Much like he has with the offensive line, Joe Douglas has been busy overhauling the team’s secondary. Pierre Desir, Quincy Wilson, Bryce Hall, and Ashtyn Davis are just some of the new faces brought into the unit previously known as New Jack City. The Jets will need much improved play from this unit as the Duck Hodges and Matt Barkley’s have been replaced with Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes’ on the schedule in 2020. After that draft, Douglas went to the NFL talent factory that is the University of Alabama and brought in Shyheim Carter as a UDFA to see if he can help this unit.
Carter was a 2-year starter at Alabama, where he racked up 100 tackles, 3 INTs and 17 pass deflections as he spent time at both nickel and safety over those two years. He flashed as a playmaker in 2018 as he returned both his interceptions for touchdowns. Carter received very high praise from head coach Nick Saban as he called him one of the two smartest players on the team, as Carter could answer any question in a meeting about any position and would make a good coach someday. Carter’s IQ gives him the flexibility of playing multiple positions and he is always someone who is going to work to get better.Listed at 5’10, 195 pounds – Carter as an athlete leaves a lot to be desired. He lacks the real play speed and length to consistently play nickel and lacks the range to play free safety. Carter projects as someone who could be a very good special teams player and sub package DB but I struggle to see how ever becomes someone who can be consistently played on defense given his athletic limitations.
Carter faces an uphill battle to make the 53 as he is likely going to impress the coaches most in the meeting room. With likely no OTAs and an abbreviated training camp, he is going to have less face to face time then he would normally get. Bringing in a battle tested high IQ player from a blueblood program like Alabama is a wise dart throw by Douglas. The coaching staff will love Carter the person and he is someone who I can easily see sticking on the practice squad if he cannot make the 53.