Someone that the Seattle Seahawks could take a look at as a mid-round prospect to compete for time at right tackle is Alabama offensive lineman James Carpenter.
A junior college transfer from Coffeyeville [Kan.] Community College, Carpenter came in and started immediately for the Crimson Tide after Andre Smith left two years ago at left tackle, and Alabama’s offense didn’t miss a beat.
He also fared well at the Senior Bowl a month ago, holding his own among the top tackle prospects in this year’s draft.
Carpenter weighed in a 321 today, and is listed at 6-foot-4.
Although he played mostly tackle in college, Carpenter says he can play all five positions along the offensive line, and likes guard the best.
“I like guard because it’s just less space and you can use your power more,” he said.
One thing that Carpenter would have to adapt to if Seattle’s selects him is the team’s zone blocking scheme. Alabama was more of a power running team, but Carpenter said Alabama ran some zone, and he believes that he’s a good enough athlete to make the adjustment.
Rang said Carpenter is solid in pass protection, but his strength is drive blocking in the running game, something that could help bolster Seattle’s anemic rushing game.
“He played as well as some of the more highly touted tackles there,” Rang said about Carpenter’s performance at the Senior Bowl. “He showed a little bit better depth at his kick slide and his use of hands as pass blocker than he’s generally been credited for.
“Alabama in the past had always been traditionally more of a strong running team, and so to see him be as productive as he was as a pass blocker, I thought helped his stock, and I think turned some heads among the scouts as well.”
“This is a kid that came in as a junior college prospect and immediately and took over for Andre Smith at left tackle, a No. 6 overall pick, and they didn’t have any problem with him,” said Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com. “And then when Alabama this season switched from a run-heavy offense that helped Mark Ingram get the Heisman trophy two years ago, to more of a pass-heavy approach this year, he was able to acclimate to that style and still be very successful.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him go in third round. If he goes in the fourth, I think it’s early in the fourth. And the reason I think he could slip to the fourth is because there’s so many good tackles in this year’s class, and in the NFL he’s not a true left tackle.”
Also, check out this article by Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports about how the different combine workouts help measure different positions.