Barrett Carter Draft Profile | Clemson, LB Scouting Report

Is Clemson LB Barrett Carter the top prospect at his position in the 2024 NFL Draft? The 2024 LB group looks very deep and very well-rounded on initial viewings, but no player has the all-encompassing skill set and role flexibility that Carter brings.

Barrett Carter Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 225 pounds
  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Clemson
  • Current Year: Junior

It took the Tigers a while to build a defense that now has over a half-dozen NFL prospects. Working from the trenches to the secondary, Ruke Orhorhoro, Tyler Davis, Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Nate Wiggins, and Andrew Mukuba all have legitimate cases to be drafted. But Carter might be the most exciting prospect in the entire group.

Carter was a five-star recruit out of North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia. A two-way star at his old school, Carter made a full-time transition to linebacker once he joined the Clemson Tigers. And after a tune-up in 2021, the production came fast.

Barrett Carter (0) reacts during the third quarter against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium.
Sep 17, 2022; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Barrett Carter (0) reacts during the third quarter against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium.

In 2022, Carter emerged as a star for Dabo Swinney’s squad. He registered 73 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, eight pass deflections, and two forced fumbles, earning first-team All-ACC honors and some All-American recognition as well.

Carter is now eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft, and later on, he’ll have a choice to make about whether or not to declare. But as long as he keeps producing, his scouting report encases a kind of upside that few prospects can match.

Barrett Carter Scouting Report


  • Extremely explosive, amped-up athlete who moves with bristling, unyielding energy.
  • Moves with torrid foot speed, suddenness, and jaw-dropping reactionary athleticism.
  • Versatility, high-energy motion, and pass-rush ability make him a formation wild card.
  • Has the speed to blanket tight ends, close gaps in pursuit, and chase to the boundary.
  • Can use rip moves to pry past outside blocks when crashing down on screen formations.
  • Able to get ahead of pulling blockers and roll his hips to preserve pursuit angles.
  • Carries menacing force into head-on tackles and uses his twitch to square up runners.
  • Has shown he can wrap up ball carriers while leading with his shoulder and going low.
  • Able to quickly identify run directions and flow to gaps by diagnosing leading blockers.
  • Can quickly recognize screen formations out of the overhang slot and explode downhill.
  • Has extremely impressive gap discipline and quickness when adapting outside.
  • Special coverage LB with depth IQ, eye discipline, fluid hips, adaptability, and ball skills.
  • Can man up TEs and big slot WRs with fast feet, transitionary burst, and reaction speed.
  • Brings maniacal pass-rushing energy, rocketing through interior gaps in QB pursuit.
  • Can use brisk euro-steps, hurdles, and swims, intent on invading the pocket at all costs.


  • Frame is compact and streamlined but has average density and length.
  • Lacks the necessary play strength to solo-tackle runners with momentum consistently.
  • Sometimes lacks the required strength to rip through initial blocks when playing screens.
  • Experiences slight delays between throw recognition, diagnosis, and trigger.
  • With high-energy motion, can be prone to wasted movements in coverage and in space.
  • On occasion, inside tackling angles are too narrow, allowing RBs to escape his reach.
  • Sometimes picks up his feet too early and fails to drive his lower body into tackles.
  • Tackling form sometimes erodes at contact, and leverage drifts too far upright.
  • Can better employ hands to channel force at contact and combat pass blockers.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Carter is the top LB prospect on my 2024 NFL Draft board and a potential top-10 overall talent in the 2024 class — worthy of first-round consideration.

There’s still a lot of football left to be played at this point, but after grading Carter’s traits, it’s hard to imagine finding a more versatile and dynamic second-level defender in the incoming class.

At 6’1″, 225 pounds, Carter is a quantifiably elite athlete — a high-energy mover with uncommon foot speed, range, twitch, and throttle freedom, as well as seamless fluidity in coverage. This physical foundation allows Carter to be a playmaker across realms and phases.

As a traditional LB presence, Carter has shown he can encumber blocks, invade gaps, acquire proper leverage, and chase down run plays with his closing speed. He also flashes good tackling form and force at contact.

In coverage, he’s intelligent and disciplined with his depth. He can pass off routes and quickly diagnose threats underneath, envelop big-slot weapons in man with his foot speed and burst, and sniff out screens like a bloodhound.

MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

On top of his traditional appeal, Carter has the combined explosiveness, agility, and unhinged tenacity to be a force as a pass rusher. He’s a terrifying blitzing presence through gaps, who has room to reach even greater heights as he continues to refine his hand usage.

Carter does need to get stronger before he makes the NFL leap. His play strength is above average at best, and it sometimes limits his ability to quickly deconstruct blocks and make solo tackles. But in a modern NFL where second-level versatility and deception are paramount, Carter is the new-age playmaker with traditional utility that all teams crave.

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