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With the departures of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the Patriots secondary has some big shoes to fill. Despite the additions of Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain, the secondary could use an influx of young talent in the draft. Even with young players like Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler, adding another CB to the mix will likely bring out the best of each guy back there. One of the CBs that could garner a mid round pick is Stanford's Alex Carter.

Alex Carter is a pretty complete CB, but doesn't excel in many physical measurements outside of his strength. He shows a high football IQ on and off field. Whereas some of the previous CBs I've analyzed shied away from contact, Carter uses it to his advantage. In a man coverage scheme Carter could very well develop into a #2 CB in time.



Measurables:
Height: 6'
Weight: 196 lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/8”
Hand Size: 9 1/8"

Combine Results:
4.51 40 Yard Dash
17 Reps of 225 on Bench
40" Vertical
121" Broad Jump
7.05 3 Cone Drill
4.07 20 Yard Shuttle
11.31 60 Yard Shuttle

College Stats:
Three years: 146 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions, 18 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles
*Player through a torn shoulder labrum in 2014

Professional Comparison:
Byron Maxwell - Coming out of college, analysts were predicting Maxwell would need to make the change to safety due to his lack of quickness and hip stiffness. He also was exceptionally strong and had adequate speed. Both struggled in man coverage when it came to turning and running with receivers who were faster than them. Also, both were great against the run with good tackling and no fear, as well as the ability to shed blocks. Their mental attributes were lauded when it came to seeing things happen in front of them.

Strengths: 
Probably one of the strongest CBs in the draft. Shows good ability to disengage blockers. Won't be tossed around by bigger WRs like some other CBs in this draft. Good tackler who can stop any RB in the NFL. Understands run contain at CB position. Adept at using hands to knock passes away in contested situations. Can plant foot and drive on comebacks and curls.

At 0:10-0:19 - Engages blocker, sheds block, and comes down to make play.
At 0:22-0:29 - Sits on top of route, plants foot, and comes down fast on WR.
At 1:19-1:27 - Near perfect punch to jam WR at LOS, even though it was a run play.



Weaknesses: 
Lacks elite speed/quickness. Needs his long strides to reach top speed. Too often lacks the giddy up to catch WRs who pass him. Isn't as physical with WRs as he should be at the line of scrimmage. In zone, he tends to look at QB and lose the receiver. Keeps his arms/hands low when running (could have been due to labrum tear). Should work on using strength to run receivers' routes for them. Finds himself separated from receivers too often. Drops his head trying to line up big hits instead of breaking down and form tackling.

At 1:02-1:12 - In zone coverage, gets caught looking at CB when he should've rerouted the WR.
At 2:46-2:55 - Another clean release given up, which leads to WR having the inside.



Projections:
3rd Round. With coaching he could become a good #2 CB in a defense that will allow him to exploit his strength to make up for his lack of speed. Could also be seen as an option at safety if he can add a bit more muscle to his frame. He is at his best when he doesn't have to fear being beat deep and can read and react to a play rather than rely on quick twitch actions. Press man with safety help or a softer cover 3 or cover 4 could be the best situations to use him in.

Will the Patriots draft him?
If he is available with their early pick in the 4th round I could see them grabbing him there. He intrigues me because he seems to be a bit of a tweener with his skills between a safety and a corner. Against bigger, slower WRs he could be a great press corner due to his ability to contest passes with jump balls and strong hands. Patriots picking him would depend a lot on what defensive scheme they plan on playing next year.

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For more of my articles, click here.

Adam Bogdan 4/16/2015 10:06:00 PM Edit
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