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NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo

Carroo had some off the field issues in 2015, which could bump him down into the Patriots range in the draft.

Leonte Carroo is the Patriots best receiving fit in the draft, but will he be available.
Leonte Carroo is the Patriots best receiving fit in the draft, but will he be available.
Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are in the market to upgrade their receiving corps in both free agency and the draft, with their top 3 players battling severe injuries at the tail end of 2015. Leonte Carroo could wind up as a potential steal in the draft for teams willing to look past his off the field flags, which includes an assault charge and violating team curfew. Robert Kraft and the Patriots have a history with getting rid of players linked to domestic violence, but it's unsure whether they'll look the other way with Carroo. Carroo claims he was trying to break up a fight between his girlfriend and another person, and I believe NFL teams will be digging hard into that story.

Carroo is an above-average route runner who can cut and change direction very fluidly, but struggles to beat press coverage due to terrible technique coming out of his stance. Carroo doesn't explode out of his stance, he tends to glide at that point, which could cause problems against physical press CBs like Malcolm Butler or Aqib Talib. That deficiency is easily correctable with some strong coaching from WR coach Chad O'Shea, but his ability to separate at the top of his stem makes him a candidate to be an immediate plug and play guy in 2016.

His production at Rutgers got better each year and averaged almost 20 yards a reception. He's not a big guy at 5'11" 215, but he offers a good combination of size and speed. Pro Football Focus writer Kevin Cole came up with a ranking system that predicts early NFL success. Carroo ranks first on the list with a predictability score of 71%. This predictability score factors age, market share of team's receiving yards, catches per game, and TDs per game.

There is a good chance that Carroo may not even fall to the Patriots at 60 in the draft, but it's possible the domestic violence link could take him off some team's boards on the 2nd day of the draft. Carroo is also battling a high-ankle sprain, which teams will be dissecting as well when the Combine rolls around. I'm predicting that Carroo will do well in the timed tests at the NFL combine. Overall, I'd give him a Mid-2nd Round Grade with a High-2nd Round Value.

Please avoid Rutgers jokes if possible.