Shane Carden: Chicago Bears Draft Profile


The Chicago Bears had one of the best overall drafts in recent team history and signed some interesting undrafted free agents as well.  Over the next week BearGogglesOn will be breaking down the Bears’ draft picks and the UFAs with a legitimate shot to make the 2015 roster.  With a new management team taking over the leadership of the Bears and the Bears transitioning to new schemes on both sides of the ball, there will be significant roster turnover.  Rumors are already circulating about some veteran players and recent draft picks that may not be on the roster in 2015.  With all of the turnover in the front office and coaching staff, there is more of an opportunity than usual for rookies to make the team.

QB Shane Carden, East Carolina


Height | Weight:  6’2″ | 218 lbs

40-time | 10-yard split:  4.94 seconds | 1.75 seconds

3-cone drill | 20-yard shuttle:  7.17 seconds | 4.45 seconds

Vertical | Broad jump:  29.5″ | 104″


Any NFL fan and certainly anyone who follows the Bears, as I assume you do if you’re reading this post, knows the travails this franchise has gone thru when it comes to their starting quarterbacks.  Of course currently we’re approaching year number six of the Jay Cutler era which has seen a multitude of ups and downs, with 2014 being lumped into the latter category.  The QB situation in the decade or so prior to Jay’s arrival, well, that’s another story for another day.

More from Bear Goggles On

The point is that this football team is still looking for THAT guy at the most important position on the field.  Maybe he’s already on the roster (here’s looking at you, Jay) but there’s a decent chance he’s not, so it’s important for the Bears to keep the search ongoing and hope they find that diamond in the rough.  Ryan Pace has said he’s committed to bringing in a QB every year and he’s made good on his word by signing the undrafted Shane Carden out of East Carolina.


  • ECU’s all-time leading passer in every major statistical category
  • 3-year starter (2012-2014) after initially being red-shirted and spending first 2 years on scout team
  • 2013 Conference USA MVP, 2014 American Athletic Conference offensive Player of the Year
  • 2014: 392 of 617 for 4,736 yards, 30 TDs and 10 INTs


Shane Carden is a “football player”, the kind of guy anybody would want to play with.  The above statistics show he can fill it up, albeit in a non-power conference in college football, but really what makes him an interesting prospect are his intangibles.  Hearing him speak in draft interviews one can easily detect the competitive spirit and intelligence that he possesses and scouts have pointed to his high football IQ as one of his best attributes.

Carden doesn’t have the biggest arm out there, but within his throwing range he has shown accuracy and good ball placement.  He’s also not the fastest or quickest, but he did score 24 rushing TDs during his time at ECU which at least shows a willingness to run when called upon.  All physical attributes aside, the biggest thing I’ve taken away in my review of Shane Carden is the swagger he possesses.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

He’s a gunslinger and a legitimately tough kid; the type of guy teammates love going to battle alongside.


Something I alluded to when discussing Carden’s strengths is his lack of a big arm.  That stands to be his biggest challenge in the NFL.  Can he have success throwing downfield against bigger/faster defensive backs when the margin for error is much smaller than what he experienced while at ECU?  Time will tell, but any QB’s shelf-life in the NFL is short if they can’t make all the throws, thus shrinking the playbook and making an offense more predictable.

Another concern voiced by scouts was Carden’s foot speed and whether or not he can pick ’em up and put ’em down fast enough to adequately escape the pocket when things break down.  He did show an ability to make plays on the move while at ECU and can remain poised in his decision-making while mobile, but the name of the game in the NFL is speed.  Can he do it all fast enough at the next level to be successful?

Bears Fit:

Cutler is the starter for at least one more year and Jimmy Clausen seems entrenched at #2 after acquitting himself nicely in backup duty last year, and the familiarity that exists between him and new HC John Fox (who drafted him in Carolina) couldn’t hurt either.  David Fales remains on the roster and likely would’ve had the inside track on the #3 gig under the previous regime, but perhaps now it’s more up for grabs with Fox and OC Adam Gase in town.  Pat Devlin has been around the league for a few years so he knows the ropes of NFL life and at least in that sense has the leg up on Carden, but he figures to be little more than a camp body.

Where does that leave Carden?  I believe he’ll be given a solid opportunity to be the #3 guy behind Jay and Jimmy.  Carden showed he was skilled enough to be a great QB while playing at ECU in the American Athletic Conference, but how does that translate to the NFL level?  That question was loud enough for every team to pass on him during the draft, but the Bears saw enough in him to add him to the roster.  I’m anxious to see him get his chance when training camp fires up in Bourbonnais and in August when the preseason gets going so we can begin to see if Carden can take all of those intangibles and make himself into a serviceable NFL signal caller.