Reese’s Pieces (Formerly prospect Profiles): OLB Bruce Carter, North Carolina

NE Patriots Draft.com

Last year, I called this draft prospect preview series: “Prospect profiles”

But this year I’m going with a tentative title of Reese’s Pieces. Of course, this is referring to that these are the “pieces” that are Missing from Reese’s puzzle of getting this team to the Superbowl.

I’m open to better title suggestions (I know there are plenty good ideas out there), so lay ’em on me.

Bruce Carter is unquestionably one of the best pure athletes in the entire draft. Later in this post you will read a scouting report from CBS draft Scout that will say that Bruce Carter has been reportedly timed with a 40 yard dash time at 4.39.

4.39 40 for a linebacker that is .02 seconds slower than C.J. Spiller ran his 40 yard dash and more than a Second and a half faster than the fastest 40 time for  a linebacker last season, and also faster than any cornerback ran last year, so if this is anywhere near true he can fly. You’ll also read that he has a 40.5 inch vertical bench presses 445 pounds squats over 600 pounds. (Which it says on his offical North Carolina page)

You’ll also see that Chuck Norris and Superman wear feetie pajmas of Bruce Carter.

In all seriousness, Carter is an amazing athlete that plays linebacker, unfortuantely for Carter he tore his ACL towards the end of the college season and it is highly unlikely that he’ll be able to workout leading into the draft (unless he also heals like Wolverine), which could drastically effect his draft stock.

For those who were looking for an ELITE athlete at the linebacker position in the draft, this is the player you would have wanted…but with his ACL Injury he might lose a 1st round grade,  plus his lack of production doesn’t help.

I usually like to wait a little longer to start putting these out, but Carter is not going to be participating in the off-season and it’s better to get his reports out there now and I’ll start pumping these out the next couple of weeks.

Measurables (Will not participate at the combine or North Carolina’s Proday)

6-3 235 pounds.

Born February 2nd 1989

Stats (Cfbstats.com)

2010: 34 solo tackles, 57 total tackles.1 int, 3.5 tackles for loss 2.5 sacks, 2 passes broken up, 2 QBhurries, 1 FF, 1 Blocked kick.

2009: 46 solo, 65 total. 7.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 passes broken up, 4 QBhurries,

Vs Ranked teams in 2010:

LSU 1 solo tackles ( 3 total), 1 pass defensed

vs Florida State 5 solo tackles (7 total)

vs VA Tech 5 solo tackles (6 total). 5 sack

North Carolina State 4 solo tackles (6 total), 1 sack, 1 pass defensed, 1 QB hurry

I’m sure you were all expecting huge numbers with his insane athletic ability, but are dissapointed that he does not have overwhelming statistics.

We’ll he didn’t start playing linebacker until he got to college he went to college as an offensive player RB/QB and it should also be kept in mind that the North Carolina defense also has Quan Sturidvant who is another nfl caliber player who takes away some of Carter’s tackles.

Video (I’d suggest the full screen mode)

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’ image=’Vs Florida State in 2009′]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wCYcokDm-E[/pro-player]

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’ image=’vs VA Tech 2010′]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6nFL9XVNmo[/pro-player]

Scouting Reports

Sideline Scouting (an emerging scouting web site check it out)

Positives: Good speed… Has good strength for his size, but could stand to add a little weight to frame… Excellent special teams performer, has blocked six kicks in college career… Does good job breaking down feet and getting in position to wrap up when tackling… Plays with pretty good motor, does not take plays off often and always tries to get to the play… Has a lot of experience dropping into zone coverage, does not make a lot of big plays in coverage, but is always quick to get to the ball in the air…Does not get out of position often, will take the extra second to identify play and make sure he is in the right place… Has experience rushing off the edge, good athleticism to get to the quarterback when not blocked well… Very sound mentally and is an overall fundamental player who rarely makes a big mistake… Hard worker with a lot of potential, always working to improve his game.

Negatives: Timid when diagnosing plays, more concerned with maintaining duties than relying on instincts… Not a heavy hitter, tends to wrap up at the ankles rather than forming up and driving through ball carrier… Must develop more as a pass rusher, gets caught up in blocks at line of scrimmage and can be neutralized easily by stronger offensive linemen… Has had minor injury concerns, several small injuries limited him early in career… Had reconstructive surgery to repair a torn ACL in mid-December, will likely not be available for the combine or North Carolina’s pro day.
 

