Former UF DL Zachary Carter appears to be an ‘all-around playmaker’ for the Bengals

Pictured: Zachary Carter; 1 credit

The Florida Gators sent three players to the NFL via the NFL Draft last week, including the defensive lineman Zachary Cartermember of the Florida football program for five seasons.

Carter would be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round, pick No. 95, and be Florida’s second prospect off the board during the three-day deal.

Carter, 6-foot-4, 282 pounds, was one of Florida’s most versatile defensive linemen during the Dan Mullen era. He would play both inside and outside and would certainly look to do the same with the Bengals advancing to the pros.

In a media chat shortly after his selection, Carter said he was surprised to see Cincinnati ringing his phone. After all, the Bengals hadn’t spoken much with Carter’s agent throughout the process. Still, he thinks Cincy fans should be excited, nothing he can field “anywhere”.

“I feel like Bengals fans should be excited because I’m an all-around point guard. I can line up just about anywhere,” he said. “And I feel like I can make plays just about anywhere – rushing the passer, in the running game. I’m a disruptive defender – I like to disrupt plays in the backfield, I like to get in. So there’s a lot to look forward to.”

Certainly there are. Over his five-year career, Carter has played 46 games after spending his first season in a redshirt in 2017. He reportedly had 28.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks, demonstrating his penetrating style as a player. defensive line, while playing on the edge a lot throughout his career.

Still, Carter feels like he’ll be more of a factor inside defensive tackle, saying he feels like a mismatch on guard.

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“I feel like my quickness on the inside and my first step separate me. I feel like it’s giving the guards on the inside a hard time.”

Carter knew he would ultimately be selected on day two of the draft, either in the second or third round. Given what he knew, he figured the Buffalo Bills or the San Francisco 49ers would be one of those teams. Now he can go see a Super Bowl contender, playing with a QB he knows well in the former LSU star Joe Terrier.

“It’s crazy, honestly, to go from being in a college locker room to now being in the NFL and being around guys that you’ve played against. I’m a teammate with Joe Burrow. I feel like It’s an honor, man. He’s a good guy. I look up to those guys.

Although Carter sees himself as a player capable of wreaking havoc from inside a defensive formation, Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo sees the versatility he brings, someone who can rush the passer to the most high level, given that he just did it. Southeastern Conference.

“He’s a D-line player through and through, so he has that edge, which we like,” Anarumo said shortly after selection. “There’s no doubt he’s going to bring a sense of urgency to the group we already have, but just add to that. (When) he crosses that white line, he’s a badass.”

Ultimately, it’s that kind of energy that Carter wants to bring to the Bengals’ defense, a lion that funds its prey, he says.

“Trying to get sacks and chase the QB, I live for that. I always hunt. I look like a lion just chasing its prey.” Carter explained when asked to characterize his meanness and desire to get to QB. “I have to get to that QB. That’s what changes games.”

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Helen L. Cuellar