Like father, like son.
After failing to hear his name called during the 2013 NFL Draft, wide receiver Duron Carter, son of Hall of Famer Cris Carter, has been invited by the Minnesota Vikings to their rookie minicamp for a tryout.
There was a reason the younger Carter went undrafted, though. He was a train wreck since entering the college ranks.
His journey began at Ohio State, where he managed 13 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown during his freshman campaign. Shortly after, he became academically ineligible and took his talents to Coffeyville Community College in an attempt to continue his career.
After a year at the CC level, he transferred to Alabama before eventually transferring again to Florida Atlantic. He never played a snap at either school, and ended up trying his luck at the 2013 NFL Draft when the time came.
While no teams saw Carter as worth a pick, his father still believes that his son is worth the risk of a roster spot in the NFL.
“I know there aren’t a lot of better receivers than him in this draft. That’s not a guess; I know. I know wide receivers. Yes, it might take him some time. I just believe in pro football, it’s all football. You get millions of reps. And what’s the worst-case scenario? Maybe it takes him 16 months. But when you see his talent, you’ll be like, ‘He’s a pro.’”
The Vikings make sense for Carter for more than just his father’s connections with the team. With only their top two receiver slots locked down by Greg Jennings and 2013 first-rounder Cordarrelle Patterson, there’s room for someone like Carter to steal a spot on the depth chart. Third receiver Jerome Simpson was only brought back as insurance, meaning that his roster spot is far from guaranteed. Fourth receiver Jarius Wright is still developing as an NFL-caliber talent and only saw significant time in 2012 due to injuries.
There will be plenty of doubters who don’t think that Carter has the maturity or dedication to make it at the next level. With the Vikings, though, he’ll have his father’s legacy and his dignity to play for. If he can turn out to be anything close to the wide receiver his father was for the Vikings, Minnesota might have a huge steal on their hands.
For now, though, it’s a waiting game.