24 Days to the Draft: Arkansas State DE/DT, Alex Carrington

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

As has been stated before, the Patriots need some help at the DE position- it's just a matter of what player in this draft can step into the crucial role in the 3-4 defense and perform at a high level. There are few players in the draft who meet the "measurement qualifications" of 6-5+, 300+ lbs, but Carrington comes pretty darn close. It is almost a guarantee that the Patriots are going to be drafting DE at some point in this draft; the only question is whether or not the Patriots rate the need as a first round must. If they think the position needs so much help that they will use a first rounder to try and fix the problem, count the late 2nd round, early 3rd round Carrington out. If the Patriots front office think the position is worth an early-mid round pick, well Carrington may be the right man for the job.

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 6-5. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 4.84.
Combine 40 Time: 4.89.
Benchx225: 26.

CBSSports.com Scouting

03/18/2010 - PRO DAY RESULTS: Defensive lineman Alex Carrington, who was the only Arkansas State player to attend the NFL Scouting Combine, was injured and will work out on April 8. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

03/12/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT DEFENSIVE ENDS: Alex Carrington: Arkansas State, 6-5, 284, 3: There's really nothing fancy about this big guy, but offensive linemen will need to show up ready for a brawl. Carrington is serious about football and about life, as evidenced by his rugged play on the field and his strong personal focus. He chose Arkansas State over larger schools to be near his son and has a degree in clinical psychology. On the field, he ruined offenses in 2008, when he earned Sun Belt defensive player of the year with 53 tackles (19 for a loss) and 10?? sacks. He finished his career with 21?? sacks and then really got the attention of scouts when he manhandled blockers at Senior Bowl practices. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com/CBS Sports/USA TODAY

01/28/2010 - SENIOR BOWL RISER: DE Alex Carrington, Arkansas State: He may have entered the week of practice among the least hyped defensive players on the entire Senior Bowl roster, but after this week every NFL team knows his name. Carrington's rare combination of size (6-feet-5, 284 pounds) and strength make him an intriguing prospect at end for the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. That versatility could result in a second round grade. - Rob Rang, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com

NFL.com Scouting

A fifth-year senior, Carrington put two excellent seasons together to cap his career with the Arkansas State defense. He has a good combination of size, strength and speed for an interior defensive lineman. He doesn't have great lateral quickness or agility to come off the edge as a 4-3 end but is well suited for a five-technique in 3-4 scheme. He is best at the point of attack, anchoring versus the run, and is effective pushing the pocket as a bull rusher. He has a decent feel for blocking schemes and restricting running lanes when using proper pad level and hand use. Carrington is inconsistent to shed blockers and get to the pile but has the natural arm strength and power to improve in this area. He is a good tackler in a restricted area but lacks great burst and range out of the tackle box. Carrington has the measurables and raw talent to vie for a starting position after his second or third season in the league.

Strengths

Carrington possesses the necessary size to play defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. He exhibits the strength to hold the edge against the run and the power to push the pocket. Shows good intelligence and instincts to consistently make plays inside the box. Became a very productive player as he developed during his college career.
Weaknesses
Carrington only has average range and won't chase down many plays from behind. Lacks the burst and initial quickness to shoot gaps in the running game or come off the edge as a speed rusher. Shows flashes of aggressive play but needs to become more consistent with his motor.

MockingtheDraft.com Scouting

Final word: Don’t sleep on Carrington just because he went to Arkansas State. He could have gone to several SEC schools but chose ASU so he could be near family. There, he was clearly a star. Starting since his redshirt freshman season, Carrington was a difference maker. Even though teams schemed against him, he still made plays.

In the NFL, Carrington may not be the flashiest of players, but he should be a dependable starter for a long time. Given the amount of 3-4 teams in help of defensive line help, don’t be surprised if Carrington’s name is called before the end of round 2.

Verdict: Carrington is another player who has to be looked at if Odrick or Houston isn't the selection. While he's slightly smaller in weight, he has the capability to perform at a high level. Carrington won't be stopping anyone in the backfield, but he most likely won't let anyone past the line of scrimmage. If we don't grab a DE, it may be worth trading one of our 2nd rounders down into the 3rd and picking up Carrington.

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