Miami Dolphins potential draft pick OLB Lorenzo Carter

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Roquan Smith
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Roquan Smith /

The Miami Dolphins will be looking to fill many a position during the upcoming NFL draft.

One of the starting holes looking to be filled on the roster will be at linebacker. Specifically, the need at the outside linebacker position opposite of Kiko Alonso.

Alonso is currently playing as the Dolphins weakside linebacker which means the team will be looking for a player who can fill the strong side.

Backup linebacker Stephone Anthony, who the team acquired via trade at the beginning of the 2017 regular season from the Saints, filled in admirably for former starting strong-side linebacker Lawrence Timmons as the season went on. However, Anthony is not exactly a shoe-in for the starting role.

The Dolphins could be looking to upgrade as well as add depth to their core of linebackers.

Enter Georgia prospect Lorenzo Carter.

Although he hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential of being a former 5-star recruit entering college, Carter is a tall, long, and rangy linebacker who has the ability to cover sideline-to-sideline. His 6’6, 250lbs frame and 40-time of 4.5 seconds allows him the ability to cover tight ends  (an area the Dolphins have struggled in) and make passes over him difficult for quarterbacks. He also has demonstrated the ability to become a blitzer or edge-passrusher in subpackages which is something the Dolphins were hoping to get out of Lawrence Timmons this past season.

During his 4 years at Georgia, Carter accumulated over 166 total tackles, 21.5 for loss, 14 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles.

Those stats leave much to be desired. But in 2017, Carter improved and recorded personal career-highs in tackles (62), tackles for loss (8.5), and matched his highest sack total of 4.5 from his freshman year.

According to Lance Zierlein who does draft profiles of college prospects for, the Georgia Bulldog stepped up his game this past season after he was one of the players challenged by team coaches to produce up to their potential.

His strengths?

“Tremendously long and rangy. Long strider with ability to cover ground quickly and close on wide flowing plays. Effective use of arm length. Consistent punch and separation against blocks. Takes contain responsibilities seriously. Plus quickness in lateral slides. Frame unravels to catch running backs who think they are in the clear. Uses long-arm stab to access blocker’s frame and set the edge. Build-up speed creates downfield angles to the sideline to challenge ball carriers and receivers after catch. Active as tackler to search for and yank at the football. Forced and recovered six career fumbles. Has edge-threatening get-off. Uses slinky upper body to slide around blocker’s punch. Flashes talent to flip hips around the arc and flatten to the quarterback. Posted 15 career sacks.”


“Gangly frame begging for more weight and muscle. Thin legs offer subpar base. Long tackles can neutralize his length and push him around. Not ready to handle downhill rushing attack headed for his doorstep. Herd tackler with just moderate solo numbers. More of a straight-line mover than expected. Rush can be too easily stalled when rushing as an end. Slow to activate hands as a pass rusher. Will need to develop rush plan and hand usage to counter his lack of play strength. Not enough boom for conversion of speed to power.”

An SEC NFC Scout commented and gave his thoughts on Carter.
“He was a really big deal coming out but I didn’t think he developed as much after his freshman year as I expected him to. He’s been in a lot of different roles over there but this year I thought he looked more aggressive and more comfortable outside.”

Near the end of his draft profile, Zierlein gave his overall assessment of Carter.

“Carter was a five-star prospect and one of the most heralded players in the nation when he was recruited by Georgia but he never made the impact expected of him as a Bulldog. However, Carter played with increased toughness and confidence this year and his NFL potential began to reassert itself once again. Carter is an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 with sideline-to-sideline range and the tools to become a productive edge rusher in sub-packages. He needs to add more bulk, but he is a future NFL starter.”

According to Zierlein, Lorenzo Carter is projected as a 2nd to 3rd round linebacking prospect while’s sources see him falling as late as the 4th round.

Along with linebacker, the Dolphins have a substancial need at defensive tackle after releasing Ndamukong Suh during the free agency period, and have been flirting with the idea of drafting a quarterback should one fall to them. If the Dolphins decide to prioritize DT or QB with their 11th pick in the 1st round, Carter could become an interesting option later on as the draft unravels.