Chicago Bears sign QB Shane Carden
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
The 2015 NFL draft is over but the Bears are still adding more rookies in the priority undrafted free agent portion of the draft. Last year they found a few gems after the draft in OLB Christian Jones and G Ryan Groy. There are plenty of rumors floating around about players the Bears signed so far this year, but most are unconfirmed or players you’ve probably never heard of. One signing that has been confirmed is QB Shane Carden from East Carolina.
According to NFL.com Carden is the highest graded QB that wasn’t drafted this year. Before the college all-star game circuit and combine, Carden was in the group of 5-6 QBs in the running for the #3 overall QB spot behind Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. I had a 3rd-4th round grade on Carden before a mediocre Senior Bowl and lackluster Combine dropped his grade to the 6th-7th round range.
Carden was a very productive college QB who threw 84 TDs with just 28 INTs and a 67% completion percentage over the last three seasons. Carden has great poise in the pocket with good mobility and the ability to make plays under duress. He doesn’t have elite arm strength but can make all the throws despite throwing from a 3-quarters arm angle similar to Teddy Bridgewater’s. He leads receivers well and does a good job anticipating open spots in the defense. Carden hasn’t played against many top-tier defenses, but put up good numbers against Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and South Carolina in a 3 game stretch this season.
Carden doesn’t have elite arm strength and isn’t very mobile. On paper Carden doesn’t look like much, but has good pocket awareness, is tough, consistently made clutch throws in close games, and was a proven winner in college. He’s far from the prototype QB teams look for, but with a little coaching on his technique he could develop into a back-up that can step in and win a few games when needed.
The Bears already have three QBs on the roster in Jay Cutler, recently re-signed Jimmy Clausen, and last year’s 6th round pick David Fales, so Carden has his work cut out from him to make the roster. Fales was drafted by the previous regime, so it’s possible that the new management team doesn’t think as highly of Fales as Phil Emery did. It’s doubtful the Bears will keep four QB’s so the 3rd spot will likely come down to a competition between David Fales and Shane Carden.