Chris played defensive end for his college team and all I can tell you is that Chris doesn't have the athletic talent, strength, mature pass rush moves and size to play defensive end at the next level. He is aggressive, has a good burst off the line, never stops playing till the whistle blows, works well with his teammates and, if you make a mistake against him, he will make you pay. However, he is not a defensive end for the next level. Chris shows good football instincts, is smart and exhibits leadership qualities through his play on the field. He is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler and, for that style of player, I will always find a way to draft and get him on the field. In my opinion, Chris has the skills to be an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense or an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
It will take some time to switch Chris over, but he has good instincts and as soon as he learns the drops in the passing game and how not to fall for play action, the kid should be outstanding. If he plays OLB in a 3-4, Chris will always get engulfed on sweeps to his side and doesn't have the size to be an effective pass rusher off the edge. He needs to be in a position that attacks the line of scrimmage.
Many people think that a collegiate small defensive end's natural position for the NFL would be as a OLB in a 3-4 defense. That's not always the case. What I think is overlooked as an option is to take that undersized player who played defensive end in college and put him at inside linebacker in the NFL. This allows these types of players to rush from the middle, roaming freely north and south to protect the middle of the field with speed in the passing game. In my opinion, this is a better use of these types of players' skills and ability to impact. To make it work successfully, the player has to be a good tackler, has to be able to engage and still make a play. The good undersized pass rushers at the college level will have that ability. Add to that football instincts and you may have yourself an excellent OLB in a 4-3 or ILB in a 3-4. When I saw Chris Carter in the Senior Bowl playing linebacker, I knew right away that he had the athletic talent and instincts to be an excellent OLB in a 4-3. With his tackling ability, toughness and ability to sift through blocks and burst to the play, I knew he can be an excellent ILB in a 3-4 defense. I also know that when they asked him to play defensive end and put his hand down, he was average at best. I think someone better draft this kid fast if they want a potential Pro Bowl linebacker. This kid's got it.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/11