Re: Markell Carter!! Dont write him off just yet
posted at 5/19/2012 5:49 AM EDT
Will Markel Carter develop into a Mark Anderson/Jeremy Moncey type pass-rusher? Or, will he be the second coming of Pierre Woods/Shaun Crable?: http://www.nesn.com/2012/05/markell-carter-adding-weight-explosion-in-hopes-to-break-through-during-second-season-with-patriots.html
Here's some of the scouting reports on Carter, done at the time he entered the 2011 NFL draft. The main knocks against him were his relative lack of strength, lack of elite speed off the edge, and not having competed against top grade competition, while playing at Central Arkansas:
3.) This report is current: http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2012/05/15/carter-is-coming/
I'm highly optimistic that this kid will contribute this season. It appears that he and Jermaine Cunningham will be battling for a roster spot.
Speaking of Cunningham:
1.) Patriots OLB Jermaine Cunningham
It was clear that Bill Belichick was a Cunningham fan after drafting the Florida product in the second round in 2010, and Patriots fans expected Cunningham to be the edge rusher the team seeked. Despite playing in 15 games with 11 starts as a rookie, Cunningham finished with only one sack and four QB hits, to go along with 35 tackles. In 2011, his role had completely diminished after the team featured more "40" fronts, which would move Cunningham to defensive end. In nine games, he made one tackle, before ending the season on injured reserve with a hamstring ailment.
This could be Cunningham’s last shot to make the squad, and it’s possible that finally getting a full offseason will get Cunningham playing at the level Belichick hoped when drafting him. The Patriots drafted three front-seven players — Dont’a Hightower, Jake Bequette and Chandler Jones — and Cunningham is very much on the roster bubble, but if a full offseason is all he needs to finally show some pass-rush effectiveness, it certainly would benefit the Patriots’ defensive front....and;
2.) BB Talks of the Struggles of Jermaine Cunningham:
He started the year as someone many people believed could make a serious impact on the Patriots’ defense — including his old coach Urban Meyer — but to this point, 2011 has been a lost season for linebacker Jermaine Cunningham.
The 6-foot-3, 266-pounder finished his rookie season with 35 tackles (27 solo), one sack and two forced fumbles, and according to Pro Football Focus, was on the field for 577 of New England’s 1,108 defensive plays in 2010.
But a myriad of things have conspired against Cunningham this year. The Patriots brought in several veterans to fill that end spot in their four-man front, including Andre Carter and Shaun Ellis. In addition, he’s appeared to fight his way through injury, and has been forced to get accustomed to New England’s move from a three-man front to a four-man front this season.
As a result, his playing time has dropped off dramatically this season. After starting 11 games last season, he has zero starting assignments in 2011, and has just one tackle in four games this year.
“I think one of the things that Jermaine has had to work through is the time that he missed in training camp and the preseason games at the end of preseason; for a second-year player, especially,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Cunningham. “With him, last year really playing outside linebacker and doing that and this year we transitioned into a little bit more of a multiple defensive front, it’s been a little bit of an adjustment for him. Missing that time didn’t help him any.
“He’s worked hard and he’s done a good job to get back on the field and get rehabbed and get back out there. He’s improving; he’s gotten a little better each week. I think he’s definitely on the upswing here and a guy that we hope will be able to contribute for us.”