Player Analysis: Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

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Name: Ka’Deem Carey

Class: Junior
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 207 lbs.
School: Arizona

Strengths: Carey had a very productive career as a Wildcat, even more impressive for the fact that he only got significant carries two of the three years he played. Possess great vision and can see a hole forming, then bursts to it and through it quickly. Carey can easily cut back across the grain and shows the ability to make sharp cuts and jump cuts with ease.

image via, photo by Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports

Once past the line, Carey does an excellent job spinning off tacklers and breaking arm tackles as well. Carey runs with a punishing style and will run over tacklers when he needs to, wearing down defenses. It’s not easy to take him down and he keeps his legs pumping well after contact—especially when he is close to the first down marker. Keeps his pads level to deliver the big hit and finish a run.

A solid receiver, Carey does a good job of getting upfield after the catch and shows some shiftiness in space.


Carey also does a good job pass-blocking, locating and sealing off blitzing defenders and delivering a big hit or cut-block.

He’s a three-down player, something teams will find very valuable.

Weakness: As nice as it is to see him run tough and deliver hits, he leaves himself open to big hits too often. He needs to run smarter or he could end up with some injury issues. While his frame is good, Carey is a bit shorter than ideal height for his position, and his legs appear to be a bit thin. His high number of carries in a short time might be a concern for some teams as he carried the ball 652 times in the past two seasons.

On the other hand, some teams may be more worried that he only has two years of experience as a starter.

While he can be elusive, he lacks breakaway speed or the extra gear needed to break a big run off. Carey also rarely faced stacked boxes as Arizona’s spread offense kept the defense out of the tackle box.

Intangibles: Carey has had some off-the-field issues—a quick google search for “Ka’Deem Carey” and “arrest”

image via, photo by USA Today Sports Images

brings up numerous issues. He was suspended for the first game of the 2013 season (via Daniel Berk of the Arizona Daily Star)due to the amount of issues that off-season, the worst of which was a domestic violence charge against his ex-girlfriend which was later dropped according to James Kelley of Arizona’s student newspaper, the Daily Wildcat.

Still, you know teams will take along look at him and his past, asking a lot of pointed questions about that offseason in particular.

How he answers can go a long way towards securing a second or third round grade or dropping him down boards.

Notes:It’s hard to know what goes through the minds of a GM or team regarding things like Carey’s off-the-field issues but know that the teams know virtually everything about the players by now and if they have questions, they’ve asked them. A lot. It doesn’t mean they won’t miss on occasion *coughAaron Hernandezcough* but more often than not it gets done right. On the field, Carey is very talented and ultimately that will get him drafted as—in the NFL—talent wins out. I’m concerned about the repeated issues , however hopeful that given that it appears as if the issues were over one unfortunate offseason, that it was just that—a really bad offseason—and not reflective of a wider issue.

Edited to add: Was forwarded this interview by Zoltan Buday, a journalist who has a lot of good coaches interviews on his site, Here’s Buday’s interview with Carey’s position coach (and Wildcat offensive coordinator) Calvin Magee.

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