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Shyheim Carter 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Versatility is key to longevity in the NFL.Shyheim Carter can play all four defensive back positions and could become a valuable pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Shyheim Carter Overview
Position: Safety
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 194 pounds
College: Alabama Crimson Tide

NFL Combine Performance Data

40-Yard Dash: Elected not to participate
Hand Size: 9 ½ inches
Arm Size: 29 5/8 inches

Shyheim Carter 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Honesty and Shyheim Carter have gone hand-in-hand since his high school days. After being named the High School Offensive Player of the Year at the quarterback position in Louisiana, Carter chose to attend Alabama instead of in-state favorite, LSU. He made headlines with his reasoning for the decision, which was that he wasn’t a big fan of the Bayou Bengals. It’s that care-free, but honest attitude that has made him a name to watch at the next level.

In his freshman campaign at Tuscaloosa, Carter saw action in nine games as Bama’s top reserve cornerback. In his sophomore season, Carter played in all 14 games, recorded seven tackles and one pass breakup, while splitting time between the cornerback and safety position. He became a full-time defensive starter in his junior year. Carter played primarily as a safety, and he had 44 tackles (3.5 for loss), 10 pass breakups and two pick-six interceptions in 12 starts. Following off-season sports hernia surgery, Carter rebounded nicely to have an outstanding senior campaign. In 13 games, he recorded 43 tackles (2.5 for loss), seven pass breakups and one interception.


  • Aggressive and disruptive downfield
  • Versatile performer who can play all four defensive back positions
  • Ideal free safety candidate
  • Anticipates sharp, quick cuts in pass routes
  • Quickly recognizes deep throw attempts
  • Very disciplined in zone coverage
  • Played in a winning environment at Alabama


  • Lacks height to become a difference-maker
  • Inconsistent open field tackler
  • Has trouble filling the gap on running plays
  • Poor acceleration running backwards
  • Slow reaction time on quick, timed pass plays
  • Pass defensive skills aren’t conventional

NFL Comparison: Bob Sanders

Teams With Need at Position: Washington Redskins, New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders and Atlanta Falcons

Projection: late third or fourth round

Bottom Line

The ideal scenario for Carter to have a future in the NFL is for him to make himself a viable candidate for nickel and dime pass defensive schemes. Carter doesn’t have a dynamic skill set; he struggles to defend receivers in short, timing pass plays and he lacks the speed to stay stride-for-stride with receivers on deep routes, but his physical style of play is ideal to shutdown slot receivers. As a safety, Carter reads the ball out of a quarterback’s hands very well and quickly moves to help cornerbacks with coverage downfield. However, he takes bad angles on running backs who have broken-free from the front seven into the open field. Carter isn’t athletic enough to become a full-time NFL defensive starter, but he has good football instincts to become a key special team performer for the next decade.

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