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Film junky Carter Coughlin promises to “maximize my potential”

Late-round LB from Minnesota calls himself “Swiss army knife”

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It took a while for his name to get called at the 2020 NFL Draft, but former Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Carter Coughlin is now officially a New York Giant.

Coughlin will hope to earn a spot among a crowded rookie linebacking corps. New York took three other backers between the sixth and seventh rounds in Penn State’s Cam Brown, South Carolina’s T.J. Brunson and Georgia’s Tae Crowder.

But Coughlin told reporters that he’s prepared to play the role of the “Swiss army knife,” and he made a promise on it, too.

“Whatever position the coaches decide to put me at, I guarantee you I will be able to maximize my potential there,” he said. “Whether that looks like special teams, whether that looks like a positional fit, I’ll be able to use a lot of the different tools I have been able to build up through college.”

Coughlin spurned an offer from Ohio State to continue a family tradition at Minnesota. Over four seasons with the Gophers he put up 22.5 sacks, being a starter in three of those seasons. He was also a team captain.

By most accounts, the pick was a shrewd one by Dave Gettleman. Coughlin received high praise by analysts around the league for a seventh rounder.

Coughlin says it’s his film study that will lead him to be successful.

“That played out a lot for me in college, identifying what the opposing offensive tackle struggles with, how he moves his feet, how he shoots his hands, whether he leans, all of that kind of stuff. I think that transfers even more to the NFL because from what I’ve heard it’s a whole bunch of film and note taking and that’s right up my wheelhouse,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 236-pounder primarily played rush end at Minnesota. However, he ended up gaining familiarity with a variety of outside linebacking spots.

“It’s kind of a hybrid outside linebacker mixed with defensive end. It allowed me to drop into coverage, it allowed me to get after the quarterback, play off tight ends and play near the line of scrimmage,” said Coughlin. “It really allowed me to play a bunch of different aspects of what an outside linebacker could look like or even a defensive end.”