April 29, 2004

Mike Karney - Fullback - Arizona State

#156 Overall Pick: Mike Karney
Fullback - Arizona State
5-11 - 254 pounds - 5.01 40

4.85 in the 40-yard dash … Bench presses 225 pounds 25 times … 30-inch vertical jump … 29¼-inch arm length … 9¼-inch hands

Carbon copy of Terrelle Smith. A hard-hitting, crushing blocker that loves to hit. Some scouts regarded him as the top fullback in the draft. A one-dimensional, throw-back, old school type of player who, like Smith, won't be factor except as a blocker. Smith, a 4th round pick in 2000 out of Arizona State, signed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason after four seasons with the Saints.

When Karney was being recruited to Arizona State, it was Terrelle Smith who was host to his site visit.

At Arizona State he was used mostly as a lead blocker. Karney finished his career with 78 yards on 32 carries and 37 receptions for 308 yards. While he shows decent hands as a receiver out of the backfield, Karney is not a weapon with the ball in his hands because of a lack of real speed. He is a straight line runner who has little ability to move laterally with the football. Karney will look to continue to be a top special teams player for the Saints as he was for Arizona State.
Karney, 23, is a native of Kent, Washington and is a work-out machine who is always in the weight room. Among his favorite workouts are car-pushing and parachute sprints while pulling weight sleds, and he is a record-setter in the ASU weight room. He garnered All-Pac 10 honorable mention in his career.

He has good change of direction agility in the rushing game because he is able to stay low in his pads to hold ground firmly at the point of attack. Karney does not limit himself to blocking in the rushing attack. He is considered by many to be an above-average blocker for the passing game because he picks up the rush particularly well. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield but tends to trap the ball on some throws.

A local fan favorite, banners in the ASU student section would proudly display "Give Karney the damn ball" even though Karney had four carries and 14 catches as a senior.

The Saints thought that Karney was the only capable traditional blocking fullback in the draft. Karney will be asked to compete with veteran Sam Gash for what will likely be only one roster spot for a fullback.

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