Carson Palmer - Draft Profile
ANALYSISPositives: Has smooth muscle tone with good upper and lower body development . Displays proper upper-body mechanics in his setup . Has a snappy, quick release and the arm strength to get the ball deep . Shows a good, soft touch and the ability to sense pressure in the pocket . Elusive enough to scramble away from defenders to buy more time . Very comfortable in the short-to-medium passing attack, putting good zip behind his tosses . Really came into his own as a senior, showing the leadership and poise that was missing in the past . Has ideal size, big hands and very good running speed . Shows good pinpoint accuracy and now shows the ability to spot his secondary targets.
Negatives: Lacks a quick arm, as the ball does not explode out of his hands . Does not take command of the huddle the way he should . Plays well in spurts, but until the second half of 2002, he did not show consistency . Can be rattled under pressure . Very streaky thrower who makes poor decisions when off his game, eyeing his primary targets too long . Needs to do a better job of reading and reacting to the pass rush . Will spray the ball at times on his long tosses.
CAREER NOTESThe fifth player in school history to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, Palmer rewrote the Trojans' record books, setting career marks for most total yards (11,799, also a Pac-10 Conference record), most plays (1,824, Pac-10 record), most passing yards (11,818, Pac-10 record), most passing touchdowns (72), most pass completions (927, Pac-10 record), most pass attempts (1,569, Pac-10 record) and most 300-yard passing games (10, including three for over 400 yards) . Also set school and conference records for his career with at least 2,500 yards of total offense in three seasons.
2002 SEASON2002 Heisman Trophy winner, adding Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, CNN/SI Player of the Year, Pac-10 Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year, All-Pac-10 first-team and Football Writers Association, CBS Sportsline, CNN/SI and ESPN All-America first-team honors . Completed 309 of 489 passes (63.2 percent) for 3,942 yards, 33 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions in 13 games, topping the old school season records of 308 completions of 449 passes for 3,630 yards and 29 scores by Rob Johnson in 1993 . Scored four times on 50 carries . His 3,820 yards of total offense broke the old USC season record of 3,425 by Johnson in 1993 . His six 300-yard passing performances set another Trojan record.
2001 SEASONOn the Davey O'Brien Award Watch list . Completed 221 of 377 passes (58.6 percent) for 2,717 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions . Also ran for 34 yards on 88 carries (0.4 avg.) with a score . Had a span in 2001 where he threw 87 consecutive passes without an interception before getting picked off at Notre Dame.
2000 SEASONReturned as USC's starting quarterback as a sophomore in 2000 after a shoulder injury knocked him out of the lineup early in 1999 . Although he struggled somewhat in 2000, he often exhibited his outstanding potential, as he completed 228 of 415 passes (54.9 percent) for 2,914 yards and 16 touchdowns with 18 interceptions (tied a school season record with those pickoffs).
1999 SEASONComing off an eye-opening 1998 campaign, was off to an impressive beginning while starting USC's first three games (Hawaii, San Diego State and Oregon), but he broke his right collarbone two plays before halftime (scrambling for a 3-yard gain) at Oregon and was sidelined the rest of the season . Because of the early-season injury, he was allowed to redshirt . Overall, he completed 39 of 53 passes (73.6 percent) for 490 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions . Also had 7 carries for 2 yards (0.3 avg.) with a score.
1998 SEASONJust a first-year freshman, Palmer showed his precociousness with an impressive showing at quarterback . After sharing playing time with starter Mike Van Raaphorst in USC's first eight games, Palmer took over the starting job vs. Washington to become only the second true freshman to start at quarterback for USC (along with Rob Johnson, who started once in 1991) and continued as the starter vs. Stanford, UCLA, Notre Dame and TCU in the Sun Bowl . Overall while appearing in all 13 games, he was 130 of 235 (55.3 percent) for 1,755 yards and 7 touchdowns with 6 interceptions . Also carried the ball 47 times for minus-116 yards (minus-2.5 avg.) with a score.
INJURY REPORTSat out two games during his 1997 high school year with a foot sprain . Missed the final eight games of the 1999 season after fracturing his right collarbone vs. Oregon.
CAMPUS AGILITY TESTS4.65 in the 40-yard dash . 385-pound bench press . 425-pound squat . 275-pound power clean . 33-inch vertical jump . 8-foot-9 broad jump . 32½-inch arm length . 10-inch hands . Right-handed.
COMBINE AGILITY TESTS
HIGH SCHOOLAttended Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) High . Earned 1997 SuperPrep National 50, The Sporting News Top 100, SuperPrep All-American, PrepStar Dream Team, PrepStar All-American, USA Today All-USA honorable mention, SuperPrep All-Farwest, PrepStar All-Western Region Super 30, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team (unanimous), Cal-Hi Sports all-state first team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division V Offensive Co-MVP, Los Angeles Times All-Orange County first team, Orange County Register All-Orange County first team and All-Seaview League Offensive MVP honors as a senior . In 1997, he completed 136 of 216 passes (63.0 percent) for 2,685 yards, 31 TDs and just 4 interceptions, plus ran for 290 yards and 3 scores . He did all this despite missing 2 early-season games with a foot injury . Santa Margarita went 14-0 in 1997 and won its second consecutive CIF Division V championship; in that title game, Palmer threw for a school-record 419 yards with 5 TDs and ran for another TD . Earlier in 1997, he threw for 356 yards in a game and had 5 TD tosses in less than 2 quarters of action in another contest . As a junior in 1996, he made the Cal-Hi Sports Junior all-state second team, All-Seaview League first team and team Offensive MVP while completing 58.0 percent of his passes for 2,089 yards, 25 TDs and 5 interceptions . Santa Margarita went 13-1 in 1996 and was the 1996 CIF Division V champ . In his career, he set 23 school records while going 261 of 435 (60.0 percent) for 4,692 yards and 55 TDs with just 10 interceptions . Also ran for 565 yards (including 150 yards in a game) with 10 scores in his career . Also played basketball (averaged 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds as a 1998 senior) and was named to the 1998 Student Sports Grid-Hoops All-America second team . Santa Margarita went 32-2 in 1998 and won the 1998 CIF and State Division II titles.
PERSONALPublic Policy and Management major . As part of the "Read Across America" program, he read books to local elementary school classes in 1999, 2000 and 2001 . His personal quarterback coach was Bob Johnson, the father of ex-USC (1991-94) and NFL signal-caller Rob Johnson . Brother, Jordan, was a freshman quarterback at Texas-El Paso in 2002 . Born Dec. 27, 1979 . Resides in Laguna Niguel, Calif.
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