...the scout is Russ Land, who worked for the Rams. He isn't real high on Carpenter. Take a look. This ought to generate some response from all the Carpenter fanatics on the board. ********************************************************** Bobby Carpenter Height: 6-3 Weight: 255 40 Speed: 4.61* Position: Outside Linebacker College: Ohio State Final Grade: M 5.9 INJ GM JR Scouting LLC Grading Scale/Key SUMMARY Carpenter was a very frustrating linebacker to evaluate, because he no doubt has the size, strength, playing speed and athleticism to be a productive all-around linebacker, but he is not one now, and he is unlikely to ever become one. While he tests out like a warrior, his lack of instincts hinder his ability to play up to his off-field workouts -- he is often a beat late moving at the snap and lacks the explosiveness to catch up once he loses a step. When he is aggressive with his hands, he does a good job jolting blockers, gets arm extension and can shed and get free to make plays against runs directed at him -- he has shown the ability to do a good job of maintaining force responsibility. Overall, Carpenter is going to test out big time and will be drafted higher than rated because of it, but he will struggle to become the big-play impact linebacker that is expected of such high draft picks. He will develop into a good starting linebacker, who like many current NFL starters, makes a lot of tackles chasing down plays in pursuit, but does not make big plays to impact games. Carpenter broke an ankle against Michigan, so the ankle will need to pass tests before he is completely cleared. STRONG POINTS Carpenter is a good athlete with the size and strength to play all three linebacker positions. He is a tough and competitive player, who consistently hustles and chases from snap to whistle, and does not quit until the ball carrier is down. Once he gets to full speed, he has good playing speed to make tackles from sideline to sideline. He has the strength to be a strong presence at the point of attack, and he can shed and make the tackle. WEAKNESSES Carpenter does not play up to his natural athletic ability -- no doubt, he does not play up to his 40 time. He lacks good instincts, which causes him to be a beat late moving at the snap and reacting to the play once it gets started, and he lacks the explosive burst to make up the ground and catch up. He struggles to stay with tight ends and running backs in man-to-man coverage; he allows separation out of cuts and can't get back into good position. POSITIONAL FACTORS Grade Category Comments/Description 5.0 Read & React He's often a beat late moving at the snap and reacting to the play. 5.5 Initial Quickness He gets moving quickly when he sees the ball, but his instincts hinder his consistency. 6.0 Play Strength He can stack the point of attack vs. blockers, and he sheds and makes tackles well. 6.5 Tackling He does a very good job of bending knees, staying over feet and tackling in space. 5.5 Shed Blocker He can be very good, but he struggles to consistently shed once a blocker gets ahold of him. 5.5 Run at Him He doesn't always shed in time, but contains runs and makes plays when he does. 6.0 Pursuit/Range He chases plays down well in pursuit, but doesn't always have the speed to catch fast ball carriers. 6.0 Closing Burst When he gets close chasing plays in pursuit, he has a good burst to finish the play. 5.5 Zone Coverage He closes quickly to make the tackle after the catch, but he lacks burst to get there to make a play on ball. 5.5 M/M Coverage He can stay with his man on straight routes, but struggles to stay close out of cuts. 5.0 Pass Rush Ability He lacks an explosive burst off the ball and is not consistent pressuring the quarterback. 5.5 Errors His instincts cause him to react late and lead to him not making plays he should. ATHLETIC ABILITY Section Grade: 6.0 Carpenter is a good athlete, but he does not consistently show it on the field. Despite testing out as an elite athlete, he does not play like one. He has quick feet and can accelerate to full speed quickly, but he does not have an explosive burst, and does not play up to his 40 time. His playing speed gives him sideline range vs. the run, but his lack of burst hinders his ability to stay with RBs out of their cuts in man-to-man coverage. He has the natural flexibility to bend his knees and play with a wide base -- he can move and adjust to breakdown and tackle well out in space, when he stays under control. He does not consistently change directions quickly, and lacks the burst in the other direction to catch up once the tight end crosses in front of him. COMPETITIVENESS Section Grade: 6.0 Carpenter is definitely a tough linebacker who has shown a willingness to play through pain to stay in the lineup, and has consistently fought hard to get to the ball. While he has been a productive player who consistently chases down plays across the field in pursuit, he is not an impact player, and does not make the big plays on defense that change games. His overall production has been good, but it is important to note that his production comes mostly from making tackles from the side in pursuit, and he rarely makes a big play. He is consistent in his ability to make plays when he has a clear path to chase down the ball, but struggles greatly when he has to take on and defeat a blocker. He struggles to shed blockers once they get ahold of him, and he gets cut to the ground too easily by cut blocks. He is a competitive team player who consistently hustles and chases hard after the ball from snap to whistle and never quits on a play. MENTAL ALERTNESS Section Grade: 5.0 While Carpenter is regarded as a smart young man, there should be concern about his ability to learn and retain based on his bad use of hands vs. cut blocks and his bad shedding technique. He does not consistently read and react to the play quickly, which makes one wonder about his instincts -- he's late reacting to the tight end releasing off the ball, allows separation, and cannot catch up. He does a good job of maintaining a high level of concentration despite inconsistent instincts. STRENGTH/EXPLOSION Section Grade: 6.0 Carpenter has a very good build for a linebacker at 6-3 and over 250 pounds, and he has the frame to add another 10 pounds without affecting his play. His size, athleticism and competitiveness have helped Carpenter to be a pretty durable linebacker at Ohio State, and he should be a durable NFL player, but will need to overcome the broken ankle he suffered against Michigan in 2005. When Carpenter is chasing after the ball carrier in pursuit, he has shown an explosive closing burst to finish plays. However, in terms of acceleration, he lacks an explosive burst and loses a step to players with a burst out of their cuts. When he bends his knees, plays with a wide base and uses his hands aggressively, he displays good playing strength -- he can stack the point of attack vs. offensive line blocks, shed the block, and make the tackle.