Matt Waldman’s RSP Film Room delivers an in-depth look at the game of 2021 NFL Draft prospect Michael Carter of North Carolina.
Michael Carter is one of the most refined running backs in this 2021 NFL Draft class. Well-versed in both gap and zone schemes, Carter is equally comfortable with finding rare cutbacks on Power as he is staying play side with zone plays in situations where less mature runners lean hard on their athletic ability with lackluster results.
Carter delivers release footwork at the top of stems against man-to-man coverage that would make a wide receiver coach smile and set up a zone defender for a second opportunity in a way that would elicit tears of joy. No serious football fan would ever confuse Carter with Steve Smith but when the ball is in the air, Carter won’t make his quarterback regret targeting him short, deep, in the middle of the field, and in tight windows.
This installment of the RSP Film Room examines several games from Carter’s 2020 season and profiles his decision-making, footwork, mobility, creativity, balance, routes, catching techniques, and pass protection. You’ll learn why Carter belongs near the top of this class.
Based on his physical profile, don’t count on Carter as a future top-five NFL producer at his position. Even top-10 status is wholly dependent on Carter fitting into a spread system that leans hard on his versatility.
Still, if a team finds itself in a predicament with injuries, Carter like Devonta Freeman or fellow Tar Heel alum Giovani Bernard could deliver as the lead back for an NFL offense when called upon. These are better comparisons for Carter than James White, an excellent receiving back and smart player, but not as dynamic of a runner as Carter.
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