Tariq Carpenter came to Georgia Tech after starring in football, track, and basketball. He has nine siblings and his mother played college basketball while his uncle played college football at Missouri. Carpenter is an oversized safety that the Yellow Jackets featured in deep alignments, the slot, and in the box. At the next level, a transition to weakside linebacker or serving as a hybrid defender is likely necessary. He has the frame needed to play on the second level and features outstanding length. He is a physical defender that is a sound tackler. When it comes to concerns outside of the likely need to embrace a position change, Carpenter is a fairly tight athlete that lacks lateral movement skills. He’s a modest processor that as a safety, could not be trusted in deeper alignments while featuring matchup restrictions in man coverage. Carpenter’s best chance to prove himself is on special teams and by providing value in subpackages on defense.
Ideal Role: Developmental safety/linebacker hybrid and special teams
Scheme Fit: Any
Written by Joe Marino
Games watched: Duke (2021), Clemson (2021), Georgia (2021)
Best Game Studied: Duke (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Georgia (2021)
Football IQ: Carpenter is a sufficient processor that generally keeps things in front of him. He is assertive when playing closer to the line of scrimmage and playing downhill. His coverage instincts leave something to be desired in terms of anticipatory skills.
Tackling: Carpenter is a big, physical tackler that can trigger from deep alignments and make tackles. He has good hitting power and contact balance. He tackles more like a linebacker than a safety.
Versatility: To his credit, Carpenter played in deep alignments, in the slot, and in the box with regularity. That said, I do not expect the same to be true for Carpenter in the NFL as he’s an oversized safety that will need to embrace a full-time role at linebacker.
Range: As a safety, Carpenter isn’t a candidate for playing in deep zones or as a one-high defender. He doesn’t have the speed, quickness, or fluidity to cover ground in deep alignments. As a linebacker, he has sufficient range.
Ball Skills: Carpenter had modest ball production in college and didn’t get his hands on many footballs in the air. His lack of anticipatory skills and athleticism takes away from his opportunities to disrupt at the catch point. He does have a background at wide receiver and as a kick returner in high school.
Run Defending: Carpenter thrives as a plus-one defender in the box as a safety to defend the run. That said, he’ll need to prove his ability to play full-time on the second level in the NFL should he be tasked with a position change. He has the size and length to take on blocks and play the run.
Functional Athleticism: Carpenter doesn’t have ideal athleticism for a safety but can get by at linebacker. He doesn’t showcase above average twitch or agility and his most explosive moments come in a straight line. There will be matchup restrictions in man coverage.
Competitive Toughness: Carpenter is a physical and competitive player that executes with a hot motor. He battles to be around the football and is never passive when it comes to contact or taking on blocks.
Flexibility: Carpenter lacks fluidity. His hips are tight and he’s a linear athlete. He has some short-area burst and can close from deep alignments, but I am concerned about him in coverage down the field.
Special Teams Ability: Carpenter projects well to a special teams role in the NFL. He has good size, functional strength, and length with the temperament needed to be featured covering kicks and punts. His ability to transition to linebacker and prove himself on special teams will be critical to his ability to stick in the NFL.
TDN Consensus: 69.25/100 (Sixth Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 71.50/100
Marino Grade: 67.00/100