Believe it or not, the New Orleans Saints may have a sleeper on their hands during rookie minicamp in former Ohio State receiver Duron Carter, son of the NFL legend Cris Carter.
Duron Carter isn’t a name you likely associate with good feelings, and for good reason. He caught one touchdown pass at Ohio State back in 2009 before being declared academically ineligible thanks to poor grades. Carter then bounced to Alabama, never played a snap and wound up with FIU.
Now, Carter has a shot at catching passes from Drew Brees with the Saints.
On paper, Carter has the measurables you look for in a quality wide receiver. At 6’3″ and 205 pounds with a 4.58 40-yard-dash time at FIU’s Pro Day, it’s hard to not like what Carter brings to the table.
Then the character issues pop up.
As you would expect, Cris Carter went to bat publicly for his son, providing the reasons as to why he kept bouncing around because of grades and not contributing on the field(per Larry Hartstein of CBS):
Duron Carter attended four colleges in four years, starting with his dad’s alma mater Ohio State, and hasn’t played since 2010 when he caught 10 touchdown passes at Coffeyville (Kan.) Junior College.
“He. Just. Hates. (Bleeping). School,” a candid Cris Carter told USA Today before the draft.
Seems like a good reason, right?
In all seriousness, let’s not act like this is the first talented collegiate athlete to bounce around because he was too lazy with school or academically inept. At least he’s not bouncing around because of crimes and drugs.
That’s not the only reported problem with Duron, however. According to Cayden Cochran, Carter’s high school quarterback, he’s going to be a cancer in the NFL (per Mark Craig of The Star Tribune):
According to USA Today, Cayden Cochran, Coffeyville’s starting quarterback in 2010, used his Twitter account to post this about Duron: “The team that drafts Duron Carter will get the most lazy, whiny & non-work ethic player the nfl has ever seen. I played w/him. Horrible person & will be a complete cancer to any team on the board.”
Of course, you have to remember this impression of Carter is based on their time in high school together. That’s a very long time ago. For all we know, Carter simply took Cochran’s lunch money.
People change. Carter landed a tryout with the Minnesota Vikings a week ago. He didn’t make the roster, but no red flags came up. His father may have put a great word in for him, but that only goes so far unless Cris has some amazing blackmail. Duron wouldn’t have landed a tryout with the Saints if he didn’t offer something on the football field.
Perhaps Carter has turned his life around. He certainly has what you look for in an NFL-caliber receiver. There’s no grades to deal with in the NFL, just playbooks. As far as character concerns go, some may be a bitter former teammate, and some may be because he simply isn’t academically gifted.
Head coach Sean Payton and Co. thought it wise to give Duron a tryout with the Saints, so it’s hard to question the decision, especially with his Hall of Fame pedigree.
Keep an eye out for news surrounding Duron Carter and the Saints.