Draft Prospect Preview | S Shyheim Carter, Alabama
Weight: 195 pounds
If there's one thing you can expect from an alumnus of Nick Saban's Crimson Tide program, it's that he'll be as NFL ready as a prospect can be.
Meet defensive back Shyheim Carter, who has lined up at safety and nickel corner for the Crimson Tide.
Carter was a four-star recruit out of Louisiana’s Kentwood High School in 2016, where he played both cornerback and quarterback. Carter has appeared in 50 career games with 23 starts, capping his college career with 100 tackles, three interceptions (2 returned for touchdowns, both coming in 2018), two forced fumbles, and 18 passes defensed.'
According to Pro Football Focus' draft guide, Carter had his best season in 2018 in which he played 445 coverage snaps (out of 751 total), allowing 24 receptions out of 49 pass targets to be completed for 222 yards with two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
He also forced an incompletion on 11 of those 49 pass targets by working himself into the right position to break up the play.
Whatever Carter might lack in athleticism and pure speed, he more than makes up for with his instincts, physical play, and production. He anticipates the development of routes well and turns on the jets to close in and position himself to make a play on the ball.
Carter is a feisty player who fights off blockers and seems to relish the physical aspect of the game. He isn't afraid to hit and is a solid tackler who only missed four tackles on 47 attempts last season.
In addition to being custom-made for the slot, Carter can play safety as well, where he's shown promise in run support.
Why He'd Be a Fit
The Giants desperately need an upgrade at nickel back. The role is not a fit for Corey Ballentine, and with all due respect to Grant Haley, he hasn't shown the requisite speed to keep up with receivers.
In two seasons as the slot corner, Haley has allowed 62 of 76 passes to be completed for 708 yards and five touchdowns. He's broken up just two passes and has recorded zero interceptions over that same period and was benched for Ballentine for part of last year.
Although Carter, projected to land somewhere in Round 3 or the top of Round 4, has a limited body of work in actual coverage snaps in the nickel, he's produced.
He doesn't have all-world speed and can be susceptible to vertical routes, but what he does have should allow him to keep pace with his competition.