESPN’s scouting service rating him the 76th-best quarterback prospect in the nation. He redshirted in 2008 and played in nine games as reserve behind Hiller in 2009 (five-for-seven passing for 27 yards, 16 rushing yards) before getting the starting role. The 2010 third-team All-MAC pick completed 63.3 percent of his passes that season for 3,334 yards and 30 touchdowns against just 12 interceptions. Again starting every game in 2011, Carder earned second-team all-conference honors from league coaches after setting a school record for passing yards with 3,873, as well as throwing for 31 touchdowns against 14 picks (four of those coming against Purdue in the Broncos’ Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl loss). In his senior year, Carder suffered a broken throwing hand. A pin was inserted into his hand, but he still managed to play his final two games. All in all, it was a rough year for Carder statistically. In six games, he was 145 for 248 (58.5 percent) for 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
At Western Michigan's pro day, Carder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 and 4.92 seconds. He had a 33-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-5 broad jump. He did the short shuttle in 4.32 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.18 seconds.

Analysis

Strengths

Can work from the shotgun and under center. Accurate thrower in the short to intermediate passing game, shows the anticipation and tight spiral to hit windows on seam and out routes as well as crossers between the hashes. Quiet feet and balanced in the pocket, which help that accuracy. Good mobility, able to keep up more than first downs with his feet on roll-outs if no options are available downfield. Tough competitor, leads his team on the field and is willing to stand in the pocket to deliver even when interior rusher is bearing down. Seems to know what the defense is giving him, generally makes good decisions on check-downs.

Weaknesses

Possesses average height and bulk for the position, throws from a wide stance which drops his pad level even more. Arm strength is also average, which shows up especially when throwing on the run or when his feet aren’t set. Tries throwing passes into tough spots when pressed by better defenses, which leads to interceptions because he lacks the cannon to pull it off. Throws will sail when he tries to put something extra on it. Works in a spread system, often working from the shotgun and looking directly at his first option from the snap, so he needs to show he can find second or third target when initial read is covered. Overall agility and speed as a runner are not exceptional, will be chased down more easily by NFL defenders both within and outside the pocket.

NFL Comparison

Graham Harrell

Bottom Line

Carder took over the Broncos’ spread attack from Tim Hiller in 2010 and never looked back. He lacks the size and pure arm strength to be an elite NFL quarterback prospect, but has enough of both, as well as the intangibles and intelligence to efficiently run a movement-style offense. If teams are willing to look past his senior season, and if Carder performs well enough in the postseason process, he could be a late-round pick.
×
Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

Comments

NFL News
CONTENT
15