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NFL Draft Preview: Minnesota Gophers DE/OLB Carter Coughlin

Versatile and athletic, where will Carter Coughlin end up in the NFL Draft?

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Georgia Southern v Minnesota Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Carter Coughlin was the centerpiece of the Empire Recruiting class and had a fantastic Gopher career playing OLB and rush end. He finished 3rd all-time in sacks with 22.5 while starting every game over his final 3 seasons.



Height: 6’3”

Weight: 236 lbs

Combine Results: (Rank within position)

40 yard Dash: 4.57 (9th)

Bench Press: did not participate at Combine

Vertical Jump: 36” (8th)

Broad Jump: 126” (5th)

3 Cone Drill: did not participate at Combine

20 yd Shuttle: did not participate at Combine

Mockdraftable Spider Graph:

After a huge junior season, Coughlin was appearing on early mock drafts as a guy picked in the first three rounds. As a junior he had 14.5 TFLs and 9.5 sacks. Both of those numbers dropped off as a senior, perhaps because of greater focus by opposing offenses. Regardless, it was a very productive career for the legacy recruit.


  • Doesn’t try to do too much, maintains assignments and makes plays when they are in front of him
  • Plays with high FB IQ, good play recognition
  • Good straightline speed
  • Career forced fumbles, sacks and tackles for loss show a productive player
  • Will be capable of dropping into coverage and covering


  • Production slipped from junior to senior year
  • Below average size for an edge rusher in the NFL
  • Will need to play with better leverage
  • Needs to add strength to hold point of attack at next level


Mock Draft Predictions?

Coughlin will not likely hear his name called before the third day of the draft. Chad Reuter - Round 5 Pick 163 to Chicago Bears

The Athletic - Round 6 Pick 181 to Denver Broncos

CBS Sports - Round 6 Pick 201 to Minnesota Vikings

Draftwire/USA Today - not drafted - Round 6 Pick 184 to Carolina Panthers

Our Prediction?

Pro Football Focus has Coughlin much higher on their Big Board than most of the mock drafts. He ranks 145th on their board, making him a 4th round pick. But I will be surprised to see Coughlin go before the 6th round.

He stands a great chance to make a roster as a special teams kinda of player who may develop into a rotational player down the road. With added size Coughlin can become a rush end in passing situations with the ability to drop into coverage as needed.

Which, as a 6th round pick, would be a fantastic opportunity.