CBS Draft Scout

Read & React: Generally does a nice job in reading his keys. Aggressively attacks the line of scrimmage and underneath routes, often breaking on underneath passes before the quarterback has even released the ball. Is so aggressive that he can be susceptible to good play-action. Only average ability to locate the football, but pursues hard and has fine closing skills due to his explosiveness.

Run defense: Aggressive in meeting, greeting and discarding blocks against the run. Has the lateral agility and vision to elude blockers and makes plays at the line of scrimmage. Also shows some explosiveness in his upper body with his ability to stack and shed blocks. Rare straight-line speed and good agility to avoid tripping up through the trash. Chases hard laterally and downfield in pursuit.

Pass defense: Provides a good initial pop to the tight end and has the agility and speed to trail closely when in man coverage. Gains good depth on his drop. Changes directions fluidly and has rare straight-line speed. Reacts aggressively to the movement of the quarterback, showing good route recognition and a burst to close on the ball. Can be beaten with good play-action due to his over-aggression.

Tackling: Possesses legitimate explosiveness as a hitter. Generates great momentum in only a few steps and can deliver highlight reel collisions. Generally a reliable open-field tackler, but sometimes drops his shoulder for the big hit and fails to wrap up securely, resulting in some missed tackles. Also has a tendency to arrive on the scene so fast that he’s a bit out of control, overrunning the play slightly. Generally athletic and strong enough to make the lunging tackle anyway.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Generates good speed off the edge as a stand-up blitzer. Typically relies on his speed to run around the offensive lineman, showing good flexibility and agility in doing so. Gives blockers an explosive pop to disengage from blocks, but has yet to develop a variety of pass rush moves or the hand technique to fight through once they’ve latched on to him.

Intangibles: Underwent ACL reconstruction surgery on his left knee on Dec. 14, 2010 and may not be available to work out for scouts before the draft. Prior to the injury he was recognized as a workout warrior. Reportedly has been timed at 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, and owning a 40.5-inch vertical jump and a 440-pound max bench press, 605-pound squat and a power-clean of 374 pounds. Special teams demon for North Carolina in 2008. Led the country with five blocked kicks, including four punts. Blocked eight kicks for his career.

Fantasysfootballtoolbox.com (rest is here)

There was nothing Carter did not do as a sophomore. He started all 13 games at outside linebacker and totaled 68 tackles, 11.0 tackles-for-loss, 5.0 sacks and one interception. Although Carter spent his junior season being overshadowed by fellow linebacker Quan Sturdivant, he still ranked third on the team in tackles with 65 and added 7.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.0 sacks and one interception. Carter has been a leader throughout the 2010 campaign while a large portion of the defense has missed some time or been kicked off the team.

Carter always seems to be around the ball and is capable of making the big play. His strength and speed are helpful, but he simply has great football instincts. (Bartolis Note: Here’s a report that actually praises Bruce Carter’s football instincts) That is why many considered him one of the top 10 or 15 outside linebackers heading into the 2009 campaign. Having opted to stay in school (and out of trouble), Carter’s stock has moved way up and he is considered by many as the top outside linebacker in this class.

Mockingthedraft.com (rest of report is here)

Coverage/Zone Defense Skills: For as freaskishly athletic as Carter is, you’d expect him to be a much better pass defender. However, his zone coverage is lacking and he’s late to react when the ball is in the air. He has the agility and foot speed to cover tight ends, but needs to get a better understanding of routes. Is a real terror against screen passes. Against them, Carter can show off his combination of athleticism and speed.

Instincts/Recognition: Returning for his senior year, Carter should only show more improvement in this area. He has been questionable at times in the past on reading plays pre-snap and making adjustments. Has to use his speed and quickness to make up for being a step late at times breaking on the ball. If Carter doesn’t improve in this area as a senior, it may lead some teams to question his work ethic in the film room.

Pass Rush: Carter is somewhat miscast at North Carolina in that he’s too frequently asked to drop back in coverage. If he played in a defensive scheme that called for more pressure from the linebackers, the opinion of Carter might be higher here. But as it is, he’s somewhat green in the pass rush.

