2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Malik Carney
Position: Defensive End/Linebacker
Weight: 251 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
Carney excels with hand usage. That is to say, he gets to the blocker first, using the hands to free himself, before getting into the backfield. While not truly refined, Carney’s rush set features a spin, wide rush, and push/pull. If you look at his bull rush, for someone barely 250 pounds he jolts the tackle back, driving with great leg drive and proper footwork. During his time as a Tarheel, he added a wrinkle each season. At the next level, Carney will need to polish these raw skills and string them together more efficiently.
When sniffing out the run, Carney never hesitates in knifing through an opening. He reads the flow of the play and anticipates where the ball will travel.
If you look at Carney’s combine time of 4.75, that should not deter his drafting. Carney closes well on the ball and pursues even better. Wherever the ball is, Carney streaks towards it. He smothers the ballcarrier before they can either move or make a play.
Carney, despite playing edge that focuses on the quarterback shows outstanding drive and pop. More importantly, the hand strength and the presence of mind to punch the ball out. During his career, he forced nine fumbles, including five in 2018 alone. You can tell Carney honed this skill with a combination of intensive film study and practice reps. Additionally, the attack on the ball appears natural and not robotic. Meanwhile, Carney will attempt to secure the stop first. On top of that, he attempts to hit with a force instead of catch tackling.
Granted, some will attempt to draw the parallel between Carney and Arden Key based on their sizes. However, Key is taller without weighing more. In addition, Carney plays with power in his hands and actually finishes the play. In addition, Carney uses a wide array of moves to get into the backfield, whereas Key relies on the spin. The Raiders not only need edge help, they need depth. While Carney may not start, he could provide a spark in subpackages or playing special teams while he learns the complexities of an NFL defense. Oakland needs more than just a first-round pass rusher in this draft. Carney provides an intriguing option later.