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Nevada QB Carson Strong declares for 2022 NFL Draft, will skip bowl game

The starter in Reno forgoes his final eligibility and heads off to the NFL.

Nevada Wolf Pack quarterback Carson Strong (12) gets ready to run a play during a college football game between the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Boise State Broncos on October 2, 2021, at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, ID. Photo by Tyler Ingham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nevada Wolf Pack starting quarterback Carson Strong will not return to Reno next season, as he declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Tuesday evening. He will not play in Nevada’s bowl game later this month. The Wolf Pack finished the season 8-4 and is scheduled to play Western Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl on December 27.

Strong appeared in one game as a true freshman before taking a redshirt year. In three seasons as the Nevada starter he appeared in 31 games and completed 68.1% of his passes for 9,379 yards with 74 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. This past season, he had career highs across the board, completing 70.2% of his passes for 4,186 yards with 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Strong has the prototypical size that often enamors general managers. He’s not a statue in the pocket, but he’s not particularly mobile. The biggest concern will be about his knee. He missed his senior season of high school, “after knee surgery when an MRI revealed an osteochondritis dissecans lesion and resulted in eight biodegradable nails being inserted to mend a crack in his lateral femoral condyle bone.” He had surgery this past January “on the same knee to clean up cartilage after he felt some uneasiness in the knee during his breakout 2020 season” and then had an arthroscopy to clear out scar tissue in the knee. He’s reportedly had the knee drained at times this seasn, but he did not miss any games.

This year’s QB draft class has primarily focused on Matt Corral (Ole Miss), Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh), Sam Howell (North Carolina), Malik Willis (Liberty), Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati). However, there’s enough time where a strong Combine and Pro Day could move Strong further into the conversation.