According to a recent report by ESPN, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are looking at a potential overhaul of their linebacker corps amid reports that Mason Foster may move outside and with Geno Hayes a free agent, will bring in Texas Christian linebacker Tank Carder in for a visit next week. The 6’2″ 236-pound senior had 70 tackles and 2 interceptions for the Horned Frogs in 2011.
The Ball Says: Carder is an interesting story, as he broke his back as a child in a car accident and was told that the only way he would play football was as a kicker. Not only did Carder go on to become a defensive stalwart in Fort Worth, but the third team All-American solidified his status as a mid-round draft pick with a solid showing at February’s NFL scouting combine.
Carder is an intelligent and hard-nosed player who makes up for a lack of elite athleticism with a non-stop motor and great football instincts, and while most pundits view Carder as an outside linebacker at the professional level were a team such as Tampa to draft Carder and insert him in the middle that would present the best case fantasy scenario, as Carder would then potentially merit consideration as an upside LB3 pick in IDP leagues for 2012.
However, it’s quite a bit more likely that the undersized Carder will find himself outside in a 4-3 defensive scheme in the NFL, and that combined with no guarantee of early playing time will probably land him somewhere in LB4 territory at best, with the possibility that he could go undrafted in shallower IDP leagues, while much like his NFL draft prospects Carder should be selected in the middle rounds of rookie IDP dynasty drafts this summer.