Since he was a small boy, Andre Carter II dreamt of being selected in the NFL Draft. Every step taken on his football journey has been done with that goal in mind. As an Army Cadet, there’s an obvious stumbling block in his path. As Carter’s scouting report details, however, it won’t be talent that’s a barrier to him pursuing a career in the NFL.
Andre Carter II NFL Draft Profile
While being an Army Cadet prepares you to face the world as a man, Carter’s journey to West Point prepared him for football success.
Every step, from Temecula Vista Murrieta to Ridge Point High to Cheshire Academy, was taken with the goal of providing him with an opportunity to realize his dream of playing professional football.
A former wide receiver and tight end, Carter impressed coaches at Cheshire with his ability to adapt to defense instantaneously. However, his late emergence meant a lowly recruiting profile. Thankfully, the proximity to West Point opened up an opportunity to play D1 college football while gaining a top-level education.
Arriving at just 220 pounds, Carter took some time adjusting to the CFB level, redshirting in 2019 and putting together a small statistical résumé in the disrupted 2020 campaign.
Yet, in 2021, Carter put together a dominant performance. His 15.5 sacks set a new Army single-season record, his 18.5 tackles for loss ranked top 10 in the nation, he forced four fumbles, and added a second career interception to his résumé.
As a result of his statistical success and on-tape excellence, Carter entered the 2023 NFL Draft cycle as a highly rated EDGE prospect. While battling a midseason injury, the Army outside linebacker equaled his tackle total from 2021 — although his backfield production showed a significant drop-off. Nonetheless, Carter’s play earned him an invite to the 2023 Senior Bowl.
- Position: EDGE
- School: Army
- Current Year: Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’6 1/2″, 256 pounds
Andre Carter II Scouting Report
As mentioned above, Carter entered the 2023 NFL Draft cycle as a highly touted prospect with early-round potential. While that hype has subsided somewhat as a result of a production drop-off, and there is substantial competition in a deep EDGE class, the Army OLB has showcased the talent to overcome some of the areas of concern on his scouting report.
Size isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. The 6’6 1/2″, 256-pound EDGE is instantly recognizable on film and is an imposing prospect to line up against.
Remarkably, Carter arrived at West Point at just 220 pounds, having played WR and TE predominantly early in his career. That physical development is impressive, and Carter has the frame to support even more muscle mass as he develops from college prospect to NFL player — an important element to consider.
Carter’s size is weaponized by decent length. The Army EDGE has long arms that he uses to make first contact at the point of attack. He’s able to long arm offensive linemen with this natural advantage, keeping his opponent away from his frame.
Meanwhile, Carter’s combination of length and size enables him to pose a coverage threat. He’s able to clog passing lanes and make an impact on the ball in the passing game. Meanwhile, he uses his long limbs to wrap up as a tackler or force the ball out from the ball carrier.
As his production would suggest, Carter poses a significant pass-rushing threat. It’s clearly the better element of his game. In addition to his size and length advantage, he already possesses some pass-rush weapons in his arsenal.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Carter deploys a successful rip move with disturbing regularity, and that is comfortably his go-to move. However, he’s also shown to utilize a spin move to overcome blocks.
While his size, length, and developing arsenal of pass-rush tools are impressive, Carter’s scouting report is made even more tantalizing by his athletic prowess. Despite his testing results being lackluster, there’s an element of on-tape explosion to the Army outside linebacker’s pass-rush attack.
While he’s not an elite lateral athlete compared to some of his 2023 NFL Draft pass-rush contemporaries, for his size, Carter possesses good change-of-direction ability. He’s able to effortlessly flip his pass-rush trajectory, attacking the outside track before shifting his feet and weight to terrorize from the interior.
This is also evident in Carter’s ability to drop back into coverage with some fluidity and in some of his plays against the run game — particularly against option offenses such as Air Force. Furthermore, the Army EDGE shows to have a degree of flexibility in his game.
Finally, Carter displays impressive competitive toughness. He’s a play-to-the-whistle edge rusher who competes with relentless energy.
Areas of Improvement
There’s a reason why Carter commanded such high-profile attention ahead of his final collegiate season. His scouting report possesses exciting potential as it pertains to the NFL level. But there are reasons why his transition to the next level isn’t a sure thing — and subsequently, he’s fallen out of consideration as an early-round selection.
Let’s begin with off-field elephant in the room. We don’t scout the helmet. A player has the potential to outperform historical tendencies and go where no player from his program has gone before.
However, the eligibility requirements of the Army means that any team that selects Carter in the 2023 NFL Draft may not be able to play him for some time. Although there has been a relaxation in rules that could have curtailed his draft process altogether, he’ll still be required to apply for an eligibility waiver.
No Army player has been drafted since 2008, and only one other has been drafted since the 1960s. While he’s the most talented cadet to attempt to make the transition to the NFL, it’s a significant roadblock that Carter has to overcome.
On the field, Carter’s size has some disadvantages. The Army EDGE tends to rush with an upright style that makes his chest an easy target for offensive linemen. While his length can mitigate this, it’s still an area of concern.
Furthermore, his higher center of gravity means that he’s more easily taken to the ground than smaller EDGE players are. There were several instances on film where Carter lost his footing coming around the outside track.
At this moment, Carter is a pass-rush-specific prospect who needs to showcase development in the run game. Despite showing some power potential in his upper body, his slender lower half doesn’t lend itself to setting the edge in the ground game.
Although he’s showcased patience as a pass rusher, Carter often gets too far up the field against the run, taking himself out of the equation from a run-stuffing perspective.
As ridiculous as it sounds, Carter had the potential to be even more productive in his college career. There were some snaps where he was a day late and a dollar short to the quarterback, resulting in big yardage plays. A more refined pass-rush plan, adding combos and more moves to his armory, will help him to be even more successful at getting to the QB.
Current Draft Projection for Army EDGE Andre Carter II
With the strengths of his scouting report, Carter has the potential to begin his NFL career — there’s no questioning that he possesses the talent to play at the highest level — as a situational pass-rush specialist. His best fit would be as an OLB in a 3-4 defense.
Currently, Carter’s limitations as a run defender, development needs as a pass rusher, and lack of functional strength and power will likely prevent him from reaching the heights of his early-draft projection.
Furthermore, the additional eligibility uncertainty will be a factor for some teams. As a result, the Army prospect may find himself waiting until Round 3 or beyond to hear his name called.
Nevertheless, the Army EDGE has taken every step to ensure he’s reached this point of his career successfully. It would be a foolish man to bet against him doing everything it takes to be a success in the NFL for years to come.
Andre Carter II NFL Combine Measurements and Results
Carter’s performance in Indianapolis for the 2023 NFL Combine didn’t live up to expectation. The Army EDGE didn’t set a time for the 40-yard dash, nor did he participate in the three-cone drill. Working out with the DE group, Carter’s broad jump ranked at the bottom, and only six fellow prospects posted a shorter vertical jump.
While he didn’t run the 40 in Indianapolis, Carter did post a time for the straight-line speed drill at the Army Pro Day. The 4.86 40-yard dash would have been the third slowest in the defensive end group at the Combine. While the pro day results are unofficial, the numbers gave the Black Knights prospect a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 4.30.
- Wingspan: TBC
- Arm: 33 3/8″
- Hand: 9 3/8″
- 40-Yard Dash: N/A
- 10-Yard Split: N/A
- Vertical Jump: 30″
- Broad Jump: 9’1″
- 3-Cone Drill: N/A
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.36 seconds
- Bench Press: 11 reps
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