James Carpenter, OT, Alabama

Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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James Carpenter, OT, Alabama

Postby Pudge » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:24 am

Alabama Senior
40: 5.28


Nice athlete that shows ability to block on the move. Is able to pull outside and can get out to the second level. Has decent feet on the edge. Has a decent punch. Gets position as a run blocker, and does a nice job walling off and redirecting defender. Shows some ability as a drive blocker when working against linebacker or small defensive end. Flashes mean streak.


Not a reliable blocker because he misses blocks and assignments too often. Is too much of a waist bender and misses his punch on the edge. Needs to do a better job initiating contact, and struggles to defend against the quick inside move because he is slow to set up. Struggles to adjust in space. Opens his stance too early at times, and slides his feet at others indicating poor footwork and technique. Doesn't get a lot of push off the ball. Lacks ideal pop and can get blown up when trying to set the edge at the point of attack. Whiffs on most of his assignments on the second level as well as when asked to pull.


Carpenter flashed tools as a guy in Alabama's run-first offense, but was far too inconsistent and a weak link up front. Came into his senior year listed around 300, but weighed in at the Combine at 321 and the Senior Bowl at 313. He started 27 games at left tackle for Alabama the past two years after being a JUCO transfer. He hails from Augusta, GA and was originally committed to Iowa State, before academics forced him to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. He


Carpenter flashes tools and is most effective as a run blocker. But he isn't consistent and needs a lot of polish. Part of that may because of his limited experience at the major college level, and going forward he can start to develop more consistency. But most of his problems come in the passing game and I'm not convinced he offers enough there to remain on the outside. He needed to be covered by a tight end quite a bit to be effective at Alabama, and he doesn't offer great size if/when he gets down to his ideal playing weight around 315. He might be a decent right tackle in a zone-blocking scheme, but he doesn't have the power and pop to be a reliable run blocker in a man blocking scheme, at least not outside. I think the best you can hope for is that he develops down the road into a player like Wade Smith for the Texans. Smith struggled early in his career as a reserve tackle for the Dolphins, then moved inside to guard after a few years. Bounced around the league as a reserve for the Chiefs and Jets before solidifying with the Texans this past year. I see a similar journeyman-like path for Carpenter, because I think he's too raw to stick early on and his value is going to be more as a utility player than a guy that has a true position at one spot. Four or so years down the road, he might make a decent stopgap starter for some team, but he doesn't have enough upside and tools to think he's more than an average starter.


Carpenter could push for a reserve spot here in Atlanta. But he doesn't have an ideal position and would have to compete with someone like Jose Valdez for a reserve, utility spot. And that's a battle I doubt he would win. If he could land a practice squad spot, he might have a chance sticking as a reserve a year or two down the road, but I doubt he'd develop into anymore valuable a player than Quinn Ojinnaka was here.


Carpenter is worth a look in the late rounds for a team looking for a developmental tackle or guard, but he's at best a sixth or seventh round pick because of his development time.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 2.5
Pass Blocking: 2.0
Run Blocking: 3.0
Footwork: 2.0
Technique: 2.0
Mobility: 3.0
Mean Streak: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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