Tape Take: Concentration Carroo

Concentration is by far the biggest strength for Dolphins’ 3rd round selection, wide receiver Leonte Carroo. The most impressive plays on Carroo’s tape are adjustments to underthrown, overthrown, high, or low passes. This is good news for the Dolphins, considering quarterback Ryan Tannehill is often criticized with reason for his deep ball placement. Not only does Carroo make adjustments well, he had to make them often throughout his Rutgers career. It might not be overstatement to say he’s had to do it on most of his deep receptions.

Carroo’s blocking isn’t phenomenal but it surely is reliable. This is difficult to gauge from the tape because there are not a lot of situations where the development of plays made demanded relevant blocks from Carroo, but his blocks are steady and do make impact at times. It appears that plays demanding a solid block from Carroo (A screen to Jarvis Landry for example?) will be more effective due to his clean, square-shouldered blocking.

Speed is one of Carroo’s more obvious talents. It would be hyperbole to call him a burner by NFL standards, but he does leave a ton of defenders in the dust. He advances the ball with north and south speed and little east to west movement.

It’s cliché for critics to point to competition level as an area of concern for NFL players drafted out of colleges in “less competitive” conferences. There has been example after example of players from such schools silencing critics, and the number of these “surprise” players seems to be increasing. Regardless, it’s still difficult to gauge the NFL potential for a player coming out of such schools. This is the case with Dolphins’ 3rd round selection Leonte Carroo. While his tape appears to show notable speed and solid blocking ability, it’s impossilble to say how this will translate to the NFL level where defenders are significantly faster, more experienced, and naturally talented.

The other factor that is hard to ignore in Carroo’s tape is that most of his better plays are set up superbly by the team. There’s not much of a sampling of situations where Carroo has to overcome team shortcomings and make something happen on his own. There are several highlights of Carroo blazing by defenders off screens and other short passes, but the blocks in front are almost always excellent. NFL defenders often beat blocks from the best blocking teams. While many of the deep passes Carroo has caught come from poor throws from his quarterback, the defenders on these plays are usually well out of position. When defenders are in position on Carroo, it often results in unfortunate mishaps, such as batted balls, balls popped up for grabs resulting in interceptions, quick tackles for short gains or losses, and more. There’s not a lot of instances where Carroo clearly overcomes good defense based on his skills alone.

This is not to suggest that Carroo doesn’t have tremendous potential. Solid team play and competition level simply makes it difficult, at best, to project Carroo’s NFL value.

Spencer J Taylor

Spencer J Taylor was raised in an NCAA Division-1 football coaching and sports administration family. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing including studies in Creative Nonfiction from New Mexico State University, where he studied under prolific sports writer Rus Bradburd, author of Forty Minutes of Hell: The Extraordinary Life of Nolan Richardson.

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