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Carson Strong discusses knee worries at NFL Scouting Combine: ‘I know I’m ready to go’


The general consensus concerning the 2022 NFL Draft quarterback class is that this is not one of the most talented groups in recent memory. However, there are plenty of incoming quarterbacks with massive potential, such as Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, Matt Corral and Carson Strong.

Strong, who starred for Nevada, is one of the more interesting cases, as his primary red flag has nothing to do with his athleticism, his throwing motion or his release; it’s his injury history. Strong is seen as a potential first-round “talent,” but two surgeries performed on his right knee likely won’t allow him to be selected that high. The first surgery caused him to miss his senior year in high school, and the second surgery took place last February. But, Strong recovered quickly and did just enough to be cleared to play for the Wolfpack in 2021. 

This week at the NFL combine, Strong appeared on CBS Sports HQ and discussed the state of his knee and how or if the issue could affect him moving forward.

“I’m almost there, I’m almost at 100 percent,” said Strong. “The rehab process that I’m going through right now is great, it’s people that are just focused on me, they’re catered to me. Going through the year, I was strengthening it, but it kind of turned into just getting myself ready to play in every game, but now every single day I’m attacking this thing and it’s getting stronger and I’m becoming more confident in it, I’m learning how to drive off of it again, I have so much untapped power in my arm strength just because I developed compensation from not driving off of it and so just getting all of that and the flow of it, I’m almost there and I’m definitely going to be ready for Week 1 in the NFL whenever that comes.” 

The year before Strong opted to go under the knife again, he threw for 2,858 yards, 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions in nine games. He sported a knee brace for the 2021 season, but still threw for 4,175 yards, 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games played.

“On the mobility aspect, what I put on film this year from 2021 wasn’t my best ball just because I had a surgery in February that was supposed to be a year-long recovery, and I came back in half the time,” said Strong. “I played six months out of surgery when it was supposed to be a year recovery. That hindered my mobility during the year. It did get better as the year went on, last game of the season I played without the knee brace, at the Senior Bowl I played without the knee brace. I moved way more fluid, I was smooth, I did my play-action boot passes, I stepped up in the pocket and scrambled for 10-15 yards and got down a couple times.”

Strong understands that every NFL team interested in drafting him is going to ask about his knee, but he’s OK with that since he feels comfortable with where he is. 

“My doctor has me cleared to go, I know I’m ready to go, and so whatever team takes a chance on me, I’m going to be able to play ball at a high level.”





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