NFL Draft

2020 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Minnesota EDGE Carter Coughlin

From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#45 Carter Coughlin/EDGE/Minnesota/6’3”, 236 Lbs

The Good

-Uber-productive edge defender throughout career against the run and pass
-Powerful first punch to stun blockers
-Shows ability to convert speed to power with efficiency
-Motor runs hot; high-energy, high-effort defender
-Diagnoses well against the run and sheds to make plays along the LOS
-Comfortable dropping into space and gets adequate depth in drop

The Bad

-A tad undersized as an EDGE defender, in terms of length
-Play strength varies snap-to-snap, leaves you wanting more in certain situations
-Not much of a nuanced plan rushing the passer
-Lacks any sort of counter to initial rush
-Labors to change directions in space
-Range and overall athleticism are lacking
-Struggles to bend around edge; winds up slip and falling a lot during dip 


-Three-time Academic All-Big ten at Minnesota (2017-2019)
-Named All-Big Ten Second Team in 2018 and 2019
-Finished four-year career with 159 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 22.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and one fumble recovery
-Sits fourth all-time in school history in TFL and third all-time in sacks
-Finished senior campaign with 49 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles
-Father and Grandfather both played at Minnesota, with Grandfather Tom named the 1959 Minnesota team MVP
-Competed in the 2020 Senior Bowl
-Invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, where he clocked a 4.57 40-yard dash, a 36-inch vertical, and a 126-inch broad jump

Tape Breakdown

Minnesota EDGE defender Carter Coughlin falls into that category of “one year too late” for me.

Coming off of a terrific junior season in 2018, I thought Coughlin should have come out. Instead, the Minnesota man through and through heard his calling to return to the Gophers for 2019.

While the team had more success, Coughlin’s numbers fell off a bit, dropping him down draft boards.

He’s a sneaky-good EDGE to take a flier on late in the draft, but he’s not an early-impact defender like I thought he could have been in 2018.


Against Purdue in 2019, Coughlin was all over the place. He varied his rush speeds, flashed some quick hands, and applied a ton of pressure overall. You can see the experience and the variety to his rush speed, but he struggles to turn the corner completely, as you can see here.


You can see right away he’s a good straight-line athlete. That was evident on film and evident at the combine.

He’s a smart player with good awareness and reactionary attributes. You can see the athleticism here with Coughlin.


The problem I have with Coughlin is his lack of a rush plan. He relies heavily on first-step quickness to beat less athletic tackles, but when that first step doesn’t win he is inconsistent converting speed to power and really doesn’t have any sort of go-to rush move or counters. Often, you see what happens above, with him getting washed out of the rush.


His change-of-direction skills are really rough. He’s a much better athlete when it comes to testing, but when he’s in pads and moving in a straight line, he really labors to open his hips and change directions.

Add in the poor angle to the quarterback in the pocket here, and it results in six points.


Coughlin’s calling card early on will be his run defense. He has powerful hands when lined up along the line of scrimmage. He uncoils his power well through his hands into the defender, stunning him.

Following the powerful punch he’s able to stack and shed, making a play on the ball carrier near the line of scrimmage.

Overall, I think Coughlin has some traits to work with as an EDGE defender in a 3-4 system. He can drop into coverage and put up adequate reps, plays the run well and flashes the ability to apply pressure on the quarterback.

The production overall is hard to overlook with Coughlin. He comes from a football family and is a relentless defender. He seems like a good bottom of the roster depth piece.

