Micheal Carter, RB, UNC Scouting Report
Senior running back Micheal Carter broke out in 2020. He and Javonte Williams made up the best running back duo in the FBS last season. The Florida native racked up 1,245 yards and 9 touchdowns, but how are his traits? Where does his draft stock lie?
The athletic traits are undeniable. From breakaway speed to mind boggling agility, you name it and Carter's got it. Lethal cuts and change of direction skills make him a dangerous player on the edge when he gets space to work with. Behind the Line of Scrimmage, you see his quickness shine too, fast into and through the gaps in the offensive line and can really burst through the hole with the help of an elite foot plant. Overall, he is not the strongest player but it isn't an easy task to bring him down in the open field. Carter possesses good balance and lower body strength which help in regularly shed ankle/lower body tackles. On 3rd down, he is definitely good enough to be kept on the field. He has good hands, is a solid route runner, and is a massive threat with the ball in his hands. He consistently demonstrates good effort when blocking too, but has some room to grow there.
Carter is an elite athlete and that is just a fact, but there are some major weaknesses within his game. The most glaring weakness is that he often tries to force the run outside the tackles. It is no surprise Carter likes to get outside into space but this is a major issue that will be amplified in the NFL. Has a knee jerk reaction to start running outside but when the edge is set and is closed up, he gets slowed down and set back a lot which often leads to TFLs and very short gains. He gets very hesitant and is extremely reluctant to run it down the throat of the defense and power through the defensive line and it is obvious. Another bigger issue is that he lacks power, especially at the point of contact. Carter has great speed and converting that speed into power would go a long way to making him a 3 down back. I'd really like to see him lower his center of gravity when running and drop his shoulder at the contact point. In doing so, Carter would create a lot of force when initiating contact which would result in more broken tackles and extra yards after contact. Also, a lot of his production and yardage came because of great blocking and easily being able to get to the second level. I'm skeptical of how his productivity will translate to the NFL due to this fact.
This guy has loads of potential and could very well develop into a very good, 3 down back in the NFL. All the tools are there for him to succeed, but he hasn't quite put them together yet. Carter is raw and not as refined as you would want an early round back or feature back to be. But no doubt he will have an opportunity to contribute in year 1 and to grow and develop his traits as well as become a more complete back.
Round: Mid-Late 3rd
Archetype: Speed Back
Immediate Role: Rotational Back/3rd Down Back
Ceiling Role: Tier 2/3 Feature Back