Prospect evaluation of North Carolina RB Michael Carter for the 2021 NFL Draft, which includes his strengths, weaknesses, and projection.
Name: Michael Carter
College: North Carolina
Weight: 199 lbs
= Key Terms =
Grading Scale: Poor, Marginal, Adequate, Solid, Good, Great, Elite
Role: Developmental Player, Backup, Complementary Player, Starter, Franchise Player
= Strengths =
Good vision behind LOS; patient & waits for lead blockers to set up before making cut.
Disciplined when running between tackles; doesn’t bounce runs too early; will take interior lanes.
Efficient footwork behind LOS and doesn’t get caught overstepping when working gap-to-gap.
Good vision in the open field and is best used in space.
Runs with a narrow, upright base rather than a lower base, although will drop his hips on occasion.
Great elusiveness; uses shifty speed cuts to elude defenders.
Smooth mover overall and can string together multiple moves seamlessly.
Good explosiveness and top-end speed. Isn’t the fastest but still a threat to run by defenders.
Good contact balance; can wiggle through contact to his mid and low regions.
Good receiver; used in a variety of alignments and deployments; can separate vs LBs.
Solid hands and tough receiver in the middle of the field; can maintain catch through contact.
Solid in pass protection; attacks blitzers at POA and not afraid to be physical.
Good ball security; 4 career fumbles in 625 total touches; 1 fumble in 2020.
Has kick and punt return ability.
= Weaknesses =
Needs a bit too many steps to gather himself when throttling down because of narrow & upright base.
Has reps where he can be a bit slow coming out of breaks.
Adequate power as a runner; will get pushed back when taking defenders head-on.
Doesn’t look comfortable catching away from body all the time; doesn’t catch with hands consistently.
= Other =
Short & compact build.
Pro Comparison: Austin Ekeler / Duke Johnson
= Projection (Role & Fit) =
Michael Carter projects as a Good complementary player / 1B option in a RB tandem with possible Solid starter upside. As a runner, he can run both zone and gap schemes, but he may be better suited in zone. He brings versatility to the position and has shown ability as a receiver along with the willingness as a blocker to be used on all downs. His ideal role would be as a change-of-pace RB who is schemed to get into space via outside runs, screens, gadget plays, etc. He has the explosiveness and wiggle in the open field to be considered a dangerous threat wherever he lines up. There are areas of his game that need work but in today’s NFL where offenses are spread out and wide open, Carter should be able to find some type of role with any team.