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Ka’Deem Carey is slow at Pro Day, works out at wide receiver

kadeemcarey Getty Images

Ka’Deem Carey was the Pac-12 offensive player of the year as a running back at Arizona last season, but NFL teams may be wondering whether he’s fast enough to play running back at the next level.

At the Scouting Combine, Carey was one of the slowest running backs to run, clocking at 4.70 seconds in the 40-yard dash. At Arizona’s Pro Day Carey wasn’t much better: According to NFL.com, Carey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.68 and 4.69 seconds.

During the on-field drills, Carey worked out at wide receiver, not at running back. Carey did line up in the slot at times in Arizona’s offense, and perhaps he thinks he has a better chance of making it in the NFL as a slot receiver than as a running back.

At either position, Carey’s lack of speed could be a concern. You can’t argue with his production in college, but in the NFL speed is at a premium, and Carey doesn’t have it.

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19 Responses to “Ka’Deem Carey is slow at Pro Day, works out at wide receiver”
  1. calhounlambeau says: Mar 7, 2014 9:49 AM

    There have been plenty of 4.6-4.7 HB’s in the NFL that have played well, these NFL people have no memory.

  2. cardiovascularendurance says: Mar 7, 2014 9:56 AM

    Yeah, and Anquan Boldin’s 4.7 40 really kept him from becoming a great player too.

  3. bharr170 says: Mar 7, 2014 9:57 AM

    Vontaze Burfict ran a 5.0 and is a pro bowler. Although it’s a different position the principal remains the same, 40 times don’t mean much.

  4. 1bigtex says: Mar 7, 2014 9:59 AM

    Okay calhounlambeau, how many of those 4.7 RBs were high draft picks? The article didn’t say that Carey couldn’t play. It did say the lack of speed was a concern. The triangle numbers always figure in to the draft position. They shouldn’t be the only factor, but they are a big factor.

  5. budklosterman says: Mar 7, 2014 10:00 AM

    I don’t care how fast someone runs in tights and track spikes. What I care about is how they performed on the football field! Jerry Rice’s 40 yard dash at the combine was 4.71 and he had an alright career!

  6. addict2sport says: Mar 7, 2014 10:01 AM

    A team smart enough to base their evaluation on film over a stopwatch will get a solid player in Carey.

  7. pdmjr says: Mar 7, 2014 10:04 AM

    Willlie Parker had speed but he had trouble finding the holes and understanding the playbook. If this guy is smart, he’ll do alright

  8. ipitydafu says: Mar 7, 2014 10:22 AM

    Alfred Morris – 4.67

    2,888 yds/20 TD in first 2 years

  9. realnflmaster says: Mar 7, 2014 10:38 AM

    40 times are absolutely useless. Unless these guys are running in pads and have someone grabbing at them, the times posted will remain utterly useless.

  10. 1bigtex says: Mar 7, 2014 10:41 AM

    pdmjr, dude, Willie Parker might be the worst possible example you could find. First of all, the guy was an UDFA. However, he went on to make a couple of Pro Bowls and All Pro. He was leading the league in rushing when he suffered a broken leg which basically ended his career.

  11. raiderufan says: Mar 7, 2014 10:42 AM

    10 yard split deserves so much more recognition than 40 yard dash

  12. dirtymcgirty says: Mar 7, 2014 10:46 AM

    Nothing against Alfred, but when you have a running qb, defenders have to pick their poison. The read option plays open him up for huge gains. Chris Johnson went from stud to scrub the minute Vince Young left the Titans.

    Up here at Michigan, we had all-world Mike Hart. He uncorked a 4.67 and a 4.69, and watching him try to play on the next level was painful.. kinda like 4.61 Knowshon Moreni until this year. Carey’s speed, or lack thereof, would have me worried.

  13. joefelicelli says: Mar 7, 2014 10:47 AM

    Taken by itself, the 40 can be a scary looking metric, both good and bad. But when you look at 10 yard split, 3 cone drill, and short shuttle as a rounded evaluation of speed, quickness, and change of direction. If he is average to slow in all of those, then you have to call into question whether he can hit the narrow gaps and fast-closing holes in the NFL.

    Slower players with good change of direction have had success in the NFL, but guys who don’t have the requisite athleticism will struggle. Reminds me of Garrett Wolfe from NIU a few years ago. Tremendously productive in college, but didn’t have the strength, speed, or quickness to make it as a running back in the NFL. Ended up a personal protector on punt team for the Bears, and wasn’t even very good at that. Carey I think is better than that, but the other athletic numbers should bear that out.

  14. kmukeba30 says: Mar 7, 2014 10:59 AM

    Arian foster runs a 4.6 and kedeem is easily the same type of back. their style is some what identical only flaw is that arian runs with no concern of ball safety. and kadeem is an upright ball to chest runner.

  15. meatcarroll says: Mar 7, 2014 12:34 PM

    It’s such a joke he won Pac-12 OPotY over Bishop Sankey.

  16. sbmcintosh36 says: Mar 7, 2014 1:02 PM

    @meatcarroll..yeah a hilarious joke the guy that led the NCAA in rushing in 2012 and was 3rd in 2013 with every defense keying him winning an award has everyone rolling on the floor

  17. clashpoint says: Mar 7, 2014 1:05 PM

    As an Arizona fan, I am glad he went pro a year early. He had nothing more to acomplish in college except getting worn down or risking an injury. His lack of size is as worrying as his lack of speed. With the right team he can have a great career, regardless of either, and I wish my man all the best in the world. Go Wildcats!

  18. doe22us says: Mar 7, 2014 4:19 PM

    Functional speed during a game is entirely different from running a dash, i once had a buddy beat me in the 100, but when we play soccer, basketball or any other spot he cant even sniff my jock straps.

  19. baronvonheil says: Mar 18, 2014 2:37 AM

    He didn’t just run a sub-par 40. His performance in change of direction drills was also far below average. It makes one wonder if he’s not a system player. Slow 40 time alone isn’t a big deal..but a slow time by a smallish back who also tested poor in agility drills is down right alarming.

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