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Joe Douglas was a busy man on the third day of the 2021 NFL draft. The Jets made seven picks on the final day, loading up on depth on both sides of the ball.
New York managed to select two players of the same name in its pursuit of a late-round gem. Douglas kicked off the fourth round by selecting running back Michael Carter out of North Carolina. With Gang Green’s second fifth-round pick, he selected defensive back Michael Carter II.
Carter and Carter II instantly embraced landing on the same team. As it turns out, they are in rare NFL company with their name, as just two other Michael Carter’s have played in the professional ranks.
Let’s take a look at every Michael Carter to ever play in the NFL and what the Jets’ two rookies have to live up to if they want to do to their name proud.
RB Michael Carter | New York Jets | 2021-present
Carter has rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns in his first five games with the Jets. The shifty 5-foot-8 tailback has come on strong in recent weeks and is on the verge of breaking through as the leader of Mike LaFleur’s backfield. Carter is likely to finish his rookie season as New York’s top running back and a key part of its future moving forward.
WR Mike Carter | Chargers, Packers | 1970-72
Carter started his career with the Packers in 1970 and concluded it with the Chargers in 1972 after playing just seven games in the NFL. Carter’s two career receptions for 24 yards came with the Chargers. He also took one carry for 25 yards with San Diego. Carter went on to play for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League before retiring in 1976.
NT Michael Carter | 49ers | 1984-1992
This Carter played nose tackle for the 49ers for eight years, accumulating 22.5 sacks, one interception and three Pro Bowl selections. Carter was also a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and won three Super Bowls with San Francisco before calling it a career. He is, by far, the NFL’s most accomplished Michael Carter up to this point, and will be for the foreseeable future.
CB Michael Carter II
Carter II has looked the best of the Jets’ rookie cornerbacks so far this season. The Duke product has played primarily in the slot, recording 27 tackles, two pass deflections and a fumble recovery in his first five games. The Falcons picked on Carter II early and often in Week 5, but he has still been a bright spot for Jeff Ulbrich’s defense this season.