Strength/Ability to Shed Blocks: Strictly on a play-to-play basis, this is where Carter needs to show the most improvement. Carter has plenty of raw strength – his bench press is 440 pounds and he has a 374-pound power clean. But that strength doesn’t always translate when shedding blocks. Has said he’s up to 240 pounds but plays at 230. If he Carter is put on a 3-4 team, he may have to play at about 250.

Versatility: For now, Carter should be first considered a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. His pass rush skills haven’t matured quite as much as maybe they should have. But with proper coaching, Carter has the athletic talents to move into a 3-4 OLB role if he can add some strength to shed blocks better.

Final Word: At the moment, Carter is as much of an athlete as he is a football player. His athletic skill is unquestioned. He’s fast, agile and strong. But he hasn’t put it all together on the field yet. In 2009, he had 7.5 tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and two sacks – hardly impressive stats.

85 percent sports (Rest is here)

SUMMARY: Carter is an athletic freak and he makes big plays because of it. If he can play with greater control and still have the same amount of sideline to sideline defending and tremendous speed, then he’s going to make even more plays. Tremendous weapon on special teams. He’s got top 15 potential, but I’m seeing too many holes in his game right now. His lacking of instincts, size, and pass defense are things he’ll have to show improvement on as his senior year continues. Unfortunately, Carter tore his ACL against NC State on November 20th. The injury is going to put a huge question mark on his athletic ability now.

Possible Landing Spots

Bruce Carter is most likely a 4-3 linebacker in the N.F.L. which is good news if the Giants want him on the team because there aren’t a ton of teams that play 4-3 in the N.F.L. that draft ahead of the Giants in the first two rounds (I’ll assume that Giants consider him in the second round and can’t get him any later then that). I also think his injury will push him out of the first round (although it’s not impossible that it won’t Mcgahee was drafted in the 1st round after an awful injury)

But anyway, in the second round there are a lot of teams that will consider him because his Potential is ENORMOUS.

Buffalo has one of the worst front sevens in all of football and Nix signed Merriman to a sizeable deal despite not being healthy at all this year. They played a 3-4 and a 4-3 this year so maybe Carter goes there, but at the very top of the 2nd round they might not take that chance.

The Bengals struggled last year on defense too, but they have spent high picks on LB a lot recently (Keith Rivers, Maluaga are just two) and will probably pass on him because they have a lot more important needs.

The Titans in the round 2 I think are the first realistic spot he might fall because they need to improve their defense and are still looking for Bullucks replacement

And then there are a lot of teams between the 11th and 20th pick in the 2nd round that could use OLB help. Houston, Minnesota (if Greenway leaves for sure), Detroit, St. Louis, Jacksonville.

Detroit has ZERO at linebacker and its very likely they grab a LB in the first three rounds.

Big Board Rankings

Draftek 105

Fantasyfootballtoolbox: 105 (and moving down)

NFLDraftbible.com 42nd

Walterfootballl.com 21st (before the season, just to give you guys a look at where he was)

Mockingthedraft.com 50th

Where the Mocks Have Him Falling

Drafttek.com 3rd round #78 St. Louis Rams

Walterfootball.com #2nd round #51 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bartolis Final Thoughts

Bruce Carter is the kind of elite athlete the NY Giants need in the back seven on defense (whether that be at linebacker or cornerback), the question is whether or not he is a good football player. Which is a legitimate question to be asked because with all of his talent you would think his production would be much higher, and it wasn’t.

There is also a question about whether or not his best spot in the N.F.L. would be at strong side or  Weak side linebacker. Carter’s strengths are in pursuit and also in laying out punishing hits. He is also green at the linebacker spot not playing there until college so he has plenty of room for improvement.

The last time the NY Giants dipped into the well and drafted a linebacker in the first round from North Carolina good things happened (heck the last time they drafted a player from NC in the first round…Nicks, oh by the way the linebacker from North Carolina is of course L.T), but carter’s injury makes it unlikely that he’ll get drafted in the first round and his enormous potential makes it risky that he’ll be around when the Giants pick in the second round.

What is good about Bruce Carter if he were able to play on the NY Giants is that because of their excellent front four he would have a lot of space to work with to get to the ball carrier and fast, which he can do. And with Jonathan Goff and Carter playing together it could improve the run defense and allow Boley to do what he does best. And improving the run defense is an important thing. I saw a stat the other day (Bigblueinteractive.com I believe) that the Giants were 9-0 this season when the opponet was held under a 100 yards rushing and 1-6 when they went over 100 yards rushing.

