Exhibits good instincts in space and combined with his closing burst he has the ability to consistently put himself around the play. Has experience playing both the boundary and field position at Virginia Tech and does a nice job playing sound assignment football, not false stepping or taking himself out of many plays in coverage. Possesses good ball skills and coordination and consistently is able to quickly locate the throw, adjust and get his hands on the play, creating turnovers when he can.
However, isn’t quite as effective in man at this stage, especially when asked to play up near the line. Isn’t real physical in press and seems to really rush his footwork in his drop. Exhibits good bend in his back pedal initially, but his pad level seems to rise the further he has to sit into his drop. Also, gets long and leggy with his footwork and lacks ideal balance when asked to turn and run. Exhibits good fluidity in the hips, but allows himself to get too high when transitioning to run down the field and it will take him a couple steps to get back up to top-end speed.
Isn’t a real impressive tackler and struggles to break down on ball carriers in the run game. Tends to take poor angles, drops his head and fails to see what he wants to hit. Now, isn’t afraid to throw his body around and try to disengage the ball from man, but just has a tendency to whiff too often both in a phone booth and in space.
Impression: An explosive athlete who can really run and click and close on the football. Displays good ball skills as well, but lacks ideal footwork in his drop and balance out of his breaks in man coverage However, he’s a very good off man/zone guy and looks like a crafty nickel back at the next level."
Despite shortcomings in man coverage, his sub-4.4 speed and ability to play the ball make him a legitimate mid-round candidate who can provide nickel support and solid depth in a Cover 2-type of zone scheme, while bringing some explosive big-play ability to the field.
Positives: Explosive, rangy athlete with nice acceleration and top-end speed. Lanky and slender, but isn't afraid to go for the big hit. Fearless tackler willing to engage bigger backs and receivers head-on. Gets his head around in coverage and adjusts his body nicely to the ball in the air. Has a second gear that allows him to correctively close gaps between himself and receivers who have gained separation. Light-footed, smooth backpedal maintaining still head and upper body. Displays good awareness of both the quarterback's eyes and receiver location when playing off in zone coverage. Gets his hands up quickly to make plays on balls that he may get his head around late on. Keeps his eyes in the backfield and shows good zone discipline when defending the run.
Negatives: Struggles to get his hands on opposing receivers and create disruptive contact at the line of scrimmage when playing press. Doesn't crowd receivers enough in man coverage, often leaving an unnecessary cushion of space both off the line and downfield, thus allowing the receiver room to maintain balance and keep route accuracy. Tends to slow up when turning out of his backpedal and running upfield, often leaving himself in a "catch up" situation with his assigned receiver. When reacting to slant routes underneath in zone coverage, doesn't get a quick enough first step to consistently meet the ball at the receiver. Puts himself in good position to make tackles against the run, but tends to wait on the ballcarrier rather than drive through him, thus leaving him vulnerable to jukes and cutbacks. Displays very poor tackling technique when engaging the ballcarrier at times, tending to lock his knees and lead with his head."
Carmichael was just a two star recruit from Gwynn Park High School. He had to work his way up from the bottom of the totem pole after redshirting in 2006. He started playing special teams, and then got more playing time as a nickel back in 2008. By 2009, Carmichael had established himself as a corner to stay away from because of his excellent speed and ball skills.
Carmichael is fast. Very fast. He will have no problems keeping up with the straight line speed of the NFL whether he’s playing in zone or man coverage. He has excellent closing speed and has a knack for making a play on the football when it’s in the air. He has soft hands in the air, and catches the ball at its highest point, and makes it difficult for the opposing wide receiver to make a play. He’s a bit of a ball hog, which is good when it comes to playing cornerback. Carmichael has very quick feet, and good change of direction. He moves with excellent fluidity and makes it look effortless covering downfield.
Carmichael sometimes struggles to turn and look for the ball, sometimes getting him in trouble with interference penalties. He could stand to add at least 5-7 pounds, and be more aggressive when tackling. He won’t make many tackles in the open field, despite his speed, as he lacks great fundamentals when tackling. He will struggle against more physical wide receivers, like Anquan Boldin, who will fight for the ball. He’s not very strong and could get bullied, especially in the red zone.
Carmichael is most likely a mid second to early third round pick. His speed will make it hard to pass him up as he will most likely post a sub 4.40 time at the 2011 NFL Combine. Look for Detroit, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Seattle and Baltimore to take a hard look at him at the end of the second round.
NFL Comparison: DeAngelo Hall"
Positive: Opportunistic cornerback who makes positive plays when the ball's in the air. Fluid pedaling in reverse, shows terrific route recognition facing the action, and battles hard to defend the throw. Instinctive, works well with safeties, and keeps his teammates alert. Jams opponents at the line of scrimmage and works to defend running plays.
Negative: Lacks a quick backpedal and really cannot flip his hips. Does not always play to his timed speed.
Analysis: Carmichael has shown improvement the past two seasons and is a ball-hawking cornerback best facing the action. He projects as a nickel/dime player in a zone system and should see action early in his NFL career."
Negatives: Slightly undersized, looks smaller than listed height of 5'11"... is a little thin, could stand to add 10 to 15 pounds... Not an especially physical corner, does not play tough press coverage, will get pushed around by larger receivers and blockers... Lacks open-field tackling ability, needs to work on breaking down and develop better technique... Needs to do a better job locating the ball in the air, is slow to turn his head and find the ball in man coverage, will be at a disadvantage in jump-ball situations against taller receivers... Hips look stiff at times, allows too much space at the break when playing in close man coverage."
Weaknesses: Despite straight ahead speed, is not always that field fast, especially when chasing backs down on breakaway runs. Will over-run plays and will miss tackles in the open field. Average CB feet and footwork. Not real big, or physical. Easily blocked and stays blocked. Average stop and redirect, for a top CB prospect. May never be more than a nickle back at the next level, and doesn't have a real deep STs resume.
Projection: 3-4th rounder."
As an upperclassman Carmichael stepped into a full-time starting position opposite of Stephan Virgil. The opposition tended to shy away from Virgil's side of the field and Carmichael made them pay. On the year he recorded six interceptions -- one of which was returned for a touchdown -- six pass break-ups and had 12 passes defended.
As the second corner on the team, Carmichael also showed his ability to blitz and he tallied 4.0 tackles-for-loss, one sack and six quarterback hurries. In 2010 Carmichael was the main corner and his blitzing was limited and it was now he who the opposing quarterback would hesitate to throw toward. Carmichael, despite an injury that caused him to miss the better part of two games, still tallied four interceptions.
Carmichael's speed is hard to ignore. He may not be the best cover corner in this class, but he can run with just about anybody. That should boost his draft stock when scouts get a better look at him leading up to April and he could sneak into the second round if he performs well."
Late Rounder, but, properly coached, could offer tremendous Upside.
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