Training Camp Roster Preview: OLB Lorenzo Carter

What you need to know about outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter

Background

Lorenzo Carter, a third-round pick of the Giants, was their highest-drafted linebacker since Gerris Wilkinson (third round, 2006).

Selected to help add to the pass rush, Carter played in 432 defensive snaps, mostly as a left outside end according to Pro Football Focus, and posted modest numbers consisting of 43 combined tackles, and 4.0 sacks.

That's not too bad for a rookie pass rusher whom defensive coordinator James Bettcher said didn't have much of a pass rush plan last season.

"When you see him rush, a year ago he was trying to get off the ball as quick as he could and use his hands when he could," Bettcher said.

That approach might have worked in college, but if Carter, who aspires to be a leader on the Giants defense, wants to have longevity in the NFL, he knew something had to change.

Looking Ahead

Bettcher said the most significant difference he's seen this spring from Carter is that the young man has begun to shape who he is as a pass rusher.

"You see a guy that is aware of how he wants to rush, aware of techniques that he wants to rush with," he said. " Guys that get in there as pass rushers--I have been in there and have coached them before personally--you see their best growth in the two and three years."

That, according to Bettcher, is when they find their comfort levels. "Whether you are Chandler Jones and a really bloody rusher or a speed counter guy, he is starting to figure that out. He is building his pass rush toolbox right now."

Bettcher was also pleased with the intensity Carter has brought to the field this spring.

"He is practicing as hard as anyone on the field right now. He is running around and has been a great example that we have been able to show defensively of just straining and effort, finish."

Carter is appreciative that the Giants didn't use the No. 6 overall pick in this year's draft on a pass rusher--Kentucky's Josh Allen was sitting right there for the taking.

Although he claimed he wasn't paying attention at what was going on, Carter knows he has to justify the Giants' faith in him as a potential mainstay pass rusher.

“I'm looking at me going into year two—what steps do I need to take to be better?" he said. "I guess they showed their faith and that I gotta go out there and prove it to myself.”

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