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Why did Giants claim TE Kyle Carter from Minnesota Vikings?

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Let’s see if we can figure out what Pat Shurmur likes about him

Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks
Kyle Carter
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Can Kyle Carter, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings, crack the New York Giants roster as an extra tight end? Let’s take a look as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster.

The basics

Age: 25
Experience: 1
Position: Tight end
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 245

2017 season in review

Spent most of the season on the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad. Was on the active roster for three games, but played only 28 snaps and had no receptions.

2018 outlook

At first glance, Carter would appear to be an afterthought in the Giants’ tight end picture. Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison and Jerell Adams all return to the team. Still, head coach Pat Shurmur was in Minnesota while Carter spent most of the past two seasons on the practice squad, and there has to be a reason why the Giants claimed him via waivers in February when the Vikings let him go.

NFL.com wasn’t high on Carter’s NFL chances coming out of Penn State in 2016:

BOTTOM LINE

Failed to factor into offense in 2015 and has seen his productivity dip year after year. Carter is more H-back than true tight end, but his lack of focus and body control to make tough catches could hurt his stock since he’s not a consistent blocker. Carter has the athleticism to become a bigger factor in the passing game and maybe a more accurate passer and change of scenery will wake him up.

SB Nation’s Penn State web site, Black Shoe Diaries, wrote:

Carter has decent size for the NFL at 6-3 and 252 lbs., although a couple more inches would make him more desirable as a red zone threat. He’s proven to be a major asset in the passing game, and especially excels at running crisp routes and finding holes in the defense. He also has the athleticism to contribute in multiple ways. In addition to a true tight end, he can line up in various ways as an H-back as well as being a key special teams player. Carter is an intelligent player, as made evident by the fact he has been named as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree each of the past four years.

If he wants to find himself on an NFL roster for the foreseeable future, Carter will need to improve his strength to improve as a blocker, as well as in fighting through defenders to get off his routes. Carter is projected to be drafted in the seventh round or sign as an undrafted free agent. Like any player in this position, Carter will need to find the right fit in an offense that can get the most of his skillset and stay healthy for a prolonged career in the NFL.

Perhaps Shurmur sees ability that has yet to be tapped into. We are going to find out.