Prospect Preview: Ka’Deem Carey RB Arizona

By Draft Writer Matt Moore (@Matt23Moore)


(photo via


Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

5-10 203 lbs. Junior

Last season: 1,929 rushing yards, 23 touchdowns, 303 attempts, 6.4 yards per attempt, 148 yards per game, 36 receptions, 1 receiving touchdown, 2nd team All-American, the nation’s leading rusher in yards per game and total rushing yards.

Game Notes vs. Utah:

  • Vision: Impressive, but there is room for improvement. He showed great patience in waiting for his blockers on the edge. Arizona’s O-line did a fantastic job of sealing the edge and Carey showed the ability to capitalize on their execution. I like that he is typically looking to move vertically, rather than laterally. However, there are times where he is dancing around side-to-side searching for a hole, when he should just put his head down and pick up what yardage he can. On the plays that he is moving up and down the field, rather than side-to-side, he always picked up good yardage.
  • Quickness: Carey showed tremendous quickness on a few plays. He remained balanced while making sharp cuts, his speed stayed consistent, and he did a nice job of making defenders hesitate. After watching his game against Utah, it is clear that quickness is a huge aspect to Carey’s game. I would like to see him use more aggressive cuts up field, instead of dancing around like he does at times.
  • Ball Security: Carey fumbled in the first quarter during a run up the middle. He should have been holding the ball high and tight, while in traffic. Instead, the ball was held around his hip, which led to a fumble.
  • Speed and Acceleration: Another standout aspect to Carey’s game. His speed and acceleration were fantastic against Utah. When Carey found a hole, he had tremendous burst. However, it goes back to the side-to-side argument I made when critiquing his vision. As long as he is able to find the hole, his acceleration was great. His performance, in terms of speed, was decent. I would have liked to see more breakaway speed when he got to the second level. Nevertheless, Carey most definitely did not appear slow.
  • Strength: Carey was consistently falling forward, which you like to see. He broke through arm tackles and did not go down easily.
  • Passing Game: Carey had two receptions for eight yards. His blocking was fair, but he should focus on getting in front of his defenders a little more.
  • Plays That Stood Out: Skip to 3:57. You can see the aggressive, quick cuts that I am talking about. However, the second level speed, that is so desirable in the NFL, is not there. Of course, it is just one play and should not be looked at as a full representation of Carey’s breakaway ability. Skip to 2:18. My goodness, look at that burst through the hole! Carey looks like a young Adrian Peterson for the first ten yards, but once again he is tackled early in the second level.



Game Notes vs. Oklahoma State

  • Vision: Early in the game, Carey jumped around even more than against Utah. However, as the game went on, Carey found holes quicker.
  • Quickness: Carey shied away from the shiftiness that he used during the Utah game. Instead, he took more of a power approach to his running game, with slashing cuts up field. I think it was a good move by him. In addition to his power, his cuts looked quick and clean.
  • Ball Security: No fumbles, no problems. Carey did a good job of covering the ball with two hands in traffic.
  • Speed and Acceleration: Again, looked very appealing this game. Against Utah, it appeared as if Carey was partial to running along the outside. This game, Carey showed great burst up the middle of the field. If he can intertwine the two abilities, then he will be an elite running back at the next level.
  • Strength: It really looked like Carey was running with a purpose against Oklahoma State.  His feet were continuously moving forward when he came in contact with defenders, which helped him score a rushing touchdown in the second quarter and important gain yards after contact. More often than not, it took more than one Cowboy to bring him down. If a pile formed, Carey was always dragging it forward for extra yardage. When he keeps his feet moving, like he did in this game, Carey shows a lot of NFL promise.
  • Passing Game: Carey looked good in the passing game against Oklahoma State. When plays broke down while Carey was running routes, he did a good job of searching for open space. I was also impressed with Carey’s yards after catch.
  • Plays That Stood Out: Fast forward to 2:46…if that juke is not a good display of his quickness, then I don’t know what is. He made the defender fall flat on his face! Jump to 2:57, Carey refuses to go out of bounds and keeps his feet moving for YAC yards and a first down. Go to 5:09, Carey once again shows his burst up the middle of the field and then makes an amazingly athletic play. How he was able to keep his body from hitting the ground is beyond me.


What He Does Well:

Carey’s quickness is his biggest tool. He is able to make defenders looks silly with fast cuts and jukes. Not only are his cuts quick, but he maintains speed while making them. When there was a gap in the middle of the line, Carey has great burst. He is not afraid to go through the middle and has good outside running ability. His feet continue moving forward, which translates to extra yardage and broken tackles. Adrian Peterson is the best example of a back that keeps his feet moving. Carey showed he has a little AP in him during the Oklahoma State game.  I really like that he can be physical, by running through tacklers. Or, he can use finesse cuts to avoid defenders. He is a two in one back that has shown a lot of NFL promise.


What He Needs To Work On:

His vision is still raw, but he is only a junior in college. With a season under his belt, I expect that he is now more familiar with the college game and will improve in this category. Carey needs to work on his vision at the line of scrimmage. He does a good job of setting his blocks in the open field, but sometimes seems lost at the line of scrimmage. Ball security is another area of concern, considering Carey had four fumbles in the 2012 season. He needs to focus on holding the ball high and tight. It is important that Carey works on ball carrying in the off-season, fumbles are costly at any level and will definitely not be tolerated in the NFL.


Games to watch:

at USC 09/28

vs. Utah 10/19

vs. UCLA 11/9

vs. Oregon 11/23

at Arizona State 11/30

All videos used for this prospect preview came from and their players database.