Michael Carter RB North Carolina
Michael Carter is one of the most unique running backs in this draft class. He’s short and stout, but he’s an elusive runner that has a killer jump cut. At North Carolina, Carter shared carries with running back Javonte Williams and the two formed the best running back duo in college football in 2020. Against the University of Miami (who was ranked tenth at the time), the two combined for over 540 yards and 5 touchdowns. Both players are very elusive and will find their roles in the NFL.
Carter is an agile runner that does a great job at cutting on a dime and finding cutback lanes. Despite being smaller, he puts a lot of effort into his blocking and is a solid receiver threat. His ability to change directions is sick and he is an impressive athlete especially for his size. Carter has really good lateral speed and will most likely be a third down back in the NFL. While Carter is only 5’8, his size helps him when running between the tackles. He is able to squeeze into small holes in the offensive line and he has good wiggle.
I don’t think Carter has the ability to be a starting running back for an entire season, but more so used as a scat back and on third downs. Carter will be an outside zone runner that develops as a receiver. Carter should be a third or fourth round draft pick and there will be a spot for him in an offense next season. I can see him being a backup player for an elite running back like Saquon Barkley or even Josh Jacobs. When it comes to weaknesses in his game, there aren’t many, but other than his jump cuts there isn’t anything that will just blow an NFL General Manager out of the water. When it comes to comparisons he is similar to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, where highlight plays will be made, but there will be a lack of consistency that prevents him from being a true superstar.
Contact Balance 7.75/10
Receiving Threat 6.75/8
Change of Direction 5/5
Pass Protection 4.25/5
Final Rating: 81
Pro Comparison: Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB Chiefs
Team Fits: Giants, Raiders, Jaguars
Draft Ranking: Fourth Round Pick
Draft Projection: Late Day 2 Pick