The Eagles shocked many by avoiding the lure of a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, they did still add a developmental arm to the roster in the way of UDFA Carson Strong.
Who is Carson Strong?
Strong had a terrific career for the Wolfpack becoming just the fifth player in Mountain West Conference history to win the offensive player of the year award in back-to-back years. While Carson Strong had arguably the best arm in his class, his lingering knee issues and a lack of mobility caused him to go from a projected mid-round pick, to undrafted.
With Strong coming to Philadelphia, almost everyone in the city expects minimal work from the UDFA. However, there’s reason to believe he could provide much more bang for Howie’s buck than expected.
A UDFA out of Eastern Illinois, Romo sat behind mediocre quarterbacks for the better of three seasons. Only in 2006, after Drew Bledsoe struggled early in the year did Romo get a chance to start.
He wouldn’t relinquish the starting role in Dallas for close to 10 years, when injuries got the better of him. Romo was very solid at Eastern Illinois and needed a few years to develop before he became a pro-bowl quarterback.
The fact he sat on the bench for three years to learn the game was also a huge help as well.
In fairness, Romo was not a true pocket passer like Strong is. Romo was mobile enough to get out of the pocket and make plays on the ground. While not the fastest, he was quick enough to make something out of nothing at the position.
Is Romo a fair comparison to Strong? His arm strength not withstanding, the lesson from Romo is that having Strong sit on the bench for a few years isn’t a bad thing.
Eagle fans may despise Kurt Warner for costing the Eagles two separate trips at a Super Bowl berth, but the story of the UDFA is one that has been told time and time again.
Undrafted out of Northern Iowa, Warner bounced around in the Arena league, overseas, and even in the local food market.
It was only when the Rams gave him a chance to be the backup to Trent Green did history change. It took five years after his college career to get a starting job and, of course, Warner ran with the opportunity.
Warner, like Strong had a massive arm and very solid accuracy. Injury concerns were an issue early in his career and he wasn’t very mobile.
As ceilings go, this is probably a best possible outcome for Strong. If he waits a few years and becomes the next Kurt Warner, the Eagles would be very happy.
Somewhere in the Middle
The Eagles have not had very good success with late-round quarterbacks over the last decade. Mike Kafka wasn’t very good. Matt Barkley continued a long line of USC quarterbacks who just weren’t cut out for the NFL, and while Liam may love to annoy us with the Clayton Thorson song, he was one of the worst picks the team has had when it comes to wasted value.
It’s not fair to push Carson Strong into the same group as these failed late-round picks. Nor is it fair to expect the next coming of Warner or Romo to walk through those doors.
The expectation should be somewhere in the middle. Strong is not expected to play this season, nor should he. The Eagles have excellent answers at both QB1 and QB2.
For Carson Strong, the expectations should be to battle to make the roster as QB3 and maybe even the practice squad and continue to develop under Nick Sirianni. But I think it’s clear already when training camp rolls around that Strong will impress a lot of fans with the strong arm that he has.
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