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Latest Sports Illustrated mock draft has Carson Strong No. 1 overall

Carson Strong
Carson Strong had a stellar sophomore season and seems primed to be a high draft pick in 2022. (David Calvert/Nevada athletics)

As we've written about this summer, Nevada quarterback Carson Strong has generated some massive NFL draft buzz entering his junior season.

But Sports Illustrated's latest mock draft is taking things to the next level. The 2022 mock draft has Strong going No. 1 overall to the Houston Texas, who could be in the market for a franchise quarterback depending on the status of Deshaun Watson, whose future is murky given his desire to be traded and allegations of sexual assault, which includes 22 civil suits.

SI writes of Strong: "The Mountain West has had its fair share of success at the quarterback position recently with Josh Allen and Jordan Love. Strong is next up in the conference and has the most upside out of any 2022 draft-eligible quarterback. He has a fantastic supporting cast at Nevada and is in a perfect offense to put up great numbers. Strong's deep ball is the best in the class and his overall mechanics are very impressive. His freshman to sophomore season jump showed a quarterback who puts in the work in the offseason. If he takes another step this season, he has the chance to be the clear-cut top quarterback prospect in next year's draft."

It's worth pointing out this mock draft was not penned by one of SI's top football analysts. It was authored by Jack Borowsky, who has some solid bona fides, nonetheless.

The 6-foot-4 Strong was the Mountain West's first underclassmen to win offensive player of the year honors in 2020 after passing for 2,858 yards, 27 touchdowns and four interceptions in nine games while leading the Wolf Pack to a 7-2 record. Given his supporting cast and Nevada's Air Raid offense, Strong is bound to put up big numbers during his redshirt junior season, his fourth year with the Wolf Pack.

Strong's draft stock could hinge on whether Nevada makes a push into the Top 25 because he possesses a lot of the measurables teams seek out. Winning is typically a differentiator when it comes to quarterbacks, and the Wolf Pack is poised to post a potential 10-win season from a talent and schedule standpoint. Strong missed spring camp after undergoing minor knee surgery this offseason.

"Carson is doing really well," Nevada coach Jay Norvell said last month. "He's been on course to really be ready to roll by June, and he's on track to do that. We were really cautious with him in the spring, from his doctor's advice. He still did a lot of throwing. We just didn't allow him to practice. ... But Carson is doing great and he's right on schedule, obviously deservedly so. But he's getting a lot of publicity right now with with his talent level and stuff."

Strong also recently signed with Fritz Martin Management for name, image and likeness representation. Using a pro service provider for NIL is permissible if that representative is registered with the Athletics Compliance Office and only provides services related to marketing and branding. He's represented by Uche Anyanwu, who was a defensive back for Nevada from 2005-08.

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