Player Name: Josh Carraway
H/W: 6'3 242
Position: DE / Outside Linebacker
School / Class: TCU / RS Senior
Measureables: 4.74 40, 25 bench press, 29.5" vertical jump, 10' broad jump, 7.20 3 cone drill, 4.44 20 yard shuttle, 11.71 60 yard shuttle
- Athleticism - Carraway is a great athlete. The game speed is a lot faster than the Combine speed, that's for sure. He's a natural at linebacker. He's probably the most natural athlete for his position. Lateral agility is a major plus. There's very little wasted motion with him dropping back or rushing the passer. Footwork is a plus. Athleticism just popped off the screen when I watched him. It's a marvel to see how fast he connects on a move up the field rushing the passer. Most offensive tackles had trouble with his athleticism and as a result gave up leverage. Explosive for a guy his size. Just watch a play in the Arkansas game where he blows by the OT and gets a sack. The Oklahoma game was fun in which he kept OU QB and jitterbug Baker Mayfield hemmed in the pocket several times.
- Versatility - He has experience playing as a defensive end with his hand in the dirt and both outside linebacker spots in a variety of defensive looks. TCU ran mostly a 4-3 but offered multiple 3-4 looks as well given the offensive tendencies of the league that they are in. It seemed like in most of the games that I watched that Carraway was assigned as a "reader" end against zone read concepts. By reader, I mean that he wasn't to commit himself either way to the QB or HB. Just be a space occupier with an occasional splash play. Very little drop off in play when switching OLB spots.
- Experience - Three year starter for the Horned Frogs defense under the leadership of acclaimed defensive mastermind and HC Gary Patterson. He's seen just about everything there is to see about the spread craze going on in certain parts of the country.
- J-Rob Mantra of the Year - Production, Production, Production, and some more Production. He improved his production every year, notching a total of 132 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, and 18.5 sacks. Even chipped in an interception and fumble recovery, both of which led to touchdowns. Led the team in sacks during both junior and senior seasons.
- Spin Cycle - In nearly everything that I watched of him, he gets lost in the wash too easily on run plays. He attacks the line but disappears all of the sudden and cannot disengage the blocker to make a play. The complete opposite of what you would call a run stopper.
- Strength - A big 0 here. He does not have the strength to hold up at the point of attack, much less fight through oncoming blockers to make the tackle. It's like he lucked into several tackles and sacks by being there in the path of a ball carrier. Lacks the ideal bulk to keep up over the course of a full game.
- Passive, No Aggressive - He strikes me as a guy who's just happy to be there and get whatever comes his way instead of chasing the play. I don't know if TCU coaches told him to be a read and react type but he's simply way too content to let the play develop. There's little to no aggressiveness in him, whatsoever.
- Fundamentals - A severe lack of them in his game. Only has the speed move in his arsenal. Once the speed is beaten, he's quickly and effectively neutralized by blockers. Needs to develop further skills as a pass rusher. Got by on athleticism in college, will need to refine his technique to stick in this league. Instincts are subpar for a talent like him. Dick LeBeau and co have their work cut out with this guy.
TCU HC Gary Patterson is one of the more underrated defensive gurus in the country. The Horned Frogs are more known for their offensive prowess lately but it was built by Patterson's defenses and fancy chrome helmets (those are nice, btw). How many recruiting stars did Carraway have in high school? Yep you guessed it, only TWO stars. An unranked recruit from the state of Texas to boot. The only other programs of repute that offered him scholarships were Colorado State and University of Louisiana-Monroe. Named to the All Big 12 first team two consecutive years. Named to the Big 12's All Academic first team. Played his senior season as a graduate student. It's been an interesting trend to watch for in TCU prospects not testing well at the Combine.
I don't have a feeling either way about the pick. If it works out, then great, the Titans have a depth piece where it's sorely needed. If not, then it was only a seventh round pick spent. Carraway needs a redshirt year to develop the most in this year's Titans class. He needs a lot of coaching along with both mental and physical development work in 2017. He'll likely get a shot to compete for a backup job in 2018 after probably getting that redshirt year in 2017. Likely won't make the active 46 all year unless injuries happen. Fortunately for him, DC Dick LeBeau and LB Coach Lou Spanos are two of the better teachers in the game so the career path of unused rookie to surprising sophomore is readily available. Maybe Carraway takes the Daimion Stafford track and develops into something useful after a couple years. The tools are there but it is up to him to refine them. That saying about can't coach speed but can coach everything else applies here.