2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Bruce Carter
Bruce Carter was a three star recruit out of Havelock High School in North Carolina. He is known for his athleticism, and has been deemed a “workout warrior”, by some inside the organization.
Carter didn’t even play much linebacker in high school. He was a safety as a senior coming in at 6’3 205 pounds, but North Carolina wanted him to make the transition to linebacker because of how athletic he was, and his excellent tackling ability.
Carter is a lively character who was one of the few North Carolina defensive players NOT to be suspended for all or part of the 2010 college football season.
Player Name: Bruce Carter
Position: Outside Linebacker
School: North Carolina
Arm: 32 5/8
Carter is very instinctive, which plays into his strengths very well. He doesn’t bite on play action fakes easily, and he uses his strong football IQ to his advantage. On top of that, he’s a workout warrior. He has an impressive bench press of up to 440 pounds, and he’s very quick on his feet. He is a sideline to sideline tackler who wraps up and can bring you down with force, sometimes causing a fumble. He’s solid in coverage, not often getting caught out of position. He’s a very disciplined player who is a natural leader, and has exceptional intangibles.
Carter could use a bit of work in play recognition skills. He improved over the course of 2010, and he has the IQ to properly diagnose plays, but his reaction time needs to improve a bit. Carter never had many chances to show off his pass rushing ability, and when he did, it was mediocre at best. He needs to work on locating the ball when it’s in the air in coverage. Carter will get out of position at times as he realizes how fast he is, and sometimes is a bit overconfident in his abilities. He’ll have to learn to stick to his zone in coverage and not give up so much ground at times.
Carter entered the season as a surefire first round pick. But his ACL tear against North Carolina State is going to hurt his draft stock, as he won’t be able to participate in the NFL Combine and showcase his pure athletic ability to all 32 scouts. His lack of a pass rush regulates him to a 4-3 outside linebacker position, most likely on the weak side. He’s still a very talented player that could come off the board in the first round if teams aren’t too worried about his injury. I see Carter being pursued by Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Tennessee, and Minnesota in the early part of the second round. I think pick 65 with Carolina is the absolute furthest he will fall if he does because of injury.
NFL Comparison: Lance Briggs