5-9/179 Florida State
Pros: Shows good awareness in zone coverage with nice ball skills. Has nice closing speed and burst which allows him to close gaps. Has good hands and a knack for big plays.
Cons: Struggles in man coverage due to weak hips. Gives up too much cushion at times. Not active in run support and seems to lack interest there. Lacks size and looks like he could struggle against bigger wideouts.
Overview: Carter is a finesse corner that projects well in a zone scheme. He plays almost exclusively in off coverage. He's a playmaker, and was avoided at times in college, but won't get the same treatment at the next level. He was a four-year starter than took 3 of 9 career picks to the house.
NFL Forecast: If he goes to a zone-heavy team, he could be a very nice corner. But right now, I see him more as a nickel corner. He'll have to commit to getting better, particularly in run support. Frankly, he seems to think he's better than he is. And he has potential, definitely to make plays at the next level, but at the same time because of his problems in man coverage and lack of size, he could be picked on mightily at the next level. So that brashness may come in handy so he doesn't get down on himself. He could start, but again, only on a team that plays a lot of zone coverage.
ATL Forecast: Carter might be a decent starter for the Falcons down the road, but more than likely, he'd have to be a backup. He's a similar player in both size and ability as Brent Grimes and Jason Webster. He's not as physical as Grimes, but is more of a playmaker than both. He's got better upside than either player, but doesn't have quite the skill set that would likely allow him to distinguish himself early on the Falcons bench.
Value: Carter is a middle round prospect that teams should probably wait until the fifth round to take. But it wouldn't be crazy to pick him in the fourth, particularly for a zone-heavy defense.
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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