After four years at the running back position for the North Carolina Tar Heels, Michael Carter is ready to give the NFL a try, and it will be interesting to see where he lands in this year’s draft. He is likely to be a second day selection according to many in the mock draft community.
Carter played in 44 college football games and rushed for a total of 3,404 yards and 22 touchdowns on 6.6 yards per carry. In the receiving game, he caught 82 passes for 656 yards and an additional six touchdowns. He split carries with Javontae Williams at UNC with one of the most talented backfields in the country, and both are set to hear their names called during the NFL Draft.
One of Carter’s main strengths is his vision, which sets him apart from many other running backs trying to make it in the NFL. He is quick to locate running lanes and has the patience to let the gaps develop in front of him. Some of the cons include him not as fast as some of the other backs in this draft class and lacks size at just 5-foot-8 and 201 pounds, making him unlikely to be an every down back to start his professional careeer.
Mock Draft landing spots
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports predicted Carter will be the final pick of the second round at No. 64 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. USA Today’s Luke Easterling also has Carter being selected in the second round at No. 50 by the Miami Dolphins. Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus projects Carter to fall to the third round to be selected by the New England Patriots at No. 96 overall in a compensatory pick.
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Running back is the rare skill position where players can come right out of college and make an instant impact on their NFL team. If Carter can find himself in a good situation when he hears his name called, he could easily have some sort of fantasy value in his rookie season. It’s more likely he will be in a running back by committee situation as workhorse backs are no longer the norm, but Carter could be worth taking a look at in the later rounds.
Fantasy impact: Career
It’s always difficult to project a player’s full NFL career after college, but there are reasons for fantasy owners to pump the breaks on Carter having incredible fantasy potential. He does not appear to be a workhorse back as he doesn’t have the speed or blocking ability at this point for a player to see the field every down. That could change as he develops as a player, but right now he projects to be more of a complementary piece in a backfield with additional options.