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2021 NFL Draft prospect: North Carolina RB Michael Carter

Duke vs North Carolina
Duke vs North Carolina
Walter Sharp
ANALYST
Modified 02 Apr 2021
Feature

Michael Carter is the second running back from the University of North Carolina to be ranked as one of the top running backs in this year's NFL Draft.

Some may say that Carter should be ranked above his teammate Javonte Williams.

On that note, let's take a look at how Michael Carter has become one of the best running back prospects in this year's NFL Draft.


2021 NFL Draft prospect: Michael Carter's NFL Draft Profile

Height: 5' 7 7/8".

Weight: 202 pounds.

Position: Running back.

College: North Carolina.


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2021 NFL Draft prospect: Michael Carter's strengths

North Carolina vs Duke
North Carolina vs Duke

Michael Carter showed at North Carolina that he could run the football with great patience and vision.

His patience reminds a lot of Le'Veon Bell. Carter's ability to approach the offensive line and bounce around waiting for the blocks to set up is remarkable.

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Once the blocks are obtained, he hits the hole with a good amount of speed and power. His ability to follow his blocks down the field has helped him break big runs while at North Carolina. Carter rarely ran into his offensive line even after defensive linemen plugged all the holes.

One of the best qualities Michael Carter has is his ability to run the football without fear. He can run through the tackles and have success doing so. His ability to catch the football out of the backfield is another strength of his game; he only dropped one pass during the 2020 season.


2021 NFL Draft prospect: Michael Carter's weaknesses

North Carolina vs Wake Forest
North Carolina vs Wake Forest

One knock on Michael Carter is that if a defender wraps him up above the waist. he doesn't have the upper body strength to shrug him off.

His size is also disconcerting when it comes to picking up blitzes from big defensive players at the next level. Like his teammate Javonte Williams, his speed isn't blazing, and he gets caught in the open field.

His route running will need improvement at the next level if he wants to take on a bigger role at running back. His frame will need to be worked on, and adding size would help him in pass blocking at the next level.

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At times, he showed a delayed reaction time at North Carolina, but that can be easily fixed in the NFL with repetitions.


2021 NFL Draft prospect: Michael Carter's career at North Carolina

North Carolina vs Georgia Tech
North Carolina vs Georgia Tech

Michael Carter spent all four years of his college career at the University of North Carolina.

He was productive in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Tar Heels. In his freshman year, he rushed for 559 yards and eight touchdowns on 97 carries.

During his sophomore season, Carter suffered a broken wrist which impacted his production. Michael Carter rushed for 597 yards and two touchdowns on 84 carries during his sophomore season at North Carolina.

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His production in the passing game during his freshman and sophomore years were not impressive, as he caught 36 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns.

His junior year was a good one for Michael Carter. He rushed for 1,003 yards and three touchdowns on 177 carries. Michael Carter also caught 21 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Michael Carter's senior season was his best year at North Carolina. Carter racked up 1,245 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 156 carries. He also posted a career-high in registering 267 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 25 receptions.

Considering the numbers Michael Carter put up at North Carolina, he could likely go in the second round of this year's NFL draft.


2021 NFL Draft prospect: Michael Carter's career rushing stats

Rushing attempts: 514.

Rushing yards: 3,404.

Average yards per carry: 6.6.

Rushing touchdowns: 22.


2021 NFL Draft prospect: Michael Carter's career receiving stats

Receptions: 82.

Receiving yards: 656.

Yards per reception: 8.

Receiving touchdowns: 6.

Published 02 Apr 2021, 10:05 IST
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