FOXBORO, Mass. — It took six rounds, but the Patriots finally added the outside linebacker that the New England fan base was clamoring for. New England selected Markell Carter from Central Arkansas with the 194th pick.
The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder had 6 1/2 sacks, 19 tackles for loss. He had 16 1/2 sacks and 38 1/2 tackles for loss in four years at Central Arkansas.
Carter has speed and reportedly ran a 4.7-second 40, but he'll convert from defensive end to outside linebacker. He's a little light to play outside linebacker in the 3-4, so he'll need to bulk up by 10-15 pounds and add some strength, too.
The Patriots have Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich and Tully Banta-Cain locked in at the position. Carter would be a long shot to make the team and would have to beat out any veteran the Patriots bring to camp.
There's no question that Patriots fans were most interested in the team adding a pass rusher, and the frustration continued to boil throughout the draft. Carter was the first front-seven player the Patriots selected in the 2011 draft.
"I plan on going in there and working really, really hard. I feel like hard work and determination will get you pretty much anywhere you need to be in life, so I'm just going to go in with that attitude, an open-minded attitude, ready to take up coaching, ready to learn and ready to get better."
–Carter on his approach to showing up in camp.