Steelers Get C(h)ris Carter…the LB Not the WR

Gretz IM to me, 3:02 p.m.: “we haven’t taken a linebacker yet.”

Fifteen minutes later the Steelers draft defensive end Chris Carter from Fresno State who will move to linebacker in the NFL. Carter is listed at 6-1, 248, hoofed a 4.62 40 at the combine, and threw up 225 27 times. (Other shorts and t-shirt stats that may interest you: 36-inch vertical, 6.88 three-cone drill, 4.34 20-yard shuttle.) As for actual football, Carter had 55 tackles (16.5 for loss) and 11 sacks during the 2010 season.

Reader pghshawn tweeted us this shortly after Steelers selected Carter: “@Steelers_Lounge I don’t get it…unless they plan on bringing him inside”.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know anything about the kid other than what others tell me, which is why I now happily share with you Mike Mayock’s thoughts on Carter:

“Chris Carter to me is a 4-3 hand-in-the-dirt defensive end that was the WAC Defensive of the Year that will either be asked to play SAM linebacker in a 4-3 or a rush linebacker in a 3-4.

“Remember, Pittsburgh’s a team — as far as rush linebackers are concerned — that doesn’t care much about length. New England wants those 6-3, 6-4, 6-5 guys, but when you’re talking about Woodley and Harrison, Pittsburgh cares more about explosion. And Carter’s got some explosion. It’s a little bit of a risk because he’s a conversion guy but I really like Chris Carter.”

As to why the Steelers took him, Jason La Canfora said scouts compared Carter to Von Miller, and that the Ravens, who had two compensatory picks at the end of the fifth round, might have been interested in him. And this: Carter was the best player on the Steelers’ draft board. Plus, there’s a good chance Anthony Madison’s days are numbered given today’s draft haul, and, hell, Keenan Lewis might not be far behind. Which means Carter was taken for his special-teams potential, too. I know Madison doesn’t fill the same role as say, Stevenson Sylvester, but you can never have too many psychopaths on that unit.

For what it’s worth (and at this point in the proceedings, I’d imagine not much … but I’m going with it anyway), had Carter projected to go in the third round. Now, draft peeps often list 40-50 guys as projected to go in a particular round. Mathematical laws prohibit that from actually happening, which means players inevitably fall. So who the hell knows. I will now show a Chris Carter highlight video to distract you while I sneak out the back.

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  • Aaron

    Fox and Foote are not getting any younger, and we have a distinct lack of depth at outside linebacker. In addition, Tomlin said last year that 250 pounders who can run and hit are the backbone of a football team – and that logic still holds. BPA pick, seems to be a good fit.

  • ryan

    Great points on Keyaron and Foote.

  • Rob T

    Good draft pick IMO