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    Caelen Carson’s Draft Profile | Wake Forest, CB Scouting Report

    Where does Wake Forest's Caelen Carson rank among CB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft? His scouting report has the details and a projection.

    Wake Forest CB Caelen Carson may be among the most underrated CB prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. His scouting report has the details on what kind of projection he carries to the NFL and how he can reach his ultimate ceiling in the coming years.

    Caelen Carson’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 5’11 7/8″
    • Weight: 193 pounds
    • Length: 31 3/8″
    • Wingspan: 75 5/8″
    • Hand: 8 1/4″
    • Position: Cornerback
    • School: Wake Forest
    • Current Year: Senior

    Ever since arriving at Wake Forest as a true freshman, Carson — known simply as “‘Los” to his teammates — has been defying expectations.

    As a true freshman, he logged a pick and four pass deflections, making the most of sparse opportunities when they came around. And in 2021 and 2022, he rose to the level of an All-ACC performer.

    Across that 2021-2022 stretch, Carson registered two interceptions and 14 pass deflections, earning third-team All-ACC honors as a third-year player in 2022.

    In 2023, Carson registered a career-high eight pass breakups, while also accruing 42 tackles, a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble. Within a talented Wake Forest defensive unit, he stood out as a true NFL talent, and his efforts helped him land an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

    Carson couldn’t participate in the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine. Still, at his pro day, he impressed evaluators in positional drills and put up solid athletic numbers — among them, a 4.53-second 40-yard dash and a 35.5″ vertical jump.

    MORE: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

    At times, Carson gets overlooked in the 2024 NFL Draft CB group, but he’s one of the best press-man defenders in the class, with the athleticism, playmaking reach, and competitive mindset to thrive in the NFL. His scouting report has the full details.

    Carson’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Has a lean, well-sized frame with great natural leverage and solid proportional length.
    • Employs hyperactive foot speed, twitch, and recovery athleticism when matching WRs.
    • Torrid foot speed and short-area quickness serve as a suffocating force for releases.
    • Can suddenly snap into phase and throttle up out of stems to recover leverage.
    • Has the explosiveness, reaction speed, and click-and-close to stick to WRs on breaks.
    • Snappy hip flexibility allows him to suddenly adjust tracking angles and condense space.
    • Tenacious man coverage defender who proactively uses his length to jam and gather.
    • Plays up to the physicality of opponents, refusing to let them grate out space at contact.
    • Able to maintain discipline with technique and tempo up his footwork to match receivers.
    • Can pass off WRs in zone and identify and undercut short passes with keen eyes.
    • Able to track and high-point passes with rare body control and imposing authority.
    • Showcases a sharp, minute sense of timing with extensions in contested situations.
    • Ultimate competitor with laser focus, who’s preternaturally comfortable on an island.
    • Has the versatility to play the boundary or the slot and follow top receivers.
    • Can instantly recognize and explode downhill against screens, destroying blocks.

    Weaknesses

    • Is above-average in size, but doesn’t quite have high-end length or play strength.
    • Click-and-close explosiveness, while exceptional, may be a notch below the elite mark.
    • Doesn’t quite have elite vertical speed and can lose a step against faster runners.
    • Sometimes halts his feet a bit too early at stems, allowing WRs to drive through.
    • With hyperactive foot speed, can sometimes be uncontrolled with his depth in man.
    • At times, plays too tall on his pedal in off-man, which can delay transitions upfield.
    • Sometimes gets lost on route exchanges when WRs overlap paths vertically.
    • Occasionally gets over-aggressive selling out for picks, and gives WRs opportunities.
    • Can improve at converting on interception opportunities with sound hand technique.
    • Sometimes merely seeks to obstruct in run support and fails to wrap up as a tackler.
    • Doesn’t always have the play strength to make stops as a solo tackler in space.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Carson grades out as a top-75 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and one of the best value Day 2 CB prospects available. He’s one of the most compelling man coverage cornerbacks in the class and has a role waiting for him as an island CB in the NFL.

    At around 6’0″, 193 pounds, Carson has a great build with lean mass and good length, and he couples that frame with terse explosiveness, quickness, and snappy fluidity off releases and route breaks.

    Carson is one of the most proficient press-man CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft, successively matching WRs with technique and athleticism, then gathering and suffocating them with his biting competitive edge and proactive physicality.

    Carson can use two-handed jams to gather and squeeze WRs against the sideline or use well-timed punches to stall their momentum and give himself leverage in one-on-one situations. He can recover and close ground with his explosiveness, and at the catch point, he’s an authoritative playmaker with great instincts.

    Zone coverage is an area where Carson can improve his consistency, particularly when passing off overlapping routes and redirecting back infield. In support, while he is tenacious and aggressive, his form can improve at times as well — and over-aggression can bite him in both phases.

    Nevertheless, for man-heavy defensive schemes at the NFL level, Carson has the foot speed, fluidity, explosiveness, technical discipline, fortified physicality, and catch-point conversion ability to be a potential lockdown threat, and he has the versatility to follow receivers across the formation.

    Carson doesn’t quite have an elite athletic profile, but he’s more than athletic enough to be a quality starter in the NFL. And if he can keep chipping away at varied technical inconsistencies across the coverage and support phases, he can be an impact starter in man-heavy schemes.

    Draft with your friends today! PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator now supports multiple drafters during the same draft! Ensure your player rankings are up to date on the 2024 NFL Draft Big Board and you know what every NFL team needs before drafting.

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