Count Down to Camp: Ryan Carrethers

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I had a few clever things I was going to say, but this time I’m going to let his scouting report, per, do the talking. I’ll share my thoughts afterwards.

OVERVIEW The Nashville-area prep led his school to three consecutive championship games. Also lettered in wrestling. Redshirted in 2009. Appeared in 10 games in ’10 as a reserve defensive lineman and had six tackles, zero for loss and zero sacks. Played in all 13 games in ’11, moving into the starting lineup for the final six games at nose guard — had 29-3-1.5. Started all 13 games at nose tackle in ’12, recording 68-3.5-1. Broke out in ’13, starting 13 times at nose tackle and tallying 93-8-4 with two blocked field goals. Lined up at fullback against Western Kentucky and rumbled into the end zone for a 1-yard score. Completed his career in dramatic fashion in the GoDaddy Bowl against Ball State, blocking a 38-yard field goal attempt that could have tied the game as time expired.

STRENGTHS Big and thick with outstanding weight-room strength — maintains low body fat, squats a small house and bench-pressed 225 pounds 32 times at the combine. Has sheer mass and natural girth to dig in and hold his ground vs. double teams. Has a wrestling background and understands leverage. Has two-gap ability. Heavy tackler. Nice effort for a big man. Tough and durable. Solid personal and football character — is devoted to his craft and has a professional approach to the game.

BOTTOM LINE Stoutly built, NFL-strong interior defender who was a literal and figurative anchor for the Red Wolves despite playing for four different head coaches. Could make a living occupying blocks and clogging run lanes as a two-down, rotational nose tackle in an odd front.

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  • tubbs45

    He said at the combine he easily could have pushed up 40 on the bench had a plate not slipped off the bar. The dude had 93 tackles at NOSE TACKLE… I’d have to agree with you Arnie, the Carrethers book is just being written and the Chargers are about to help write some of his best chapters!
    Bringing back an old favorites here:

    • arnie

      LOL!!! See tubbs this is what I like about the draft. We spend so much time listening the “talking heads” about who are the top prospects, we sometimes miss, good players that fit what the Chargers do. See we have the vet in Lissemore, the monster in Geathers and this guy. His scouting report said he squatted a “small house”.
      I am really, really, really going to be looking at the competition at NT in camp.

      • tubbs45

        I have been beating the drum about needing a REAL Nose Tackle since Jamal was released. His wrestling back provides something intangible for combine drills, the ability to manipulate your opponents momentum and redirect them where they don’t want to go. I have no false premonitions that this is the second coming of Jamal Williams, but I’m damn hopeful.

        Thought this sums it up nicely:
        “Ryan Carrethers was a two-time heavyweight state wrestling champion in Tennessee, including going undefeated his senior year at Brentwood Academy. His signature move was a hip toss, taking advantage of his power and explosiveness. So was it effective? “Very,” Carrethers said. “I pinned the majority of people I faced, so I’d say so.””

        • Nick619chargers4life

          He’s a beast .

      • Julien Bélair

        just look at his legs man….. too freaking huge ! I would draft him over the overrated Nix all day

        • arnie

          I think that’s why the Chargers passed on him.

          • Bolty

            And he moves like one too.

          • arnie

            Good, because it means he going to be where he’s supposed to be, “in the way of the run”.

      • Bolty

        I think most people are overlooking Kwame Geathers. Forget Lissemore at NT and just rotate Geathers and Carrethers at NT only. Rotate Lissemore and Guy in at DE.

        • arnie

          Nope. I cover all the angles. There are 7 Defensive Tackles on the roster. 3 are rookies. Only three are seen by us to be at the NT position. There are legitimately 5 players that can play NT… Camp will sort it out. I just don’t believe Carrethers is on the short list for unemployment.

  • Matt

    Don’t get too excited about Carrethers. I actually would have preferred someone like Deandre Coleman instead. I watched film on Carrethers and I noticed some red flags in particular:

    He can hold the point of attack but he can’t push the pocket against the better competition. Because of his short arms and stature, most of his tackles were past the line of scrimmage when the running back went past him and most of his tackles were assists. (only 34 out of 93 tackles were solo)

    Against one on one he can’t win and get into the backfield. He is often pushed or just held on his spot while he waits for the running back to come to him. Nose tackle is a position that you want to dominate to force double teams. If he is gonna be successful he needs to get quicker and push the pocket more. This is what his slow combine proves. It shows on film that he is not explosive and he cannot beat a center to reach the backfield.

    I really hope I’m wrong with what I saw. One of the positives I see is that he is a good lane clogger. On 3rd and 1s you want your nose tackle to push the line backward and this was what I didn’t see him do.

