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    Barrett Carter’s Draft Profile | Clemson, LB Scouting Report

    Clemson's Barrett Carter returned to school, but could he still be in the LB1 discussion in the 2025 NFL Draft with his scouting report?

    Clemson Tigers linebacker Barrett Carter could have declared in the 2024 cycle, but he’s just as compelling a prospect with his scouting report in the 2025 NFL Draft. What does Carter still need to improve heading into his fourth year, and what makes him unique as a defensive talent?

    Barrett Carter’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’1″
    • Weight: 230 pounds
    • Position: Linebacker
    • School: Clemson
    • Current Year: Senior

    On the heels of a 2024 NFL Draft linebacker class that was less inspiring on the surface, the 2025 NFL Draft LB group could be a welcome step in the right direction. The class looks loaded with talent on the surface, and players like Harold Perkins Jr. and Carter lead off the unit.

    Carter could’ve been a top pick at his position had he declared for 2024, but there was also a sense that he left more to be desired last season. Thus, he’s back to end his career at Clemson on a high note.

    That’s not to say that Carter’s career has been underwhelming by any means. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, and Dabo Swinney has praised him as one of the most naturally talented players he’s ever coached. And that talent has yielded multi-phase production.

    After gearing up as a true freshman in 2021, Carter amassed 73 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, eight pass deflections, and two forced fumbles in a breakout 2022 campaign. He followed that up with 9.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, and five PBUs in 2023.

    Carter could have transferred out in the 2024 offseason in an attempt to find a fresh start. But instead, he chose to finish what he started in Death Valley. Some NFL evaluators will appreciate that — almost as much as they appreciate what’s on the film.

    Carter’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Extremely explosive, amped-up athlete who moves with bristling, unyielding energy.
    • Shows off 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 quick screens.
    • Can rocket 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 to 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 to outside runs.
    • 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.

    Weaknesses

    • Frame is compact and streamlined but has average height, mass, and length.
    • Lacks the necessary play strength to consistently solo-tackle runners with momentum.
    • Sometimes lacks the required strength to rip through initial blocks when playing screens.
    • Can add more mass and improve play strength when deconstructing second-level blocks.
    • Experiences slight delays at times between throw recognition, diagnosis, and trigger.
    • With high-energy motion, can be prone to wasted movements in coverage and in space.
    • Can be misled and drawn off-course by misdirection plays and play-action fakes.
    • 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.
    • Will turn 23 years old in October of his rookie campaign.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Entering the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Carter grades out as a top-50 prospect who could eventually contend for the LB1 mantle and late first-round capital. There aren’t many second-level defenders more versatile and dynamic than him, and he has traditional appeal.

    At 6’1″, 230 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 him 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.

    Meanwhile, in coverage, Carter is 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.

    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 interior gaps, and though he’s not quite as refined or as multifaceted as Perkins in that phase, he has room to keep growing.

    Play strength is still an issue at times for Carter when approaching blocks, and his tackling form — while passable — can be inconsistent. He’ll also have to improve against misdirection plays.

    Still, overall, Carter has the tools to be a new-age playmaker at linebacker with second-level versatility and immense potential as a deceptive chess piece.

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