Even the less unrefined aspects of Carter’s game should excite NFL scouts.
When he played for the Falcons, Tony Gonzalez could no longer stretch the seam or wreak havoc in the open field like he did with the Chiefs for most of his career. Even so, defenders couldn’t cover the old tight end in the shallow zone.
It’s because Gonzalez still possessed two skills that the “next Tony Gonzalezes” (that never came to fruition) lacked. Two skills that many don’t value in comparison to size, vertical leap, wide catch radii, Reed-like speed, and Gronkowski-like power.
These skills are bend and suddenness.
Until the day he retired, Gonzalez could drop his hips and bend his knees into a sudden stop within the span of one step and he could whip around in his breaks. These two things earned Gonzalez all the separation he needed over the middle.
Cethan Carter is young, fast, strong, and has all the flashy things that other folks value. He’ll likely impress this weekend in the running events and I wouldn’t be surprised if he out-lifts bigger tight ends, too.
But it’s how Carter integrates his burst and flexibility into routes that excites me as a talent evaluator. This week’s Boiler Room examines Carter’s burgeoning route prowess, including his bend, suddenness, release acumen, and reading one level ahead of the defense.
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