In this series, we’ll dive into some stats and check out five clips hand-selected by yours truly to see what some of these guys got. Now, before I get the “he’s not going to be there when the Raiders pick” or “the Raiders don’t need a [position]” comments, let me remind you that it’s June and the draft is still about 10 months away.
At this point last year, Spencer Rattler was the consensus No. 1 overall pick and no one thought Las Vegas would be such strong contenders in the wide receiver market during the offseason. So, a lot can happen between now and draft day, and let’s just enjoy some football during the NFL’s dead period!
Nonetheless, our first subject of the summer will be one of the top defensive tackles in this year’s class, Jalen Carter from Georgia.
It was tough to stand out on the Bulldog’s defensive line last year with three first-round picks, including the first overall selection in Travon Walker, but Carter managed to make a name for himself with 37 total tackles, 8.5 for loss and three sacks. He also posted the second-highest PFF pass-rush grade (90.0) among FBS defensive tackles and had 34 pressures that ranked tied for 14th.
A mid-teens ranking for the latter may not seem all that impressive, but he had the fewest pass rush attempts out of anyone in the top 15 and finished in a tie for sixth with an 18.9 percent pass rush win rate. In other words, the guy can get after the quarterback and that’s where he stands out the most on tape.
While playing outside shade in a three-technique, watch how Carter works to get to square with his first few steps. That allows him to get a two-way go and keep the offensive lineman guessing as to what pass rush move he’s going to work.
Then, he does a decent job of hand fighting to prevent the lineman from latching on, and he works to get on an edge to take on half a man and get the blocker on his hip. Carter finishes with a strong rip so that the guard has to hang on for dear life and puts pressure on the quarterback to get the ball out.
We’ll see some more impressive clips later on that show up on the stat sheet, but this is a quality pass rush from the Georgia product.
Honestly, this rep isn’t very technically sound but it does show off some impressive traits that the Bulldog has.
Georgia brings pressure with the middle linebacker but still rushes only four by having the left outside linebacker drop in coverage, so Carter has to work for width initially to play contain on the quarterback. He uses a solid chop to work the guard’s hands, but with the outside backer dropping in coverage, the tackle is free to help on Carter, and he gets double-teamed.
However, once the guard passes him off, the pass rusher can over-power the tackle with great pad level and strength. One aspect of Carter’s pass rush prowess that I like is his ability to work to get on an edge when bull rushing to disengage from the blocker and that’s how he ends up getting the sack here.
Side note, poor DJ Uiagalelei. Not only does he get sacked but he also has a 360-pound Jordan Davis belly flop on top of him, that couldn’t have felt good.
There’s just so much to like about this rep.
Kentucky runs play action and Georgia has a stunt called that would put Carter out of position as his momentum would be working in the direction the offensive line wants to block him. However, he recognizes the blocking scheme, sticks his outside foot in the ground to redirect and then uses an arm-over move to force the guard to fall on his face.
After all that, he gets underneath the center and has the strength to push the center back and disengage once he realizes it’s a pass. To cap things off, he puts the cherry on the top with the strip-sack finish.
We get a great example of Carter’s intelligence, strength and athleticism combination all in one clip.
Here we’re going to see an example of how Carter uses the same traits from the clips above to make plays against the run.
Georgia slants the defensive line to the weak side, and the defensive tackle is able to use his quickness to throw off the guard’s angle. He then uses hands and the same arm-over move seen above to clear the blocker and get about as clean of a win as possible. Finally, he comes to balance, finds the ball carrier and makes a TFL to put Kentucky behind the sticks.
You’re not going to find a whole lot of 310-pound dudes who are quick and nimble like this.
This isn’t a highlight play by any means but I wanted to include it to show how great Carter’s pad level and strength are.
He’s on the backside of an inside zone run and takes on the guard with great knee bend to get an immediate leverage advantage. His hands are also inside, which is actually something I think he needs to be more consistent with, and he has the strength to reset the line of scrimmage to play in the offense’s backfield.
The right tackle is supposed to combo block and essentially work a double team, but there’s nothing he can do with Carter beating the guard this badly, so the running back has no cutback option on this play.
Again, not a rep that will show up on the stat sheet but one that defensive coordinators and linebackers will appreciate as he occupies two blockers and cuts the field in half.