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Jamal Carter needs to rise above the stiff competition in 2018

Jamal Carter is in a position group that is thick with some of the best talent the NFL has to offer. He’s got skills though and the sky is the limit for this young safety

Jamal Carter was a favorite of many from last year’s training camp. He was an undrafted free agent who showed a whole lot of promise and faces some serious competition in his second season with the Denver Broncos.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Jamal Carter
Position: Defensive Back (Safety)
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 218
Age: 24
Experience: 2nd
College: Miami Southridge HS

The Good

While seeing the field quite a bit in preseason action he showed a lot of consistently solid play with sprinkles of greatness mixed in. For a UDFA rookie, this is the kind of stuff that gets real football fans hot under the collar.

What I liked most about Carter was his ability to consistently make the rights reads and put himself in a position to defend plays or make QBs look away from their primary reads. He looks to my eyes as a guy who has the head and reaction time needed to be a real asset as a safety in the NFL.

Add to it a vast amount of special teams work (he was on the field for just shy of 75% of the Special Teams snaps) during the regular season and you have some of the seasoning you want to get for young players who need to grow.

The Bad

There’s nothing short in this man’s game. He defends the run and the pass well. The biggest negative I see for Carter is that he was undrafted and the team has a plethora of talent in the defensive backfield all with better pedigrees than he has. The sad reality of the Broncos in recent years is that they oftentimes reward pedigree (draft status) over actual on the field performance which could mean Carter gets shortchanged.

Quotable

Head coach Vance Joseph after the rookie orientation on May 12th mentioned Jamal Carter as one of the successes the Broncos have had with undrafted free agents.

“We had a draftable grade on him as an outside linebacker,” Joseph said of UDFA Jeff Holland. ”It was really cool to get him signed. Every free agent we signed had a draftable grade on our board. All eight guys had draftable grades. That’s always cool, and that’s the eighth round of the draft. We’ve had great success here at Denver, with guys like Chris Harris Jr. and last year with [Marcus] Rios, [Dymonte] Thomas an Jamal Carter. We’ve had great success with eight-round drafts. Hopefully it happens again.”

2018 Status

That being said, this is the same kind of situation guys like Chris Harris, Jr. and C.J. Anderson faced and overcame in recent years. I wouldn’t take a bet that Carter doesn’t make the team. If he is putting in the same level of work Broncos Country witnessed from him in his rookie season, he’ll overcome the odds and make sure the coaches carve out a spot for him in 2018.