On February 4th, Mobile’s game will be held at Hancock-Whitney Stadium and over a hundred of the nation’s draft hopeful seniors will descend on the Gulf Coast for a week of practice in front of scouts from every NFL team before the Senior Bowl. Leading up to the game, we’ll take a look at a different prospect every day and talk about their background, their college career, where they could be drafted, and how the Senior Bowl could help them. Today, we’ll talk about Army’s talented pass rusher, Andre Carter II:
Andre Carter II does not have the typical background of an early round NFL prospect. Due to his leaner build, Carter started out playing tight end at his high school in Houston, but was never able to get on the field. He elected to play a fifth season at a different school in New England, where head coach Dave Dykeman (now with the XFL), switched him to defense. Carter was a completely unknown commodity, but Dykeman used a connection at Army to get Carter II noticed, and they were impressed enough with his raw talent to bring him in.
As one of the more versatile players in the draft, Carter II has prowess as a pass rusher, a run stopper, and has even started a bowl game at safety early in his career. He did not play as a freshman and made just two starts as a sophomore, but Carter II really burst onto the scene early in his junior year in 2021. He recorded 3 sacks in Army’s opener against Georgia State. Halfway through 2021, he was leading the entire nation in sacks and finished the year with 15.5 (an Army record), trailing only Will Anderson.
While his numbers did take a bit of a dip during his senior year in 2022, Carter II was still a critical part of the Black Knights’ defense and continued to establish himself as an elite NFL prospect. After some drama as to whether he would even be allowed to enter the draft due to the status of his service, it was all cleared up and Carter II has a strong chance to become Army’s first first-round pick since 1947. Army has actually only had two players drafted at all since 1969, and both were in the final rounds of the draft. Without a doubt, Carter II is Army’s best draft prospect in over 70 years. Check out some of what he has put on tape and why NFL teams are so interested:
Current Draft Projection:
Carter II is still a very raw prospect who has not been playing defense for nearly as long as some of the players he will hope to be drafted ahead of. Any team who selects him will know that they are drafting a project who will take some time to adjust to the tremendous step up in competition Carter II is facing. That all being said, he has freakish size and athleticism and all the tools to blossom into an elite NFL pass rusher. While he may be a gamble, the upside is tremendous. Carter II has a chance to hear his name called on night one of the draft, and if not, it would be a major surprise to not see him go on night two.
How the Senior Bowl Could Help Him:
Carter II is the type of player the Senior Bowl was made for. A guy who seems to have all the physical tools and has put good stuff on tape, but teams may be scared off from using an early pick on due to the fact that he is not quite as polished as some other pass rushers. Carter II has a chance to get coached up on technique at the Senior Bowl as well as allowing scouts to get an up close and personal look at his athleticism. Keep an eye on him as someone who can earn a first round status with a great showing in Mobile.