Seems to be better suited to rush more so from a two-point stance. Displays good initial explosion off the snap and has the burst to consistently threaten the edge. But, allows his pad level to get too upright at times when trying to flatten out and can be easily pushed past the pocket because of his struggles to routinely dip his shoulder on the edge. Does display some lateral quickness though and suddenness on his inside move and stunt. Does a nice job using his length to pick his way through traffic, is sudden to slip and accelerates well inside.
Gets a bit sloppy with his hand placement into contact with opposing linemen off the edge, getting his paws outside the frame of the blocker. However, looks much more comfortable on the stunt dropping his pad level into contact, getting his hands inside and working his legs through the bull. Does have some counter ability off his initial speed rush, but can be a bit slow at times to disengage. Has a sudden spin he can go to as well and uses his hands/length well at times to keep himself clean, but he does need to develop further learning to disengage once engaged.
Impression: His initial burst will certainly give him a chance and he does have some upside because he still plays with a higher pad level and is inconsistent with his counters. But the guy knows how to pressure the QB and should be more effective standing up as a 3-4 rush backer."
Positives: Explosive athlete with long arms and muscular frame. Good burst off the snap when rushing from the edge. Dips his shoulder and displays good balance when turning the corner against bigger offensive tackles. Above-average hip flexibility and agility to get low and maintain lean when he gets into the chest of bigger, stronger tackles off the edge. Able to get thin and burst through cracks in the line on inside stunts. Nice spin move back to the inside, using arm length to disengage and close on the quarterback. Maintains proper pad levels when rushing from a stand-up position. Possesses burst and acceleration to chase down ball carriers from behind on running plays. Extends arms against the run to hold off taller, wider blockers and maintain backfield vision to track the ballcarrier.
Negatives: Too small to play classic 4-3 end position at the next level, and has limited experience playing off the line. Lacks the bulk and power to shed bigger blockers and make plays against the run once he loses arm extension and leverage. Will give up pursuit on run plays that he feels are out of his range. Has limited experience playing in space and seems overwhelmed when dropping into zone coverage as a linebacker. Struggles to keep his eyes in the backfield while maintaining a track on receivers in his zone. Displays sluggish reaction to the run, getting a late start toward the ball carrier. Possesses instincts of a defensive end, but frame and physical makeup of a linebacker."
Positive: Athletic college pass rusher who projects to outside linebacker in the NFL. Displays terrific movement skills, generates speed, and forceful off the edge with great quickness. Breaks down well, consistently bends his knees, and gets leverage on opponents. Stays with assignments, shows a burst to the action, and collapses down the line making plays laterally. Fast off the edge and immediately gets out to the sidelines in pursuit. Quickly changes direction and immediately alters his angle of attack with no problem.
Negative: Lacks bulk and controlled by single blocker or easily sealed from the action. Primarily used up the field in college.
Analysis: Carter was an outstanding pass rusher in college and shows the athleticism necessary to translate to outside linebacker in the NFL. He'll need time to adjust to the new position, but early in his NFL career Carter should be an asset rushing the passer out of a three-point stance or standing up over tackle."
Negatives: Does not have experience as a full-time linebacker, lacks some essential linebacker skills because of playing a DE so much... Does not display a large arsenal of pass-rushing moves, needs to develop better counter moves, lacks the size to utilize an effective bull-rush... Tackles too high and does not drive legs to push back ball carriers, tends to just wrap around the waist and try to drag down opponents... Will miss tackles by over-pursuing and not breaking down effectively, needs to work of change-of-direction skills, especially when pursuing quarterbacks from the backside... Does not appear to be a unique athlete, has enough athleticism to be a good pass rusher at the next level, but does not seem to be an every-down linebacker."
2009 - played the entire season with a broken hand; named National Defensive Lineman of the Week vs. NMSU with nine tackles, three sacks, four TFLs and forced two fumbles; ranked fourth in the WAC and ranked 66th in the NCAA in tackles for losses with 13. 2008 - 2nd Team All-WAC despite playing two different positions (started 5 games at outside linebacker and moved back to end and start the last eight games)2007 - started at DE as a true freshman. Had 205 tackles in his career, 37 for losses and 19.5 quarterback sacks. Shrine Bowl invitee who majored in pre-law.
Strengths: Quick and explosive pass rusher who creates havoc in the backfield. Very productive with quick first step, balance, and pursuit. Tackles well. Versatile player who will be special teams standout at the next level. Intelligent team leader.
Weaknesses: Size limits his effectiveness as defensive end in run situations - tends to lose taking on tackles against the run. Can be engulfed by elite offensive linemen. More suited to play OLB at the next level. Limited coverage experience that may require some seasoning at the next level. Needs to develop alternate pass rush moves to compliment his effective speed rush.
Projection: 5th round - speed and impressive performance at Shrine Bowl may bump him higher."
The following year Carter earned All-WAC accolades despite moving from linebacker to defensive end in the middle of the season. Even while transitioning between positions, Carter tallied 88 tackles, 7.0 tackles-for-loss and 4.0 sacks. In 2009 Carter had to deal with injuries, but he settled into the defensive end position and tallied 10.5 tackles-for-loss and 4.0 sacks. For his efforts he was a first-team All-WAC honoree.
During his senior season Carter took it to the next level and won the conference's Defensive Player of the Year award. On the year tallied an impressive 16.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.0 sacks.
Carter will likely have to play as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level. He has the instincts and enough speed to perform well in that role. However, he has been adding weight and could be a solid pass rushing end in certain situations."
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