- Open-Field Elusiveness
- Natural Hands
- Route Running
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Carter broke his wrist prior to his sophomore campaign, but has remained injury-free since then. He served as the starting running back over teammate Williams throughout the 2020 season, out-producing him in the rushing department.
Carter is short and slender, making up for his lack of bulk with good speed. He is an extremely twitchy athlete, and can get up to top speed in an instant. He was an above-average kick returner, and can contribute immediately in that role at the next level.
In the run game, Michael Carter’s strengths highlight his change of pace ability. His small frame and twitchy explosiveness make him difficult to get a hand on, and he wins in the open field with those traits. He creates yardage with quick feet and sudden cuts. He has the ability to change direction on a dime.
On inside runs, Carter’s lack of power and inconsistent vision limit his production, which is why goal line and short-yardage work was ceded to Javonte Williams throughout the duo’s collegiate careers. He lacks the vision to pick his way through crowds, and also lacks the balance and strength to run through arm tackles in those situations on a consistent basis.
Carter runs with a forward lean, and it can lead to him either running through a tackle or falling down untouched. He is more quick than fast, and will excel in outside zone run schemes where he will be asked to wait for the hole to open up and explode upfield. He is most effective when used as a complementary piece rather than the featured runner, and that should remain the case at the next level.
Michael Carter is a major component in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker. He runs crisp routes, and is capable out of the slot and out wide. He is a matchup nightmare for linebackers, creating easy separation with his athleticism.
Carter has the toughness and coordination to make the difficult catches over the middle when he knows he is going to get drilled at the catch point. He is serviceable in pass protection, primarily due to his instincts and intellect in knowing where the pressure is will be on any given play. He has a good punch and holds his own relative to his size. His ability to know where to be masks some of his physical shortcomings.
Michael Carter projects to be a change of pace, third-down specialist at the next level that can hold his own on first and second down. He can be a special teams contributor from day one.
- Grade: 6.2
- Ceiling: 6.3
- Floor: 5.5