Arizona Football

Ka’Deem Carey in company with other great Arizona Wildcats taken in fourth round

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ARIZONA’S FOURTH ROUND NFL DRAFT PICKS
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Ka'Deem Carey is in a good position to prosper in the NFL at Chicago

Ka’Deem Carey is in a good position to prosper in the NFL at Chicago

Ka’Deem Carey is in good company and should have a promising NFL future if previous fourth-round draft choices from the Arizona Wildcats is an indication.

Some of the most legendary Wildcats have been selected in the fourth round.

The list includes receiver Theopolis “T” Bell, safety Chuck Cecil, linebacker Byron Evans, cornerback Randy Robbins, defensive tackle Joe Salave’a, receiver Mike Thomas and placekicker Max Zendejas. The average duration of their NFL careers: A respectable 7.1 years.

Two other Arizona players taken in the fourth round had solid NFL careers — tight end Brandon Manumaleuna and offensive tackle Edwin Mulitalo — that lasted 10 years for each.

Of the aforementioned players, Zendejas (three-year career) and Thomas (four) did not have a prolonged stay in the NFL. Thomas will try to keep his career going by making the Houston Texans’ roster in the preseason.

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Eight players selected in the fourth round have become Hall of Famers, including wide receivers Cris Carter, Andre Reed, John Stallworth, Steve Largent and Charlie Joyner. Carey has a long way to go for that distinction. His primary focus is finding his niche with Chicago.

Carey is in a good position to have a sustained career with Chicago getting his feet wet behind 6-year veteran Matt Forte, who is under contract with Chicago for two more years. He signed a four-year contract in 2012 worth $32 million.

Carey’s main competition as the No. 2 running back will come from second-year player Michael Ford and recently-signed veteran Shaun Draughn, the only other running backs on the roster.

Neither Ford nor Draughn has much NFL experience, with Ford playing in 12 games for the Bears in 2013, primarily as a contributor on special teams, and Draughn with 63 carries in 20 career games with two touchdowns.

“Matt Forte … he’s the man,” Carey said in a teleconference call with media. “He knows how to run that football. Me being the youngster, being the rookie, I have the opportunity to play behind him and learn off a great running back.”

Chicago general manager Phil Emery alerted the media about a future trivia question involving Carey and Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton, a third-round selection by the Bears. Carey was the Pac-12 offensive player of the year and Sutton was the defensive player of the year.

Chicago coach Marc Trestman called Carey a “violent runner” in the press conference.

“He’s a tough runner,” Trestman said. “He’s been very productive and we’re looking forward to seeing him with a Bears helmet on.”

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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