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Zachary Carter, Versatile Defensive Lineman or Tweener the Commanders Should Avoid?

DL depth became a need

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 27 Florida State at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Zachary Carter, DT/DE

School: Florida | Conference: SEC

College Experience: Senior | Age: 22

Height / Weight: 6’4” / 282 lbs

Projected Draft Status: 4th – 5th Round

Player Comparison: Jalyn Holmes

College Statistics

Player Overview

Coming out of high school, Zachary Carter was a 250 lbs defensive end prospect that choose to stay in state and attend the University of Florida. While there for five seasons he added 30lbs and played both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Gators. Carter did not make much of an impression during his time in Gainsville, but his last season proved to be his most productive, putting up career highs for sacks and tackles for losses.

Strengths

· Has versatility to line up at defensive end or defensive tackle

· High motor that keeps running until the whistle

· Has quickness to beat inside blockers and slow-footed tackles

· Flashes strength to bull rush blockers

Weaknesses

· Too focused on winning his matchup that he’ll miss making a play

· Can struggle disengaging from blocks if he doesn’t win early

· Needs to refine technique, especially his hand usage; too often relies on speed

Let’s see his work

How He Fits On The Team

The big question for Zachary Carter is what will be his true position at the next level? He proved to be effective at defensive tackle and defensive end. He has the ability to be and defensive end in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 and he can slide inside to defensive tackle on passing downs. If he puts on about 10 lbs, he might be able to play defensive tackle full time. I think he will be best playing left defensive end on early downs, then sliding inside on obvious passing downs.

Washington’s defensive line is littered with first-round picks, but we could use more depth. That was on display this season once both Montez Sweat and Chase Young missed multiple games. That need has grown with Tim Settle leaving in free agency, and Matt Ioannidis being released.

Carter can come in and either be trained to at end or tackle. While many of our tackles are over 300 lbs, most were selected when we ran a 3-4. Carter could provide a quicker, albeit smaller, defensive tackle that focuses on pass rushing downs. Or, he could be a developmental end that rotates in to help keep starters fresh. Or, the team could bypass him for a player with a more defined role.