Round 3: Georgia DE Lorenzo Carter
6-5, 243 – 4.73 – Senior
There aren’t a lot of blue-chip pass rushing defensive ends in the 2018 NFL Draft, so the Bucs fill needs at other positions in the first two rounds before selecting Carter in the third round. Carter, who was a four-year starter at Georgia, is a long, explosive defender that is considered to be a poor man’s Leonard Floyd. In fact, Floyd and Carter played together in Georgia’s 3-4 defense as outside linebackers.
Because of the fact that he played linebacker, Carter was not always on the line of scrimmage rushing the passer. His athleticism was used in coverage at times, and also to set the edge and contain the run as a strongside linebacker.
Still, Carter’s athleticism and relentless pursuit of the ball allowed him to record 14 career sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss when he was after the quarterback. With his frame and speed off the edge, Carter could transition well to a weakside 4-3 defensive end and see his production climb with more opportunities to rush the passer.
Carter’s Georgia Career Defensive Stats
2017: 58 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 FF, 3 FR
2016: 44 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 FR, 1 defensive TD
2015: 19 tackles, FF, PBU
2014: 41 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 FR
Playing in the SEC and also in this year’s Rose Bowl and National Championship Game, Carter has plenty of big-game experience and always seems to be around the ball, evidenced by the six forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in his Bulldogs career. In Georgia’s 37-14 win over Louisville in the 2014 Belk Bowl, Carter recorded eight tackles and a sack as a freshman. In a 31-23 win over TCU in the 2016 Liberty Bowl, Carter had seven tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a sack.
Carter had even more big games during his senior season. In a 20-19 win at Notre Dame, he notched seven tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, including the game-clincher in the fourth quarter.
“Terrific job by their best blitzer, Lorenzo Carter,” said Notre Dame football play-by-play man Mike Tirico said on the NBC broadcast. “So talented, they thought if they needed him in a pinch this year they could put him at corner.”
In the win over Auburn this year in the SEC Championship, Carter had six tackles and a forced fumble. In the double overtime win against Oklahoma, Carter had a career-high 10 tackles and half a sack, but it was his blocked field goal in the fourth quarter that allowed Georgia to come back and tie the game to force overtime.
While Carter plays like a savage on the field, he’s got a friendly, John Lynch-like demeanor off the field. Carter is full of positivity the way Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and quarterback Jameis Winston are, and he would be a good fit in Tampa Bay’s locker room with his personality, as well the Bucs’ defensive line on third downs with his athleticism.