INDIANAPOLIS -- The Patriots would love to find the next Willie McGinest. Maybe it turns out to be a player that McGinest is tutoring leading up to the draft -- Fresno State defensive end Chris Carter.
Carter, who analysts project could be as high as a second-round pick, measured 6-foot-1 1/2 and 248 pounds here at the Combine. He projects as an outside linebacker for teams running the 3-4 defense.
McGinest knows a thing or two about that spot -- he played it well for the Patriots -- and he's taken Carter under his wing.
"We've been working primarily on drops [into pass coverage]," Carter said. "I know how to rush the passer. That's my big thing, work on drops and perfecting that, getting the hips loose, [and] making sure we go over the defenses 100 percent and I know everyone's assignment."
That's a change from what Carter mostly did at Fresno State, playing under Pat Hill, a former assistant on Bill Belichick's Cleveland Browns coaching staff in the early 1990s.
As a defensive end, he mostly focused on knowing the assignments within the front seven of the defense. Now, McGinest has stressed that he has to be thinking about the secondary as well.
Carter is coming off an 11-sack season for Fresno State, and he said he has dropped into coverage at times. His height doesn't necessarily fit the prototype of a 3-4 outside linebacker, but Carter believes the prototype has been smashed in recent years.
"I don't really think height makes a difference," he said. "You're trying to stay low when you rush the end, so I don't really get concerned with that."