Bucs Senior Bowl Draft Target: OLB Carter

On the eve of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, one prospect, the Bucs, has a plethora of potential holes in their roster. One position group that is particularly thin is that of the outside linebacker, such as Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds recently mentioned in his SR’s Fab Five. With Shaq Barrett still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and Carl Nassib and Anthony Nelson impending free agents, outside linebacker could be a prime target among draft prospects.

Bucs head coach Todd Bowles even mentioned it in his post-season press conference Bucs Total access that the team needed to get more production out of the outside linebacker position. There could be a very athletic player attending the Senior Bowl who could potentially help improve both the depth and ceiling of the Bucs edge rushers. That player is Andre Carter II from Army.

Carter could give Bucs a lot of length and physicality

The 6-foot-7, 260-pound senior is an imposing figure. He supports that frame with speed for the position that is impressive. This rare stature allows Carter to win in multiple ways. His favorite move of the matches I’ve seen was using his long arms to easily get his hands behind his opponent’s back for an effective inward swimming motion.

A former wide receiver and tight end in high school, his speed allows him to track down ball carriers from behind as the back defender on the outside runs away from his side. He uses his long arms to sweep the opponent’s arms, allowing him to keep himself clean as he lowers his shoulder to reach the corner on edging punches.

Carter is a raw prospect who needs time to develop

Army OLB Andre Carter II – Photo by: USA Today

As previously mentioned, Carter did not start defending until after his 2019 freshman season with Army. Therefore, in his current position he has only had three seasons to learn and develop. Still very raw, Carter develops his rush plan and techniques. If this sounds familiar, it should. It is very similar to Joe Tryon-Shoyinka’s assessments when he came from Washington in 2021.

A few areas he needs to keep improving are his pad level and his use of hands.

With his impressive height, Carter tends to play very upright. This reduces his ability to win with leverage and reduces his strength. Due to his upright style of play, he can often become overwhelmed with physical tackles at the point of attack. In addition, he is very inconsistent with his hand-fighting, often landing soft punches and letting his arms whip away with relative ease.

Carter’s production with the Army was impressive but inconsistent

Over the course of his three seasons with Army, Carter rallied 96 combined tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five passes defensed, and one interception. His most productive season was in 2021, when he recorded 41 tackles and 14.5 sacks. His production dropped in his 2022 platforming season when he recorded just 3.5 sacks. This drop-off was mainly due to defenses focusing their game plans on stopping Carter.

The Army’s talent level isn’t the greatest (the last time an Army player was drafted was 2008 when defensive back Caleb Campbell was selected in the seventh round by the Detroit Lions), so a concerted focus on Carter could be statistical production .

Bucs will probably love his bike

One thing the Bucs like in the college draft prospects is guys who like to play and give every snap a high motor. Tryon-Shoyinka, Anthony Nelson, Zyon McCollum, Luke Goedeke and Cade Otton are all recent draft picks who showed this passion in their play and interviews. Looking at Carter, I strongly believe that he shows the same dedication to the sport. That engine coupled with his athletic gifts should provide a high floor for his possible results.

Carter will absolutely pick up cleanup and cover bags just for not giving up on a play. His height and physical profile will help him take advantage of the rare moments when opposing tackles result in a playoff or an overset. The fact that he is already comfortable with an inward move gives me peace of mind that he can step in immediately and provide a level of play similar to Nelson’s.

Carter offers a rare blend of an attractive physical profile that can potentially provide a high ceiling along with a strong floor. The fact that he still has a lot of areas in his game that need to be developed makes him a likely Day 2 pick. The Bucs might consider him pick 50.

#Bucs #Senior #Bowl #Draft #Target #OLB #Carter

Leave a Reply

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

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker