NFL Draft Scouting Report: Lorenzo Carter

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Lorenzo Carter is a senior at linebacker who started games for Georgia in all four seasons, playing the majority of his junior and senior seasons. He was a five-star recruit out of high school and Under Armour All-American. After sitting behind future NFL players Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins, Carter became a full-time player in 2016 and led the team in sacks. He elected to stay in school rather than take his chances a potential Day 3 pick. His gamble paid off. Carter was named second-team All-SEC and recorded 61 tackles.

Georgia utilized Carter as a standup edge-defender in a 3-4 scheme, primarily playing on the strong side. He was occasionally asked to play off the ball or in the slot. Carter has very good height with a lean build and long arms with  good athletic ability with excellent downhill acceleration, explosion, balance, and average lateral agility and quickness.

PLAYER INFO
#

7

Pro Position(s)

LB

Prospect (Last, First)

Carter, Lorenzo

DOB (Age)

12/10/1995

Scout Name (Last, First)

Trapp, Zack

MEASURABLES
Height Weight 40 YD 10 YD Arm Hand Vert 3Cone SS Broad Bench
6047 250 lbs. 4.46s 1.56s 34”  10 3/8 36” n/a n/a 1010” n/a http://gty.im/905491828

Positives

Carter is quick to key to pullers on inside and outside runs and doesn’t bite on misdirection on run plays. He’s patient to diagnose and then accelerate downhill to wreak havoc on zone read plays. He’s quick to diagnose blocking schemes. Carter is a very good point of attack player that utilizes his long arms well with excellent quickness and strength to shock and hold the point both in the B-gap and on the edge. He dominates tight ends at easily disengages to find the ball carrier quickly. He plays with good pad level.

Number seven has the range to defend the full field against outside runs with elite foot speed. He can flow and run down hesitant backs from the backside as well as hold the edge on the move with the ability to shed blocks to quickly blow up screens and outside sweeps.

In limited coverage opportunities, Carter displayed physical two-hand jams to stimy tight ends off the ball with the quickness and body control to mirror in short areas. He has enough route recognition to pass off color and get out and pattern match in the flat.

Carter gets off the ball like he was shot out of a cannon both as a rusher and blitzer. He can clear the hands of heavy-footed tackles on speed alone and flashes the ability to win with shed and swim moves, as well as utilizing subtle shoulder shakes to open the tackle’s hips and widen a lane. He reliably finds the quarterback on 2nd effort sacks late in the down and has a knack for stepping up in late-game situations.

Negatives

Carter primarily lined up as an edge rusher at Georgia and will have to adjust to life as an off-ball player in the NFL. On play action, he’s slow to diagnose run-pass, which could potentially open gaping windows as a 2nd level defender. Against chop blocks, he can be late from his hands to get tripped out of the play. Carter is an inconsistent tackler. In the open field, he often drops his eyes and will run high into contact. This can lead to some inexcusable ghaffs that he’ll need to clean up.

The linebacker wasn’t asked to drop into coverage frequently, providing limited context for his utility in a league that has seen the job description at the position demands a well-rounded skillset. Carter is slow to diagnose and gain depth in zone coverage, although this could be due to a lack of comfortability with this. In man, he throws his full body into targets at the line and struggles to transition cleanly from press.

As a rusher, Carter doesn’t consistently go in with a clear pass rush plan. He’s not a natural bender and provides little push when he converts to power. He lacks timing when he tries to clog the throwing lane.

Projection

The highly-touted Bulldog’s will likely come as an off-ball linebacker. He isn’t the most polished prospect, but I’m bullish on the upside his speed, hand strength, and understanding of leverage lend to. He could be a starting caliber player as a SAM linebacker early in his career where he could use his length to set the edge, be functional against tight ends in coverage, and provide some upside as a pass rusher. He’d be a great target in a trade-down scenario or if he slips to the mid-second round. 

Grade: 6.10(Potential Pro Bowler)

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