Projection: Late Day 3

Games Watched: Purdue (2019), Iowa (2019), Auburn (2019)

Previous 2020 NFL Draft Player Profiles
WR Joe Reed RB J.K. Dobbins TE Brycen Hopkins DT Neville Gallimore WR Collin Johnson
S Brandon Jones IOL Nick Harris TE Jared Pinkney EDGE Terrell Lewis WR Stephen Sullivan
QB Jalen Hurts CB Bryce Hall SS Jared Mayden TE Cole Kmet IOL Shane Lemieux
WR Denzel Mims WR James Proche EDGE Bradlee Anae TE Sean McKeon WR Michael Pittman
IOL Darryl Williams RB Cam Akers OG Ben Bredeson EDGE Alton Robinson EDGE Josh Uche
WR Tyler Johnson OT Josh Jones DT Davon Hamilton TE Colby Parkinson WR Devin Duvernay
DT Leki Fotu T Austin Jackson RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire ATH Lynn Bowden Jr. C Lloyd Cushenberry III
EDGE Jonathan Greenard NT Benito Jones S Ashtyn Davis WR Van Jefferson EDGE Jabari Zuniga
WR Quartney Davis DL Justin Madubuike TE Albert Okwuegbunam TE Hunter Bryant RB Sewo Olonilua
iOL Tyler Biadasz iOL Jake Hanson DT Larrell Murchison NT Bravvion Roy DL Jason Strowbridge
TE Charlie Woerner NT Rashard Lawrence OG Logan Stenberg OLB Zack Baun RB Jonathan Taylor
OLB Darrell Taylor WR Jauan Jennings TE Adam Trautman OL Robert Hunt WR KJ Hill
OG Damien Lewis ILB Malik Harrison DL Jordan Elliott TE Devin Asiasi DT Ross Blacklock
OG John Simpson S Kyle Dugger TE Thaddeus Moss LB Cam Brown WR Antonio Gandy-Golden
WR Chase Claypool TE Harrison Bryant EDGE Curtis Weaver WR Gabriel Davis RB Zack Moss
LB Logan Wilson WR Isaiah Hodgins WR Jalen Reagor OC Matt Hennessy LB Evan Weaver
EDGE Julian Okwara QB Jake Fromm EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson RB DeeJay Dallas LB Joe Bachie
LB Troy Dye OT Matt Peart WR Omar Bayless S Geno Stone OL Jonah Jackson
S K’Von Wallace S Jeremy Chinn RB Anthony McFarland WR Freddie Swain DB L’Jarius Sneed
DB Terrell Burgess  S Antoine Winfield Jr. OT Lucas Niang OG Kevin Dotson WR Justin Jefferson
RB Patrick Taylor Jr. WR Tee Higgins RB Brian Herrien OT Isaiah Wilson RB LeVante Bellamy
WR Kendrick Rogers EDGE Trevis Gipson WR Kajila Lipscomb RB Tony Jones Jr. TE Dalton Keene
S Alohi Gillman CB Darnay Holmes OL Tyre Phillips EDGE Jonathan Garvin EDGE Trevon Hill
OL Jon Runyan Jr. ILB Akeem Davis-Gaither S Josh Metellus OT Ezra Cleveland WR Juwan Johnson
DL Khalil Davis EDGE DJ Wonnum EDGE Khalid Kareem EDGE Anfernee Jennings S JR Reed
LB Shaquille Quarterman OG Netane Muti LB Justin Strnad OL Saahdiq Charles EDGE Derrek Tuszka
OC Cesar Ruiz CB Amik Robertson DT Raequan Williams iOL Keith Ismael DE Raekwon Davis
DL Broderick Washington OL Kyle Murphy WR KJ Hamler TE Joey Magnifico  LB Khaleke Hudson
LB David Woodward WR Quez Watkins WR Aaron Parker CB Dane Jackson RB Darius Anderson
OL Zach Sammartino WR Brandon Aiyuk LB Jordyn Brooks EDGE Kenny Willekes S Brian Cole
CB Essang Bassey OT Prince Tega Wanogho CB Damon Arnette iOL Luke Juriga DB Reggie Robinson
RB Eno Benjamin CB Kindle Vildor LB Markus Bailey DB Javaris Davis WR Tyrie Cleveland
CB AJ Green EDGE Alex Highsmith DT Robert Landers WR Marquez Callaway RB Scottie Phillips
LB Jordan Glasgow


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