Defensive lineman David Carter, drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft was expected to be a project player, but he made an impact early on and found himself in the playing rotation making plays. He did not get a lot of snaps, but managed to pick up 16 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in his limited action.
Pro Football Focus liked what he did a season ago enough to name him the Arizona Cardinals Secret Superstar for 2012.
This is what is said about the now second year player:
Carter showed his patience last season and he will likely have to again this season, but his late-season form should ensure that he is not passed up again should Dan Williams go down with another injury. Reports out of Arizona OTAs, however, suggest that Williams is managing his weight better this offseason which may allow him to show the form that made him our Cardinals Secret Superstar in 2011. Patience is the key for Carter who-even if he takes the starting spot in Arizona-will still be somewhat of a secret having to share the defensive line with Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett. If Carter gets the chance to show his talents over more snaps, though, expect the Cardinals' interior run defense to quietly improve as a result of the grunt work being put in by the Cardinals' Secret Superstar.
Whether he will become a big impact players has yet to be seen. He will likely be a part-time player. Dan Williams, if healthy and in condition, is the disrupting force in the middle of the defensive line that is needed for the Cardinals scheme.
Carter is a different mold. Instead of his size and strength, he uses athleticism and quickness to make plays. He was not even projected to play defensive tackle, but end.
However, because of the motor he plays with, it will not be a surprise to see him show up in some impact plays, even in limited snaps.
Secret? Perhaps. Superstar? Probably not in 2012.
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