Displays good balance and lateral ability when asked to change directions and is fluid enough to make a man miss and accelerate quickly out of his breaks. Possesses a good first step, but lacks great straight-line speed. Does a nice job setting up blocks and being patient, but at times will stop moving his feet, try to keep plays alive and take the negative play as opposed to simply lowering his shoulder and working for tough yards.
Does have some character concerns and missed all of spring practice this past year for punching a student in the face over a snowball incident. Has had hip troubles in the past and sustained a bone bruise this year which caused him to miss some time during the middle of the season. However, he can catch the football out of the backfield and although he needs some time, possesses the frame to mature into a solid blocker.
Impression: Exhibits a strong frame, natural running skills and looks like one of the better senior backs in the country. Does have some character and injury concerns, which will likely cause him to slide, but if he can keep his nose clean, he should be able to make and contribute as a tough reserve on an NFL roster."
He displays above-average lateral ability and balance when asked to pick his way through traffic and does a nice job being patient and setting up blocks inside. He does, however, dance a bit too much at times, will stop moving his feet and take some negative runs. But overall, I love his thick, compact frame, his physical running style and ability to quickly change directions and accelerate out of his breaks. He’s an NFL-caliber back without a doubt and looks like a guy who can give a team some good, hard reps as a solid rotational back at the next level."
Positive: Tough, low to the ground runner who has been very productive the past two seasons. Displays terrific running vision and instincts and will pick and choose his way on the inside, patiently waiting for blocks to develop. Deceptively strong, keeps his feet off the initial hit, and occasionally breaks tackles. Works runs, aggressively putting his shoulders into defenders and driving forwards for extra yardage. Displays a burst through the hole and keeps the play in bounds. Solid receiver who extends his hands and looks the pass in. Picks up stunts or twists and squares into blocks, giving effort to keep defenders away.
Negative: Not a power runner who picks up the difficult yardage. More of a one-speed ball carrier who can E(TM)t beat defenders into the open field.
Analysis: Carter had a productive career at Syracuse and projects as a rotational back/situational runner at the next level. He has the ability to play on third downs in the NFL and would help his cause with good play on special teams."
Negatives: Rather slow, gets caught from behind and has trouble reaching the corner on stretch plays and tosses... Below average in the open field, doesn't have a ton of moves to break long runs... Raw in pass protection, typically is substituted out in third down situations... Hasn't been asked to contribute much as a receiver, only has 28 career receptions in his four years at Syracuse... Comes with character concerns, had some academic issues early in his career and a misdemeanor assault charge as well... Limited upside due to his lack of measurables, more of a short yardage specialist who can contribute on first and second down... Dislocated his hip in 2007 spring game forcing him to miss the entire 2007 season... Suffered a hamstring injury in 2008 that forced him to miss most of the season."
Weaknesses: Slightly over-aged. Below average hands. Will not make his own holes. Must get a clean start off the hand-off or he will be down. Despite his record of not losing fumbles he carries the ball in an insecure fashion that may cause problems at the next level. Does not cradle it to his body. Inconsistent game-to-game. Not very shifty or elusive in traffic. Average vision.
Projection: 5-6th rounder."
It was as a junior in 2009 when Carter finally stayed healthy enough to play an entire season. After rushing for 1,021 yards and 11 touchdowns, Carter proved to all doubters that he could get the job done game in and game out. Heading into 2010 the question was whether or not Carter could stay healthy for another full season. However, those concerns were briefly overshadowed by a suspension, but Carter did not miss a game during his senior season for that reason. Through 11 games in 2010, Carter has once again eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark and has run for seven scores.
Carter and Syracuse are garnering some national attention due to their dramatic turnaround and surprisingly successful season. Carter is a big part of that success and he is turning into a sleeper in this year's draft. At 5-10 (which is probably being a little generous) and 215 pounds, Carter has the size to be an every down back, but also has the shiftiness and speed to break some big plays. By the third round, Carter will look like a really good running back."
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