Lorenzo Carter Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Dangerous edge pass-rush potential
Speed to turn the corner
Uses hands well
Excellent pursuit skills
Natural in space
Makes big plays in the backfield
Has the athletic ability to potentially cover
Has dedication issues
Gets by on natural ability
Underwhelming run defender
Lacks pass-rushing moves
Summary: Carter went to Georgia as a top recruit and made his way onto the field as a freshman. He started out his career with 4.5 sacks and 41 tackles in his debut season. It was an impressive start, and Carter looked like he was poised to become a big-time player. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, that never really happened. Carter was quiet during his sophomore year with 19 tackles and zero sacks. In 2016, he recorded 44 tackles with five sacks and two forced fumbles. His best season came as a senior, when he notched 57 tackles with 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 7.5 tackles for a loss. Carter came up with some big plays for Georgia, but continued to not produce up to his excellent skill set. Carter is a boom-or-bust player with great potential, but a complete lack of consistency.
There is no doubt that Carter definitely passes the eyeball test. He has shocking speed to go along with excellent height, length, and a natural build. Carter can be a dynamic pursuit defender. He is fast off the edge to chase after quarterbacks and running backs. When Carter is decisive, he can be deadly with a burst to close while packing a punch when he gets there. Carter needs to develop more pass-rushing moves, but he is versatile to rush from the edge or up the middle on the blitzes. Carter has the athletic skill set to be a dynamic pass-rusher, but it needs to be brought out of him, which he hasn't done up to now.
Carter got a lot of opportunities, yet never developed into a consistent force. One team source also pointed out that the SEC has not had a lot of good offensive tackles in recent years. That further supports that Carter should have been a double-digit sacker given his skill set.
Carter has the size, strength, length, and speed to be a good run defender, but he never became that at Georgia. Over his four seasons of playing time, his tackle totals were: 41, 19, 44 and 57. Carter should have produced a lot more, and his effort or lack thereof is a big contributing factor.
Team sources told me that Carter has dedication issues and gets by on a lot of natural ability. In the NFL, Carter would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He will need some development at dropping into coverage, but he has the athleticism and ability to function in space.
There has been some media buzz about him going late in the first round, but most likely he will get selected on Day 2. Carter is aided by this being a weak draft for edge rushers, which should help him to go higher.
Player Comparison: Dion Jordan. Carter reminds me of Dion Jordan, although Jordan (6-6, 275) didn't weigh as much coming out of Oregon. Carter and Jordan both were fast and athletic, possessing length and a ton of natural talent for college. Jordan never lived up to his potential and was a massive bust for the Dolphins after being the third-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Carter won't go that high, but his inconsistent play could lead to him being a disappointment in the NFL.
NFL Matches: Tennessee, New England, New York Giants, San Francisco, Oakland, Miami, Green Bay, Seattle, Detroit and Carolina
There are a lot of teams that could target Carter in the 2018 NFL Draft. This is a weak edge-rushing class, and that is a premium position in the NFL, so Carter could have plenty of teams hoping to land him. With his ability to fit any scheme and be an edge rusher, Carter will be in demand.
The Titans need a young edge rusher. Their pass rush needs to be improved, and Carter could fit as an outside linebacker in Mike Vrabel's 3-4 defense. Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are aging and are nearing the end of their contracts. Carter would be a fit in Tennessee. New England also needs more young talent on the edge of its defense. Carter could make sense for one of the Patriots' second-round picks.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch has stated the team needs more edge-rushing talent. Carter could replace the short-term acquisition of Elvis Dumervil. Staying in the Bay area, the Raiders badly need more front seven talent. Carter could be an option for Oakland as an edge rusher to rotate with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. Last year, sources with the Raiders felt that Mack and Irvin were forced to play too many snaps. Oakland needs another rusher to rotate for optimum production.
The Dolphins could consider Carter in the first round, as they could use an end to go across from Charles Harris. Green Bay also could use more edge talent, and Carter would give the Packers some size and length at outside linebacker. Carter would make sense for Green Bay on the second day.
Seattle could be a possibility for Carter if it is able to get a second-day pick. Michael Bennett and/or Cliff Avril could be nearing the end of their time with the Seahawks. Carter could make sense for Seattle as a long-term replacement.
The Lions need an edge pass-rusher to go across from Ziggy Ansah. Carter could be a fit who gives Detroit more versatility. Carolina can't count on Julius Peppers playing much longer, and Carter would make sense as his understudy.