Abdul Carter’s Draft Profile | Penn State, EDGE Scouting Report

Can Penn State EDGE Abdul Carter be the next Micah Parsons? With his 2025 NFL Draft scouting report, that outcome might be possible.

Every now and then, a transformative defensive prospect comes along. In the 2025 NFL Draft, with his scouting report, can Penn State EDGE Abdul Carter be that kind of player?

Let’s take a closer look at what he has to offer, and discuss.

Abdul Carter’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 250 pounds
  • Position: Edge Rusher
  • School: Penn State
  • Current Year: Junior

When a 6’3″, 250-pound linebacker has 4.48-second speed in the 40-yard dash, you stop and watch by default.

Since the very start of his football career, that talent has been Carter’s calling card. As a senior in high school, he logged 10 tackles for loss and earned an opportunity as a four-star recruit signing for the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Then, as a true freshman in 2022 — starting just half of the team’s games on defense — Carter racked up 56 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and four pass breakups. In 2023, he added 48 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception, and five pass breakups, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.

Carter’s stats somehow don’t do justice how disruptive he’s been as a second-level defender. And now, with his physical tools, he’s making the transition from linebacker to the edge rusher spot.

There, he’ll follow in the footsteps of Chop Robinson, Adisa Isaac, Odafe Oweh, Arnold Ebiketie, and countless other Penn State EDGE prospects — and he’ll have a chance to embark on a steep 2025 NFL Draft ascent.

Carter’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Sports a dense, compact frame that affords him impressive strength and raw power.
  • Charged-up athlete with almost unheard-of speed and explosiveness off the edge.
  • Sharp snap timing, combined with explosive capacity, induces visceral panic in blockers.
  • Agility, twitch, and post-transition explosiveness allow for exciting counter quickness.
  • High-end hip flexibility and ankle flexion combine for elite bend capacity around the arc.
  • Able to shorten the corner and pinch-rushing paths while sustaining acceleration.
  • Flashes shocking point-of-attack power and force against chipping running backs.
  • Has an uncanny ability to keep his balance while lowering and working on the attack.
  • Can stay low to the ground and stack strong forklift moves with chops and rips.
  • Has shown he can seal off lurching blockers on finesse rushes with strong rip moves.
  • Linebacker background makes him extremely competent in flat and short zone coverage.
  • Has the combined closing burst and route recognition to erase short throwing windows.
  • Projected alignment and role versatility makes him a perfect fit for creative coordinators.
  • Generational pursuit presence off the edge with apocalyptic closing speed and range.
  • Extremely reliable tackler who uses his closing speed and length to engulf runners.

Weaknesses

  • Lacks high-end proportional length, and overall length is close to average.
  • Non-elite length can detract from raw power capacity and reach on power rushes.
  • Doesn’t have much experience as a traditional edge setter in the run game.
  • At this point, unclear how his average positional size and length translate in run defense.
  • Doesn’t have elite lower-body mass, which could make him easy to displace.
  • Will need to further flesh out his power arsenal from wider alignments against tackles.
  • Has room to expand counter and hand arsenal past initial power on gap intrusions.
  • At times, relies on his speed and agility to a fault, failing to fully engage with hands.
  • Still learning how to sequence his footwork and maintain balance on inside spin moves.
  • Was charged with misdemeanor assault on a tow truck driver in April of 2024.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Entering the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Carter grades out as a mid-to-late first-round prospect. Considering that he’s entering just his first season as a full-time EDGE, improvements with his play strength and pass-rush arsenal could eventually make him a blue-chip prospect.

Carter was already set to be a potential blue-chip prospect as an off-ball linebacker, with the athleticism, instincts, and overwhelming pursuit range to be an unstoppable force. But at EDGE, he’s just as exciting.

There’s an obvious surface-level parallel between Carter and former Penn State star Micah Parsons, who’s become an All-Pro rush linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. Like Carter, Parsons was an LB-turned-EDGE, and he ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at 6’3″ and almost 250 pounds.

Caution must be exercised with these comps, as the mere cosmetic and background similarities between Carter and Parsons can cause some to take a leap too far when comparing. That said, there is a degree of merit to the Carter-Parsons comp.

Carter is just as dense and compact as Parsons was, and might have slightly superior length. He’s also an extraordinary athlete with hyper-elite speed, explosiveness, and bend capacity around the arc, and he has the build to employ strong hands in tandem with those tools.

Unfortunately, we won’t have an idea of Carter’s overall two-phase translatability at EDGE until we see him play more reps there full-time. And Parsons has morphed into a pass-rushing technician at the NFL level. Carter isn’t close to that level with his execution yet.

Nevertheless, as it stands, Carter is on the blue-chip watch list. At his peak, Carter can be a game-breaker who changes the math for an NFL defense.

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