The mock drafts are flowing like the mighty Mississippi with the draft only a day away, and even mocks of Round Two are becoming more common. That’s good news for Patriots fans, as the Pats have two picks in the second round. Not only do they have two picks, but they have the first pick of the second round, 33rd overall. Most are thinking that the Pats will be losing that pick via trade, but if they make the pick, NFL analyst Michael Lombardi made an interesting selection: North Carolina LB Bruce Carter. Bruce Carter is not a name I have seen linked to the Patriots very much, and the fact that #33 is basically a late first-rounder, it’s an interesting pick. So who is Bruce Carter?
Bruce Carter was considered one of the top prospects at linebacker until he tore his ACL in November. In his senior season, Carter had 57 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He’s also a stand-out special teams player, which is a buzz phrase when trying to link prospects to the Patriots. In his sophomore season, he led the nation with five blocked kicks, four of which were punts. Sound like a Patriot-type player? He has reportedly met with the Patriots in some capacity, so there may be something there. Here is the overview on Bruce Carter from NFL.com:
Carter is an excellent athlete, but he tore his ACL in November and has a long road to recovery. He is an explosive athlete that takes proper angles in run support and has excellent speed to make plays from sideline-to-sideline. He is a very fluid, transitions with ease and is very effective dropping into coverage. He struggles to disengage from bigger blockers in and must add more bulk to become stouter against the run. If Carter recovers fully from his injury, he has the athleticism to develop into a very productive weak side linebacker and may still be an early Day 2 pick.
Here is a video clip on his special teams play, and he discusses proper technique for blocking kicks:
Lombardi called Carter a “top 10 talent” had he not been injured when discussing his selection. He also noted that Carter could essentially could “red shirt” his first year in New England if he’s not recovered from his ACL tear. His surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, said, “Bruce is more than meeting out of his expectations for recovery,” and Carter has said that he will be ready in time for training camp. For another take on where Carter will go, NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan has the Green Bay Packers selecting Carter with the last pick of Round Two.
Will the Patriots call his name Day Two of the draft?