Cowboys draft 2024: CB Caelen Carson scouting report

We continue our 2024 NFL Draft scouting reports, now reviewing players in the Dallas Cowboys rookie draft class. Today we look at fifth-round selection Caelen Carson from Wake Forest.

Caelen Carson
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
199 lbs
Hand size- 8 1/8” (12%)
Arm Length- 31 3/8” (49%)
Wingspan- 75 5/8” (52%)

Caelen Carson was a three-star recruit out of high school and was a two-way player. He also played basketball and track in high school and received 12 offers before finally choosing Wake Forest.

In 2020, Carson played in eight games and made 25 tackles, one interception and four pass breakups. In 2021, he had 31 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. He would miss the later part of the season with a lower body injury.

In 2022, he made 22 total tackles, one tackle for loss and seven pass breakups. He missed time again due to a hamstring injury. In his final year at Wake Forest, Carson started in 11 games and made 42 tackles, one tackle for loss, eight pass breakups and one forced fumble. He missed the final game due to injury.

2023 Statistics:
650 Defensive snaps
42 Total Tackles
1 Tackles for Los
11 Defensive Stops
1 FF
8 PD
98.2 Passer Rating Allowed
2 Penalties

NFL Combine/Pro Day:


Overall- 70.6
Speed- 77
Acceleration- 82
Agility- 75
Strength- 61
Tackling- 74
Run Defense- 81
Zone Coverage- 70
Man Coverage- 79
Discipline- 94


  • Extremely versatile defensive back who played out wide, in the slot and in the box as a safety
  • Plays with good balance and very quick feet
  • Shows good aggression and physicality when playing in press
  • Competes for the ball constantly and remains scrappy at the catch point
  • Finds the ball quickly on short and intermediate routes and breaks on it quickly
  • Lays big tackles and very disruptive as a run defender


  • Discipline could become an issue in the NFL by being overly physical with receivers
  • Can hesitate as though he doesn’t trust his eyes
  • Doesn’t have great speed
  • Ball production is severely lacking. No interceptions in the last two seasons
  • Wants to make big tackles too often resulting in confusing missed tackles (six missed tackles last year)

Caelen Carson is a fun watch and is super energetic. His ability to be physical in press-man and help defend against the run are his best traits. Being able to play all across the secondary, including at safety, gives options whether teams will want him to play at cornerback or safety. For a team wanting to defend the run more effectively or play man coverage a lot, Carson is a perfect fit.

His over-aggressive and over-physical play-style could lead to unnecessary flags and his speed to try and chase down ball carriers or recover is a concern. Playing in precise zone schemes will leave him out of position so he really requires to play in man whenever he’s on the field.

Overall, Carson is aggressive and physical who is fantastic in press. He does require coaching in tackling and the finer aspects when playing in zone, and he does have some stiffness in transitions. Carson is a high upside prospect who has all the potential to develop into a starter.

Eric Murray, Houston Texans

Late fourth-round grade

(Consensus ranking based on the average ranking from 90 major scoring services)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *