Zachary Carter

Zachary Carter, Florida

5th Year Senior | 6’4″ 290 lbs | Tampa, Florida | 4/7/1999

Zachary Carter is a strong defensive lineman who can play from a 2 to 7 technique with special ability to occupy space in the run game, but lacks the explosiveness and pass-rushing repertoire to be a consistent threat as a rusher.


Zachary Carter, a 4-star dual-sport athlete, played at Hillsborough High school in Tampa, Florida. He received offers in basketball and football and decided to attend Florida over Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State. He redshirted his first year and served as a backup during his redshirt freshman season. As a sophomore, he appeared in nine games as a rotational backup and started two games. Last season, Carter played in a variety of roles on the defensive front for the gators. He played strong side DE in 3-4, 3-2-6 front for the gators and was often asked to rush the passer from the 3 Technique and a 5 technique. In addition, he was deployed as a Buck outside linebacker to rush the quarterback in Todd Grantham’s defense.


  • He has the strength to hold the double team and force the ball carrier to hit the outside gap when he’s playing from a 5 Tech. 
  • Has good lateral ability on stunts to turn his hips and get skinny to hit his desired gap
  • Quick first step out of a 3 and 4 point stance and can get upright with a low center of gravity with a strong initial punch.
  • He can adjust to the ball carrier on the move to getting an arm out to make a tackle on the carrier or to slow him down.
  • He showed some abilities to bull rush the tackle driving him backward into the quarterback’s feet.

Areas To Improve:

  • He needs to improve his lower body flexibility to get low with leverage to bend around the blocker. Can get too high with arms and pads leading to blockers maintaining leverage.
  • He lacks the closing speed in space to make the tackle; he is not a threat to make plays in the backfield to finish to hit the QB.
  • Questionable motor after the play has developed; he hasn’t shown the want to chase down the ball carrier away from him. 
  • His eyes often get too locked into the blocks, and he gets fooled by misdirection plays like RPOs and zone-read options. 
  • Lacks the pass-rushing repertoire to be an effective pass rusher and often gets tied up with the blocker. 
  • He doesn’t have the hand usage to disengage to keep his opponents’ hands off his body.

Injury Concerns:

  • None


Zachary Carter is a strong and athletic defensive end whose ability to make plays from various alignments makes him valuable to NFL teams. He shows the strength to take on double teams in the run game and can get the low center of gravity to occupy multiple gaps. He has a good ability to bull rush and can drive the offensive lineman backward consistently. Carter lacks the explosiveness needed off the ball to threaten the corner as a speed pass rusher. He also does not have a variety of pass rush moves; most of his pressure on the quarterback has been through sheer effort and strength. 

Zachary Carter has shown to be ready for the next level when it comes to his presence as a run stopper. Carter would serve best as a two-gapping defensive end in a 3-4 type defense where he can use his strength to hold gaps in the run game. In a 4-3 he would either need to put on some more weight to a solid 3 tech. But he would need to significantly improve his pass-rushing ability. Two gapping linemen are becoming rarer in today’s NFL; so Carter could have the opportunity to go around the third or fourth round. But he has the potential to go in the second round if he can drastically improve as a pass rusher.