PROS: Has good speed and has good closing burst on the ball to make plays in pursuit. Shows pop as a tackler, physical, and likes to mix it up. Shows ability to shed blocks and will take on the fullback in the hole. Does a nice job attacking upfield with good burst to fill running lanes.
CONS: Lacks ideal range and not as effective when operating outside the hashmarks. Not very big, and it shows at times when he's tackling bigger backs. Needs to improve in coverage, and doesn't have good hips and lacks awareness in zone coverage. Lacks ideal instincts and hesitates when defending the run. Needs to do a better job at the point of attack, and gets caught up in traffic too often.
OVERVIEW: He should be able to stick on the next level because he has nice speed and toughness. A three-year starter that had ridiculous production as a senior, credited with 272 tackles, including 158 solo stops.
NFL FORECAST: Carter might be hard-pressed to earn a starting position as a MIKE at the next level, mainly because of his issues in coverage and he doesn't have the ideal range that teams like nowadays at that position. But he should become a solid reserve player in a 4-3. HIs potential might be a little better in the 3-4, where he could play the TED position on the inside. There he could attack upfield, take on fullbacks, and do a decent job freeing up a better MIKE inside linebacker. EIther way, coaches will like his toughness and I suspect he'll stick on a team as a reserve and special teams player. He could be a bit of a poor man's London Fletcher, but doesn't have Fletcher's ability as a pass rusher or in coverage.
ATL FORECAST: Carter could impact as a special teams player as a backup to Lofton in the middle. He doesn't have the upside to be anything more than that. But he could beat out Gilbert for the backup position if he took quickly to special teams work. But he would be a career backup.
VALUE: Carter is worth a look in the late rounds. For a team looking for a backup middle linebacker, he could be a nice sixth or seventh round pick.
Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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