    He has the potential to make our run defense better but not great.

    • Sergio Quintero

      How much was it, that he felt that he had to do more and make the tackles, and how much was it bad pad level and short arms I don’t know, clearly the chargers are going to tell him get down, plow forward get penetration and let the linebackers make the tackles, don’t hold the point 2-4 yards past the line of scrimmage which I saw as well.

      There is potential, I liked him more than you, but there were red flags, I wanted to see more penetration behind the line and I saw very little of that, but the pad level was high, and he was trying to make tackles more than actually push the center back into the backfield, so call me cautiously optimistic.

      • Julien Bélair

        I feel like the guy is a good football player who need coaching. I feel like he has all the tools to be one of the best Nt in 3-4 years from now. Until then he will be average but still better than C. Thomas

        • arnie

          Matt, Sergio, i’m aware of ALL the shortcomings. That’s why I mentioned his poor combine showing. Brady’s combine sucked too. It comes down to this, can he clog up the middle, and hold his ground against the double? The biggest problem the Chargers faced in ’13 was those two things. Making a tackle beyond the line may not be desirable. The point I look at is “he made the tackle”. That tells me he can shed a blocker. Cam was usual out of the way and Weddle had to come down help.
          At the end of the day we either see Ryan as an upgrade or not. Either way, if he can do his job, the “entire defense” will benefit.

          • Sergio Quintero

            First off not as down on him as Matt, need to be coached up, and keep his game simple, be the low man plow forward, let the tackling be done by the linebackers behind you, if the RB is your vicinity while you are plowing forward then go ahead and try to make the tackle.

            But penetration and forcing the other team to actually have to double team him is the priority, if he can force those double teams, and actually hold the point at the line of scrimmage and even behind the line, then you have a star.

          • arnie

            Agreed. Now whether he can do it is yet to be determined.

      • arnie

        Agreed. All the rookies had red flags. The common denominator is the coaching staff.

    • arnie

      Great is a ways off anyway.

    • Parker Richardson

      I don’t think the chargers are looking to use him to collapse the pocket. But he will demand double teams against the run and take pressure off the rest of the front 7. Carrethers is totally a scheme fit, rotational player. Lissemore will be our guy on passing downs

  • Anthony95

    Agree with your assessment. With Lessemore and him rotating at NT and Geathers behind them I think SD is fine at the position and now with Verrett and a healthy defense, might give Reyes, Liuget, and the LBs time to get to the QB!

    IMO we have at worst a 10 win season and should be 11-5 or 12-4 as long as we don’t tank vs teams we should be.

  • Peter Thompson

    We need a guy that can clog up the front, and make the tackle. He may not be great at penetrating, or on 3rd & 1′s, as pointed out above. But, 3rd & 1 is tough anyway. A lot of teams give up third and one.. and some coaches will go for it on 4th & 1 afterward. The problem with the Chargers last year was giving up 5 yards on first down, and then 6 yards on second down, because nobody could make the tackle.. especially Cam, who would get washed out immediately. The Miami & Cincy games come to mind, where they were gashing us for big yardage on 1st & 2nd down, which led to an even more lethal passing attack. If nothing else, I hope he makes the tackle, and keeps it to 1-3 yards, instead of 5-7. That’s worth a 5th round pick to me, even if he is rotational.

    • Parker Richardson

      He’s going to help our run defense a lot! Even if he isn’t making the amount of tackles he did in college, he’s going to take pressure off our studs in the front 7. Those guys, including Luiget and DB, were asked to do too much last season and it hurt them

    • arnie

      Improvement is the word you may be looking for. Because that’s all I’m looking for year to year. Like parker stated. Everything that went wrong with the defense, started at the NT position.

  • afroamongfew

    I’ve been seeing a lot of folks worried that because of Carrethers lack of burst and arm length that he’ll never be a great pass-rushing NT, and I have no problem with that.

    While our pass rush might have been utterly laughable last year, what totally killed us in several games was our inability to stop the run. Carrethers has the perfect skillset to come in as a two-down NT, do his thing on running plays while occupying space in the middle, and get out of dodge on third downs or obvious passing downs. The amount of nickel the Chargers run (wherein the NT comes off the field and Liuget and Reyes kick inside) is something like 55%, so I’m not worried about his stamina or ability to be a 3-down NT, because he’ll never be asked to do that.

    Carrethers was the only pick where, when it happened, I was pumping my fist in the air and yelling like a maniac. My favorite pick of the draft, by far, especially since I was dreading that we would be stuck with Louis Nix or Daniel McCullers or DaQuan Jones.

    • Bolty

      Nix, Jones, or McCullers are better picks than Carrethers.