Broad Jump: 0902
Defensive lineman with tweener size who plays inside and out for Florida. Flashes suddenness to impact the passing game. Doesn’t have the necessary strength up front to defend against the run.
Carter demonstrates fairly good functional strength along the defensive line and can at least hold his own. Possesses strong hands to rip through blocks in order to disengage and pursue the ball. At his current body type, he is versatile enough to play all over the place as a 3-technique, 5-technique, and 7-technique. Flashes some quickness off the line of scrimmage to slip through gaps. Poses more of a threat as a pass rusher from the traditional defensive end position. He wins with suddenness and quick hands to shoot gaps or get a step off the jump on the edge. Contributes as a pass rusher and run defender. Shows proficient speed-to-power off the edge to get pressure on the quarterback. Flashes explosiveness as well to be able to quickly drive into the chest of his opponent.
Doesn’t look overly fluid as an athlete when chasing the ball. Loses balance at times when the offensive lineman makes clean, strong contact into his chest area. Lacks that final bit of speed and agility to capitalize on opportunities in the backfield. He is not consistently strong enough at the line of scrimmage at his current size to play as a two-gapping run defender or along the interior at all on a permanent basis. Although he possesses north-to-south functionality, he is a limited lateral player in terms of overall athleticism. He has fairly average arm length from the film view and struggles to create extension because of it. Struggles heavily to create any sort of impact against the run.
At his current size, Zachary Carter has a tweener build. In terms of raw ability and traits, he has the better composition to be a traditional defensive end in an even-front defense. At Florida, he moves inside and outside depending on the give look on the play. He plays with suddenness and quick hands on the edge to get pressure, as well as displaying speed-to-power from time to time. He doesn’t have the necessary play strength up front to make an impact in run defense, though. If a team gets his body right to play defensive end, he can be a viable rotational option.
Zachary Carter attended Hillsborough high school in Florida where he was named to the 2016 All-Hillsborough County First Team and the Tampa Bay Times’ Blue Chips Player of the Year for the 2016 season. After high school, 247Sports ranked him as a 4-Star recruit, the 130th-best recruit nationally, the 3rd-ranked strong side defensive end recruit in the country and the 23rd recruit in the state of Florida.
Carter committed to Florida and redshirted his true freshman season in 2017. In 2018, he appeared in nine games as a reserve and key special teams player. In 2019, he appeared in 13 games, started twice and finished with 31 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. In 2020, he appeared in all 12 games, started 11 at defensive tackle and finished with 36 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. In 2021, he started 12 games and finished with 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Carter was named to the SEC Community Service Team for his contributions to the community.
Carter’s versatility and willingness to help the team at any position asked of him are traits NFL teams will value. He displays a strong work ethic with how he’s changed his body over his career. Carter came into Florida at 270 pounds and has played at a different weight every year. He was as high as 290 pounds in 2020 and as low as 263 in 2019. Carter has made quite the impression on his defensive line coach, David Turner. Turner explains what makes Carter so productive, "Zach has proven to be a playmaker. Zach's a dependable guy. Zach's consistent. He's consistent in his practice habits. Zach's starting to understand the game more, understanding offenses more, understanding what people are trying to do. So all of that makes him a more effective player in terms of dissecting plays, how to watch tape, how to study film. But the biggest thing with Zach is his consistency. He's smart. He can play all three positions across the board and he works at it. The game's important to him."
Current Player Value/Potential Player Value
5.9 / 7.2
Floor/Ceiling: Developmental / Rotational
Scheme Fit: 5-tech in even-front
Grade: 6th Round
Suspended for the first half of Georgia game in 2020 for participation in a fight against Missouri the week prior.
2/3/22 - Florida defensive linemen Zachary Carter spoke about how he’s grown from the adversity Florida faced in the 2021 season, “This whole season was a learning curve. I really had to learn how to deal with losing. We’ve been pretty successful the last four years. So to just have a season go downhill, it really taught me how to fight through some adversity.”
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