#162-5 Chris Carter OLB/DE Fresno State Senior
(27.6 pts) 6011 ~ 248# 4.58 27 ~ 36” ~ 9’-6” 33” ~ 9¼” DOB: 4-6-89
Initial Grade (Value): A Initial Grade (Potential/Fit/Need): C+
Draft Day Analysis & Grade:
Chris Carter was a surprise value selection in round five that I am extremely happy the Steelers pulled the trigger on. I had him ranked a solid 3rd round prospect and think he is equivalent to 4th round value draftees like Eric Norwood, Thaddeus Gibson and O’Brian Schoolfield from last season.
Carter is the perfect “Steelers” find and again proves we know how to scout and evaluate the linebacker position for our system (not counting Bruce Davis). It is the bread and butter of the Colbert and Company evaluation process.
Carter looks to have exceptional burst and a solid 72 on Kirwin’s Explosion Index. He obviously will need adjustment to zone coverages and working in space, but if we can keep the roster spot Gibson had a while for Carter, I would expect an opportunity to contribute on special teams and graduate into a potential backup.
Another great positive about Carter is his intelligence. He comes from a stable home, has a brother who plays for UCLA and studied philosophy and pre-law. He was also tutored by Willie McGinnest during the pre-draft workout phase to help him transition to OLB and those drills.
I can’t really think of a negative about this selection except when considering the context of how we handled Thaddeus Gibson last season. Obviously, if we had kept Gibson instead keeping the injured Aaron Smith on the 53-man roster, this selection in unneeded. So in some respects we used a 4th round selection on an OLB, only to lose him to an error in judgment, then used a 5th round selection this season to replace that same OLB on the roster.
Not really the ideal way to build a roster or use resources.
But I still have pretty high hopes for Carter making the team and maybe providing some solid depth at the OLB for years to come.
Other Options: Demarcus Love, OT (Arkansas)
Quan Sturdivant, ILB (UNC)
Byron Stingily, OT (Louisville)