Could be a major steal

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My gut is this guy

is going to be a major steal for the Jets.

Talking about University of North Carolina running back Michael Carter, who they picked in the fourth-round.

Before talking about his skill set, I want to get into his character.

Robert Saleh said in the spring – ““[We’re] bringing in men of tremendous character, men who want to play football, love football.”

Carter is right in that wheelhouse.

So often when you hear of a kid having parents in the military, it often leads to disciplined individuals who have their act together.

Carter is the son of two Air Force officers who instilled great values in him.

“[They] instilled things like respect and making good decisions – on and off the field – trying to make the best decisions possible at all times,” said Carter.

“I think he’s got a lot of the intangibles — he’s smart, loves playing football, he’s a good student and he works hard in the weight room,” said Carter’s high school coach (Navarre, FL) Jay Walls to the Northwest Florida Daily News.

So he’s a great kid.

As for his talent, it’s shocking the Jets got him in the fourth-round. Think of him as a Leon Washington-Bruce Harper-type, who can make plays in so many different ways – at running back, in the passing game and as a kick returner.

“This is my favorite player in the draft – just love this kid as a player and a person; he’s 5-7 7/8 so he’s a little on the shorter side, but he’s stout, extremely powerful in the lower frame,” Jets Director of Player Personnel Chad Alexander in an exclusive interview with the team’s website. “He’s explosive. He’s got great stop-start ability, vision, change of direction. I think he can be an every down type. He’s good on third down. I think he can fill that role as a third-down back. He gives effort in (pass) protection and can catch the ball out of the backfield.”

And Carter has proven to be a terrific rotational back. He had quite a tag-team partner at North Carolina in Javonte Williams, a 2021 second-round pick of the Denver Broncos. Some backs struggle coming off the field all the time, and prefer to get most of the carries to get into a groove. Carter was outstanding in North Carolina in a platoon situation, with the coming on and off the field not cramping his style.

“I think the one thing you immediately notice about Michael Carter is just how productive he was being in a true back rotation,” Jet scout Andy Davis said on the team’s website. “This guy had 1,000 yard seasons back-to-back and averaged almost 8 yards a carry in 2020. He’s a big play waiting to happen.”

Some might consider Carter’s height a negative, but it’s actually a positive, because he consistently gets under the pad level of taller defenders. When you combine his low center of gravity with with his powerful lower body, he is a tackle breaking machine who is rarely taken down by one guy.

I would shocked if this player doesn’t turn into a fourth-round steal.

July 9, 2021

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Photo courtesy of the New York Jets.


Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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