Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska Cornhuskers

by Adam Barricklow on March 9, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT

 


Few players have seen their draft stock increase like former Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive end Adam Carriker. Carriker was already viewed as solid NFL prospect, but thanks to a great stint at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, Carriker has gone from a late first-round pick to a possible early first-round selection.

Carriker brings a solid resume to the NFL as a two-time First Team All-Big 12 selection and two-time team Defensive Most Valuable Player from 2005-06. However, like most NFL prospects, his resume is not a spotless one.

Positives

Carriker first saw his draft stock rise after the Senior Bowl practices. In both one-on-one and nine-on-nine drills he showed the ability to not only hold his ground but also supply a decent pass rush. This ability coupled with his impressive size (6-foot-6, 296 pounds) has scout envisioning him lining up in a variety of position from a defensive end in either the 3-4 or 4-3, but also as an outside linebacker in the 3-4.

Carriker's stock continued to rise at the Combine, where he ranked in the top three in the bench press, short shuttle and three-cone drills. Carriker is not just all workout numbers, though. In 45 games with the Cornhuskers, he totaled 20.5 sacks and 134 tackles. His last two seasons with the Cornhuskers, he averaged 8.3 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss per season.

Most NFL scouts have Carriker best suited in a 3-4 defense, comparing him to New England Patriots Richard Seymour, where his versatility can be best put to use either holding the line against the run or rushing the quarterback.

Table: Adam Carriker - Statistics (2005-06)

Year
Tkl
TFL
Sacks
2005
43
17
9.5
2006
52
16
7

Negatives

The biggest knock on Carriker is that he lacks the speed coveted in elite defensive ends. His 4.90 40 time was not what scouts look for at the position, although, it should be noted that he ran a 4.70 40 at the Cornhuskers' recent Pro Day.

Carriker is not the soundest player technically. He has been criticized on his technique in not keeping his hands active enough and being slow in setting himself when taking on blockers, relying mainly on his strength. While Carriker was able to get away with this at the collegiate level, it will be much tougher to do so in the NFL. This has led some scouts to suggest that Carriker has already reached, or is close to reaching, his maximum potential.

Carriker has also stated that he is most comfortable playing in a 4-3 defense. With most projecting him as a better fit for a 3-4 defense, he might struggle in making such an adjustment.

Draft Placement

Carriker is expected to be a first-round draft pick, but where in the first round is up for debate. Many draft pundits have him going somewhere in the 20s with the New York Jets and Denver Broncos as possible candidates.

Carriker also had interviews with both the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons, suggesting that he could be an early-round selection.

An important item to note is that the Atlanta Falcons recently lost defensive end Patrick Kerney to the Seattle Seahawks, perhaps driving up the Falcons interest in Carriker further.

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About Adam Barricklow

Adam Barricklow is based out of Central Ohio and has been a KFFL Contributor since 2003. Adam has been playing Fantasy Football since 1996 and has been addicted since day one. Adam plays in various leagues, running one of them and uses his experience and knowledge to create reports that are able to help the fantasy player look at every perspective.

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