It’s been a busy few days for ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. But with the 2021 NFL Draft now over, Kiper has given his thoughts on who maximized their value.
As it relates to Day 3 of the NFL Draft, Kiper identified one pick that stood out as his favorite. He praised the New York Jets for waiting until the fourth round to take North Carolina RB Michael Carter. Kiper feels that his skills make him a great value pick for the Jets.
“We always say ‘wait on running backs,’ and the Jets did,” Kiper said, via 247Sports. “And they get Michael Carter in the fourth round out of North Carolina. He runs with attitude. He’s low-based. He’s a strong kid, explosive, catches out of the backfield, a ton of production for Mack Brown and a ton of consistency and reliability as well.”
Carter projected by many as a third or even second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. But after nobody took him between Day 1 and Day 2, he didn’t have to wait long on Day 3. The Jets took him with the No. 107 overall pick, the draft’s second selection of the day.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 1, 2021
Michael Carter had a historic career at North Carolina, rushing for 3,404 yards and 22 touchdowns in four seasons. 2020 was his best as he earned First-Team All-ACC honors while recording over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns.
But despite his standout season, NFL teams didn’t even view Carter as the best running back on his own team. Tar Heels RB Javonte Williams, who had an extremely impressive 2020 of his own, went 35th overall to the Denver Broncos.
With the way the Jets built their team during the draft, there’s certainly some room for Carter to find success from the get-go.
We’ll likely see if he justifies Mel Kiper Jr’s high praise for him very quickly.
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