James Carpenter NFL Draft Scouting Report

James Carpenter
6'5, 303 pounds | Tackle/Guard | Alabama

Agility: Balanced and fluid movements are not a strong part of Carpenter's game.  He plays straight and stiff which limits his ability to change direction.  His lack of smooth change of direction allows pass rushers to easily employ effective counter moves.  This also impacts his ablity to breakdown and block a defender in space.

Movement: Carpenter is not a coordinated or fluid athlete.  He struggles to get in and out of his stance which helps the defenders to get an advantage.  When asked to climb to the 2nd level, Carpenter is routinely late and unbalanced.  He doesn't show the quickness to get across the face of a penetrating defensive tackle.  This will be an issue if he is asked to transition to the guard position.

Pass blocking:  Lack of quickness and balance limit Carpenter's ability to effectively protect in space.  He struggles to reach the edge allowing speed rushers to flatten out and create pressure.  However, Carpenter has a natural bend and strong anchor.  This allows him to absorb contact and limit the push on the pocket. Carpenter's ability to achor will help him if he is asked to transition to guard.  I feel that guard might be the best fit for him because I wouldn't trust him protecting in space.

Quickness: Carpenter lacks ideal quickness and struggles to fire off the football.  His lack of short area bust limits his ability to reach penetrating defensive linemen.  Carpenter has a hard time climbing to the 2nd level and reaching his blocking assignment.  Quickly shuffling and sliding his feet is a problem area for Carpenter.  His slow feet hinders his ability to reach the edge in pass protection.

Run blocking: Keeping his pad level low and his leg drive are the keys to Carpenter's run blocking success.  He has a natural bend that allows him to gain leverage. Carpenter gets his head under the chin of the defender and drives his feet to push them off the ball.  He possesses heavy hands that allows him to Velcro making it difficult for defenders to disengage.  However, his lack of quickness will result in defenders beating him to a gap and penetrating.

Strength:  Carpenter shows heavy hands which allows him to remain engaged to his target.  He has the strength to control and move players off the line of scrimmage.  His powerful base helps him remain balanced after the initial contact at the line.  Carpenter doesn't have a very strong punch which impacts his initial jolt to the defender.

Technique: The biggest concern surrounding Carpenter's technique is his inconsistent hand placement.  To often, Carpenter gets his hands out on the shoulder of the defender.  This hinders his ability to control and push players off the line.  Offensive linemen that struggle with hand placement are also a likely target for holding calls.  The referee is able to quickly see holding if your hands are on the shoulder of your opponent. In pass protection, Carpenter plays with his hands at his side which results in wasted motions.  He needs to bring his arms up before he punches which gives the rusher more of an opportunity to get into his body.  However, Carpenter does a good job keeping his pad level low and maintaining leverage.

Games Viewed: LSU, Arkansas, Auburn

Final Word: Overall, I see Carpenter as a late round guard prospect.  He doesn't show the ability to hold up in space which will make him a liability in pass protection.  The fact that he can anchor and recover fits into what teams are looking for in a guard prospect.  However, his height and weight will be an hindrance to playing guard.  NFL guards are usually around 6-3 and weight more than 300lbs.  His height will make it tough for him to get his hands up quickly and deliver a strong blow.

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