UNC running back Michael Carter was selected by the New York Jets with the second pick of the fourth round, No. 107 overall. He is the fourth Tar Heel selected this year.
Former NFL and college coach Jim Mora broke down the games of both UNC running backs. While he sees Javonte Williams as an every down “bully back,” Mora sees Carter having a different role.
“I also like Michael Carter,” he said. “I think he’s a third round or fourth round guy. He’s probably not going to be an every down NFL starter, but he can be a great complementary back with somebody next to him that maybe has a different skill set than him. He’s been productive. In today’s NFL one of the qualities you’re looking for is ‘Can a running back act as a receiver?’ and he can. You’re asking, ‘Can he protect? Can he stand in there and take on a blitzing linebacker?’ Michael can. This guy’s a good receiver. He can protect. He’s shifty. You know he’s a great runner. You can get him out of the backfield on screens, wheel routes, things like that. This is an ideal second-and-long, third-down running back for you.”
Carter does well in one of the most important aspects of a successful running back.
“He has great ball security,” Mora said. “Listen, the ball is a bag of money. That’s the keys to the Bentley. You’ve got to protect it like it’s your life. This guy in the last three seasons has zero fumbles. That, to me is really important. He has great feet. He’s a great one-cut runner. That’s different from Javonte. He’s more of a zone scheme guy. He can return the football.”
As for negatives, Mora points out he’s not on the level with one of the NFL’s best.
“I’ve seen Reggie Bush comparisons,” he said. “That’s a pretty tough comparison. I do see the similarity. My concern in that comparison is Reggie had real get up and go. He could take it to the house. I’m not sure Michael has it quite like Reggie did. One other concern is yards after initial contact. Javonte, you see that. With Michael, he goes down a little bit easier. I think he’s going to be extremely productive back at the NFL level.”