Rookie Draft Profile: Explosive Playmaker EDGE/OLB Andre Carter II
Punishing opposing offenses, causing turnovers, and training for the Army, Andre Carter II is an impact player. But he has some ups and downs his senior year. Does he still belong in the first round?
After a record-setting 2021 and a lot of hype going into the ’22 season, Andre Carter II was projected as a top-ten pick. But then he got hurt. He disappointed his senior year. Even worse, he failed to impress at the Senior Bowl. Can he still make a team on Day One of the Draft? Can he be the first Cadet picked in round one since the days when the Army-Navy game playing on black and white cathode ray TVs was the biggest sports event of the year?
It’s the second IDP rookie scouting report of the Mitch’s Picks Offseason Training program! Today we are talking about Andre Carter II, the edge rusher for Army who made 14.5 sacks in 2021—more than Aidan Hutchinson (and second-most in the nation)!
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He’s a big-time playmaker who recorded 19.5 sacks, 87 pressures, two interceptions, two pass defenses, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one blocked kick at Army. He will be the first cadet drafted since 2008, and he could be the first cadet drafted in the first round since 1947.
Carter ranked second in sacks in the entire country his junior year, ahead of Hutchinson and behind fellow 2023 prospect Will Anderson Jr. (17.5). Yes, he played easier competition, but that also meant opposing offenses could focus on trying to stop him. And he did make sacks in games against Wisconsin and Missouri. In three games against Power Five schools in 2021, he had seven solo tackles, four for loss, 2.0 sacks, and a forced fumble.
You might say Carter lurked around the edge of the line of scrimmage, leaving the image of a wraith in QB’s minds. He made every kind of play, appearing behind the passer at any moment, knocking the ball loose on sacks, ending up in front of the back the QB is targeting in the flat, and tipping the pass to his teammate for an interception.
In his senior year, his production was down for multiple reasons. He missed three games, so his number of pass rushes declined by 120. If he had the same number of snaps, he would have had 8.9 sacks and 28.8 hurries—still not as good as his junior year, but top-ten numbers. Furthermore, he was double-teamed a lot during his senior year. And there’s just variation. He probably had some luck his junior year, then had some bad luck his senior year (not what Joe Biden’s high school football coach would hope for). His tackle success rate did improve greatly during his senior year, however.
With his size ( 6' 7” and 34-inch arms), he can extend and bat passes and, yes, even block kicks. His talent is raw, so an NFL team will have to develop him. But if he gets developed, just imagine how he could fill an IDP scoring line with all kinds of impact plays.
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