Florida State Seminoles product Tank Carradine is one of the top pass rushers in this draft class, and he is, in my opinion, easily one of the best 15 prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft on talent alone. Carradine’s ACL tear caused his draft stock to be placed in the late first round, but now it has picked back up again into, perhaps, a top-half spot.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Tank Carradine is generating “buzz” after he ran a 4.75 forty at his pro day and seemingly quelled all those injury concerns. La Canfora writes that the Saints “seem quite intrigued among others”.
Now the news that the Saints are interested in Carradine is notable, because the Saints run a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. That would seemingly not be a good fit for Carradine, who fits best as a 4-3 DE and played there at Florida State, but several teams are intrigued by his ability to play as a 3-4 outside linebacker. The Saints aren’t the only team that wouldn’t be afraid of a schematic fit for Carradine, and they would snap him off the board right in the top-half of the draft.
Carradine will still likely be selected outside of the top 20, but all it takes is one team to see past the ACL tear. Players recover from severe knee injuries all the time now, and teams always draft with the long-term view in mind. Carradine won’t be able to start training camp and will have a delay in learning the ropes, but the main concern on the health-front was how fast he would be and if it is worth taking a potentially hampered player in the first round. To me, I think it is worth only docking Carradine a little bit for the injury, because he is such a talented player and seems to have rehabbed extremely well after posting a 4.75 forty. He has the speed to succeed as a pass rushing OLB in the 3-4 scheme, but you would ideally want to play him in the 4-3 as a DE. The Saints likely won’t take Carradine, but it is wise of them to show some interest. And you know what? It is an intriguing fit, especially since Carradine is a good enough athlete.
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