Ja’Tyre Carter, IOL, Southern
Signing former Giants guard Will Hernandez definitely helps to improve the Cardinals offensive line, but they could still use another player or two to add depth or to compete for a starting spot. Southern’s Ja’Tyre Carter had been a bit of secret prior to the end of this past college football season. That’s no longer the case now. The big lineman performed quite well at Southern’s pro day and scouts from the Saints, Texans, Patriots, and Jets were in attendance.
The 6’3” 312-pound Carter ran his 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds and registered 34.5” on his vertical leap. Carter’s athletic ability shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. He played tight end in high school and weighed merely 275 pounds when he got to Southern’s campus in Baton Rouge, LA. He slowly put on weight and was able to do so without sacrificing much of his athleticism.
Ja’Tyre Carter is more than just an athleticism and tools prospect. He’s shown that he has a good football IQ, and he understands the angles required to successfully make blocks. He also moves with good fluidity and can execute blocks on the move including pulling or trap-blocking. Carter has good lateral agility for a player his size and he can get up to the second level quickly if the play calls for it.
He’s also shown toughness and a will to compete that is intrinsic to almost all impact offensive linemen. Scouts project him as a guard or tackle at the next level, and that kind of versatility would really be attractive to Arizona as they could slot him in at either left guard or right tackle depending on how well he initially plays.
There will always be questions about small-school players and playing at Southern normally would have left Carter open to those concerns. But he dispelled most of those by holding his own at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL, this past January where he was matched up against other major college football players.
Carter could also work to strengthen his upper body so that he could physically match up better with NFL defensive linemen. Some other areas for improvement are his technique relating to hand placement, consistently keeping a low pad level, and keeping his head up on first contact. Ja’Tyre Carter’s stock has been rising ever since the Senior Bowl and if he keeps on this trajectory, he could become an NFL starter for the Arizona Cardinals at either guard or tackle someday, which is all you could hope for with a sixth or seventh round pick.