As a redshirt senior this past season, Carter recorded 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two pass deflections, and one forced fumble. In 2020, he had 35 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five sacks, two pass deflections, and one fumble recovery.
Carter played defensive end and defensive tackle during his time in Gainesville, as his versatility made him attractive to a Bengals franchise that loves having guys who can play multiple positions, especially on the defensive line.
Journey to the Draft Podcast— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 17, 2021
Matchup to Watch? @AlabamaFTBL OT Evan Neal vs @GatorsFB DE Zachary Carter
I thought Carter showed some high level reps against 360lb Evan Neal in last year's SEC Championship Game. Stout, active player at 6'4 285lbshttps://t.co/eBOY4Uch1Z pic.twitter.com/Si07izktrs
Arif Hasan’s consensus big board at The Athletic had Carer ranked 131st overall, so it wasn’t a major reach at 95.
In fact, draft guru Joe Goodberry had Carter as the top-ranked interior defensive lineman on the board when the Bengals selected him.
Carter was our highest iDL remaining on the board. 90th overall. They picked him 95th.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 30, 2022
He played DE but will kick inside and rush the passer in the NFL.
Looking ahead to his rookie season, Carter probably won’t have a big role as long as Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, DJ Reader and B.J. Hill are all healthy, while guys like Josh Tupou, Tyler Shelvin, Cam Sample and Joseph Ossai will also be fighting for snaps along the defensive line.
For now, the best-case scenario for Carter is he’s able to play 10-20 snaps a game as an interior pass-rusher who could develop into a starter in the coming years.
What do you hope to see from Carter during his rookie campaign? Sound off in the comments section!