Ultimately, what I hope the Giants consider (and this is not just for Carter) is TRADING DOWN into the late first round and early second round  to one of the Quarterback needy teams (or a team looking for an OL, at which point there might not be more than one off of the board…Pittsburgh anyone) and picking up more picks (maybe the other team’s second this year and their first next year) and that way they can put themselves into a position to get an elite linebacker while getting good value because there are only a handful of prospects I personally like at this moment picking 19th this season. And I don’t think any of them will be there (but I’ll let you know who those prospects are as we move closer to the draft).

I am in favor of Bruce Carter, even in the late first (if they move down) and definitely in the second round because he would provide good value there and he also could really help out on Special Teams which is in need of serious upgrades this off-season.

Who Do you Guys Want for the Next Profile?

 

And don’t forget to leave suggestions for the name of this Series.

[poll id=”32″]


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13 Responses to “Reese’s Pieces (Formerly prospect Profiles): OLB Bruce Carter, North Carolina”

  1. Jason M says:

    how about “jerry’s kids”? ha

  2. jeremy P. says:

    How about the “Draft Carousel”.

  3. Steve B. says:

    I like Bruce Carter, but it seems like he is a guy who doesnt have great football instincts – maybe due to not playing the position 4 long – but he relies on his athleticism to make up for his lack of instincts. That may not fly in the NFL, when you consider he just tore his ACL, and his athleticism is in question at this time.

    However, you can teach football, you cannot teach speed. So, in that sense I do like Carter (and the idea of Drafting a NC LB), I would however like the Giants to get a starting LB in Free Agency (The Prize being Chad Greenway) and draft Bruce Carter in the second round, because the Giants really do need depth at the position, because do you feel comfortable with our current back ups? Wilkinson, Sinitm, and Blackburn? I Dont.

    And also being the back up would be great for him, he could take it easy on his recovery, and learn from others, like siting a rookie QB his first year.

    And lets not forget what this guy has going for him, he is a special teams demon, something the Giants also need to address.

    The Best Case scenario would be for the Giants to get a FA LB, draft a guy like Bruce Carter, and have him be limited to sub-package defense, and Special Teams his first year.

    I really like the idea of Giants trading down in the first round and getting a late first, and second round picks.

    So, in summary, Like Bruce Carter in late first/early second, love his Special Teams contribution, I question whether he will be able to start his first year, but think he would excel in limited packages (Good fit for Fewell’s Defense too), but I am hoping for A Chad Greenway in Free Agency, so we dont have to reach in the draft.

    I Think some of the Giants areas of concern our:
    CB (Really need 3 good CB’s these days, not pleased with Ross)
    pass catching RB/3rd down back/KR
    LB
    OL
    S – Grant is a question mark, as is Chad Jones availability.

    Other Players I like: Ras-I Dowling CB, Greg Jones LB, DeMarco Murray RB, Akeem Ayers LB(dont know much bout him), Brandon Harris CB, Jimmy Smith CB, Noel Divine CB, Deunta Williams S, + OL

    • All the players you mentioned I had plan on doing and am already working on all of them except for Ras-I Dowlin and Devine.

      But I can also do Deunta Williams

      Ayers is one I think we’ll hear leading up to the draft the Giants have a high interest in, but a good 40 is going to push him too high in the first round, but he might not run fast because he’s not a blazer.

  4. A linebacker that runs a 4.39… thats incredible. Speed is king in the league. I’d take a chance on that knee for that kind of speed.

  5. Adam Y says:

    i think if he falls to the giants in the second round to grab him.

    REMEMBER people, the giants are always getting hurt, do we really wanna draft a guy that just f*cked up his ACL?

  6. Tuck n Rolle says:

    I liked how in last years prospects profile you compared the player to a current NFL player, which really helped us get an idea of the kind of player they were. Will you be doing that again this year?

    • Yes, I think I can do that Tuck n Roll.

      To me, a good comparision would be Juilan Peterson, except he’s faster, stronger, but may not have the same instincts.

      But they are about the same size and Carter, if coached up to it, can be a force as a pass rusher as well as have the range to play sideline to sideline.

      Peterson was very good in his heyday

      People might think Boley, but he’s probably 20 pounds bigger and stronger, but not as natural in pass coverage, athletically he could be similiary to Boley.

      So that’s where I’d put Carter

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