Hello once again Arizona Cardinals fans. Today we focus on No. 79 of the Cards as our topic for the late round gems:
In his rookie year, David Carter, one of the Cards 6th round draft picks has drawn positive words from both coach Whisenhunt and coach Horton. He is getting looks in the D unit as both NT and DE, and is listed on the depth chart as the second NT behind Dan Williams. And because Williams has had trouble with weight and conditioning, Carter will see a good amount of playing time.
A number of you are positive on his potential as well: Kristen87 says, "David Carter looks like he’s going to be a stud." (BTW, Kristen is new, make sure to say hi!) Seth Pollack says, "The other guy to watch for is David Carter. He looks far more mobile than Dan Williams and Whisenhunt speaks very highly of him."
Others aren't overly sold: tw3kr says, "Everybody seems to be getting on-board the David Carter bus, but I am hugely excited for Williams to be the starter at NT."
With that being said, let's take a look at what Cards fans should know about Carter.
He was projected as a late round prospect, rounds 5 - 7. ProFootballWeekly said, "6th Round Pick Carter a Project for 2011". He wasn't invited to the combine. He only started his senior season at UCLA. Whew, those are some bleak looking reports. So where's the positive?
Well, at his pro day, the 6'5", 297# senior ran a 4.98 40 and looked decent in his other drills. He played NT, DE, and DT for UCLA. And something that seems to be a theme for the Cardinals, he played well at the Shrine Bowl, able to force the double team and get to the ball. His senior year he compiled 41 TCKL, 5 TFL, and 3.5 SCKS.
But is he really a NT for a 3-4 D? Well, in my Cards front 7 D comparison, I pulled the NT stats and player info the NT position. Starting Pittsburgh Steelers NT Casey Hampton is listed at 6'1', 325# while Dan Williams is 6'3", 327#. The Steelers backup at NT, Chris Hoke is 6'2", 305#. The Cardinals have Carter listed at 300#. My fear is that at 6'5", he is and plays too tall for NT. That good O linemen will get under his pads and drive him back to the MLBs.
Rather he fits the DE mold. He has long arms and can work the OT from the edge. Backing up Calais Campbell would be huge for his learning growth, and as a strong rotation for coach Horton to work with. And having a backup DE who can play NT in a pinch really gives a D coordinator warm and fuzzies.
How about it folks, should the Cards look at Carter as a Campbell backup and find another "typical body" NT in next year's draft?