Grading the Buffalo Bills’ 2010 Draft: Alex Carrington

2010 third-round pick Alex Carrington has emerged as a “secret superstar” for the Buffalo Bills. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot

The third installment of Buffalo Bills Draft’s look back at the 2010 NFL Draft analyzes Alex Carrington, Buffalo’s third-round pick, who earned the nickname “Megahand” in 2012.

Round 3, Pick 72: Alex Carrington, DT/DE, Arkansas State

In Round 3 of the 2010 NFL draft, the Bills continued selecting defensive players that would fit into the 3-4 defense they were converting to at the time. They selected Alex Carrington, a Sun Belt standout from Arkansas State.

Back in 2010, I was not as involved in the draft as I am now. Truly I didn’t know much about Carrington, but many people considered him to be a raw prospect. I’m all for developing talent, but my mindset has always been that your first three picks should be instant contributors. had the following to say in their pre-draft overview of Carrington:

A fifth-year senior, Carrington put two excellent seasons together to cap his career with the Arkansas State defense. He has a good combination of size, strength and speed for an interior defensive lineman. He doesn’t have great lateral quickness or agility to come off the edge as a 4-3 end but is well suited for a five-technique in 3-4 scheme. He is best at the point of attack, anchoring versus the run, and is effective pushing the pocket as a bull rusher. He has a decent feel for blocking schemes and restricting running lanes when using proper pad level and hand use. Carrington is inconsistent to shed blockers and get to the pile but has the natural arm strength and power to improve in this area. He is a good tackler in a restricted area but lacks great burst and range out of the tackle box. Carrington has the measurables and raw talent to vie for a starting position after his second or third season in the league.

Carrington had a strong career for the Red Wolves. At Arkansas State, Carrington was a three-time all-Sun Belt selection.

His best season came in 2008, his junior season, when he was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. He finished the season with 53 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.

In his senior season, Carrington saw drops in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss, but was still quite impressive. He finished his senior season with 41 tackles, nine sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

He finished his collegiate career with 146 tackles, 94 solo, 21.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss.

What the Draft Analysts Said Following the 2010 NFL Draft

Pete Prisco of gave the Carrington pick a C:

He is a raw player from a small school, but a lot of scouts think this kid can develop into a quality end. He will play a 3-4 style, which he has the size to do.

Mel Kiper Jr. felt that Carrington was a reach (ESPN Insider Subscription Needed):

Alex Carrington, who could get backup duty, is another slight reach in the third round.

Over at, John Czarnecki thought Carrington was a nice fit in Buffalo’s 3-4 defense:

 Arkansas State DE Alex Carrington should fit ideally into the 3-4 scheme.

Buffalo Bills Career:

Carrington has seen the field quite a bit during his three seasons in Buffalo. He has played in 41 games, starting six, in three seasons. During this time he has 43 total tackles (29 solo), four sacks, six passes defended and one forced fumble.

When looking at Carrington’s play, it’s encouraging to see him becoming a better player with each passing season. In 2012, Carrington had career highs in tackles (19), sacks (2), passes defended (3) and forced fumbles (1).

Carrington’s strongest play came when opposing teams lined up for field goals or extra points. During the 2012 season, Carrington blocked three field goal kicks, tying Bills legend Bruce Smith’s total from 1996. He also added a blocked extra point. The four blocked kicks set a franchise record, though such records have only been kept since 1988.

Stevie Johnson dubbed Carrington as “Megahand” after he blocked a field goal attempt against the Cardinals in Week 6. (Carrington’s hands were measured at 10 1/2 inches at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine).

Pro Football Focus’ Secret Superstar

Recently, Pro Football Focus named Carrington as the Bills’ Secret Superstar for 2013.

Carrington finished 2012 with PFF’s highest grade (subscription required) for a special teams player (+6.0).

However, the article notes that Carrington, who moved to defensive tackle as the Bills converted to a 4-3 defense last season, also played very well on defense:

Carrington’s breakout season wasn’t confined to special teams. He earned a +8.7 overall grade on defense, with only three negatively-graded games. He averaged a pressure every 10 pass rushes, and his 7.8 PRP tied for the 10th-highest mark of any DT. Though he still graded negatively versus the run, he improved upon his 2011 performance and had some bright spots, like a defensive stop on 4th-and-1 in his final game of the season.

Carrington has looked strong in OTA’s, according to, and looks ready to take another step forward in his career.

One area where Carrington needs to improve is against the run, but he started to show improvement at the end of the 2012 season.

Carrington won’t start for the Bills in 2013, but expect to see him get plenty of playing time as a rotational player. If Carrington continues to improve as a player, the Bills will find ways to get him on the field.

Final Grade: C+


Previous 2010 NFL Draft Grades:

C.J. Spiller, RB

Torell Troup, DT


Tags: 2010 NFL Draft, Alex Carrington, Arkansas State, Draft Grades

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