Syracuse senior running back Delone Carter enters the 2011 NFL Draft as an enigmatic, risky draft prospect with a lot of upside.
Carter missed all of the 2007 season (hip injury) and returned in 2008 to lose his starting job. He led the team in rushing as a freshman in 2006. In 2009, Carter bounced back as the No. 1 back for the Orangemen, rushing for 1,021 yards and 11 scores (added one receiving). Last year, he set a career high with 1,233 yards on his way to a nine-touchdown campaign.
- Stocky, compact build (5-foot-8 5/8, 222 pounds)
- Effective jump-cut move
- Stays low in traffic
- Protects the football
- Well balanced
- Strong, aggressive pass blocker
Acceptable speed - official 4.54-second 40-yard dash (1.54-second 10-yard split) at the Scouting Combine; 4.46 seconds at his Pro Day
Interesting risk-reward prospect
- Strong lower body (10-foot broad jump, 37-inch vertical jump)
- Forward lean, always keeps legs churning
- Excellent in short-yardage situations
- Quality vision for cutback lanes
- High upside
- Injury history (hamstring in 2008, dislocated hip in 2007)
- Suspended in 2010 for punching a student during an on-campus snowball fight
- Academic issues early in his career
- May not hold up against bigger rushing linebackers in the NFL
- Tends to want to bounce outside too often
- Hasn't been involved much as a receiver or as a route runner
Expected draft placement
Carter comes with a world of upside and equal risk between his character concerns and potential for re-injury of his hip. He could be a workhorse back in the NFL in the right system, but he will probably be a spell back initially. Carter needs to improve his receiving skills before being considered a competent third-down back.
Expect a team to take a chance on Carter in the latter portion of the third round or early fourth.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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