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Injured LB, DE visit Bills

North Carolina's Bruce Carter, an athletic linebacker and special-teams demon who tore a knee ligament in December, is visiting the Buffalo Bills today.

Carter is joined by Iowa defensive end Christian Ballard at One Bills Drive as the Bills run through their 30 allotted prospect visits before the NFL Draft on April 28.

Carter is a potential first-round talent who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and had surgery on Dec. 14. He would not likely be ready to play at the start of training camp but might be able to get on the field for the start of the season. Carter is 6-foot-2 and 241 pounds. He played outside linebacker for North Carolina but could play inside in a 3-4 defense. He is a fine athlete, who can bench press 440 pounds, squat 605 and reportedly has a vertical jump of 40 inches. Of course, he did not work out at the scouting combine in February. He started 43 of 48 games in a four-year career. He had eight blocked kicks in his career, including 10 games as a senior.

It will be interesting to see how much his injury drops him into the second or third round in the draft.

Ballard, who measured 6-4 and 283 at the combine, is a good fit as a strong-side defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He played at 295 during the season. He's a converted tight end who started 39 games over four seasons. He had three sacks as a senior and five as a junior.

Ballard did well against good competition at the Senior Bowl. "I wanted to put my name out there as one of the best defensive linemen in this draft. Going against guys like Carimi and other top linemen like Anthony Castonzo and Solder, you want to show you can compete against them. I think I did a pretty good job of that and I still have a long way to go. There are tougher offensive linemen in the NFL. You have to work hard. Those guys are good, but there are better guys in the NFL. You need to know what you need to do better."

---Mark Gaughan




NFL Draft
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