NFL scout watched Riders’ Duron Carter live in Ottawa

More than 24,000 spectators witnessed Saskatchewan’s East semifinal victory in Ottawa but one, in particular, was focused on Duron Carter.

An NFL scout was in the building to watch the uber-talented Riders receiver, who had five catches for 51 yards, live along with a handful of other players in green and white. It’s not rare but there aren’t NFL front office people at every CFL game either: there’s usually a reason when one makes the effort. That shows the type of talent general manager and head coach Chris Jones and assistant vice presidents of football operations John Murphy and Jeremy O’Day and the scouting staff have brought to Regina since coming to town.

Carter had an excellent regular season with Saskatchewan making 73 grabs for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns, the latter two statistics were career highs. Jones has created an atmosphere where Carter can be himself and it’s been productive for both the player and team. Carter is a free agent after this season.

Along with Carter being an elite pass catcher in 2017, he’s played defence too, starting at weakside corner against Calgary. No. 89 picked off Bo Levi Mitchell and took it back for a touchdown. Even though there was a report about the Washington Redskins being intrigued about Carter as a DB, another NFL talent evaluator feels much different.

“Definitely not an NFL defensive back,” one NFL personnel man said.

As a receiver NFL coaches and scouts feel Carter has the skills to be a roster player if not even more than that, but maturity issues have been mentioned. That said, it does seem like he’s operated in a more respectable manner since arriving in Saskatchewan.

The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter has had one NFL stint already. After two stellar seasons with Montreal in 2013 and 2014, Carter was signed by the Indianapolis Colts. During Indy’s training camp he impressed – a lot. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said Cater was “plucking balls off defensive backs heads like they were peanuts.” Then-offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton said: “every day he makes a play that makes you say ‘wow’.”  Just ask Argos’ defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, bet he’d agree.

Riders receiver Duron Carter (89) makes a one-handed grab for a touchdown in front of Toronto Argonauts defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (9). THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

Pre-season games were Carter’s undoing, he dropped passes and struggled which landed him on the practice roster for the 2015 year. He was not retained by Indy – character concerns played a role – and came back north of the border.

It’s in the CFL where he has consistently produced. Over 58 games in the three-down league, the 26-year-old has 258 receptions for 3,920 yards – over 67 yards per game – and 25 touchdowns. Signing a one-year deal with Saskatchewan last January means Carter can explore various options in the off-season.

Special athleticism has always been there for Carter, with scholarships to Ohio State and Alabama serving as proof. But consistency in what he does on the field and his demeanor – again, which has been better with the Riders – are key. There are a lot of football people watching Carter, trying to decide whether the sometimes enigmatic playmaker deserves that second chance in the NFL.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (889 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

32 Comments on NFL scout watched Riders’ Duron Carter live in Ottawa

  1. Good for Duron If he gets another shot, he’s still young and deserves it. I’m sure his Dad’s connections help as well.

    • Gene Upshawed // November 18, 2017 at 11:49 am //

      I can’t believe Rod Black called him “smart” last week. Duron, precisely like his father, was too dumb to stay at Ohio State and got kicked out. He is a great football player. He is also a dumb headcase. The best you can say about him off the field is that he doesn’t need a fall guy.

  2. Dunk can’t even spell Cris Carter right lol. Junk website. You guys are hacks and nobodies in the football world.

  3. I doubt his father could help much. You either have it or you don’t. If nepotism existed in pro sports Wayne Gretzy’s son would be captain on the LA kings

  4. George Porge // November 17, 2017 at 11:50 am //

    It’s odd that Dunk is patting Murphy and the Riders’ scouting department on the back in this story since they really had nothing to do with bringing Carter to Regina. This one is all on Chris Jones taking a gamble on a talented but immature player who was already in the league.

  5. Chris Jones knows players and he can spot talent.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Jones is NFL bound soon.
    The best coach the CFL has had for many years.
    A coaching genius?? maybe

  6. Is it just me, or is Mr. Carter getting a disproportionate amount of media coverage. For all his talent, he really hasn’t done much when it has really counted. Other players in the league are just as talented and consistent in their performance, indeed more so. Duron has made some superb plays over the years; I don’t see him contributing in an extraordinary way on SaskSorrySunday.

    • His 50+ yards will be just fine, when combined with 200 yards rushing and 5 other receivers with 50+ yards.. over 500 total yards of offense on Sunday should be good. Combined with some big special teams and defensive plays, Riders will win. Go Riders!

    • It’s not just you.

  7. Way too much coverage. A highlight reel player yes but not sure he’s a difference maker in a game. 5 catches for 51 yards is a decent game but hardly spectacular.
    He’s fun to watch but he’s not a critical player. I consider him more and entertainer than a football player. Kinda like Curly from the Harlem Globetrotters.

  8. AS a Rider fan it is more scarey to me that a NFL scout was at the game seeing ALL Rider players. Sammey Equaven and Montcreif could be potential HUGE losses for us moving forward. Both those young men are Jerell Freeman like and at least could be on a NFL practice roster and at some point starting . Great for them but not so great for us Rider Nation folks. Yes , Chis Jones at some point probably will be NFL bound , 1 possibly 2 cup win in Sask and he is gone , sadly but it will have been fun while it lasts. Our goal will be to retain Murphy and J.O. in the front office. Jones moving on would be a boon then as it would only make our NFL /USA college connections even stronger and provide us with continued rich potential player resources. Craig Renolds was genius in building his admin team moving into the future as we have as much Admin depth as now player depth on our roster and can withstand Jones moving on at some point. Craig does not get enough credit for building this very successful model we now have.

    • lovecanada // November 17, 2017 at 1:23 pm //

      Wow. That’s some real praise for your organization. Consider this regime has a 15-21 record, best finish is forth and a single playoff win over a sub. 500. Exactly zero greycup appearance and zero wins.
      Its all just talk getfit51. Means nothing until it happens

      • Ahh yeah and last week is was all about HOW awesome Ottawa was , peaking at the right time, Riders were 4th etc, annnnnnnnnd FINAL SCORE Sask 31 Ottawa 20 and 8-10 of that 20 was in Garbage time !!!! Sooo yep Zero grey Cup appearances FOR now with Jones and its only year 2 , lol scared much , yeap I can see that !!!! We wer enot supposed to even be here according to YOU EXPERTS , so this is just FUN loving GRAVEY fro we the Rider Nation , and its drving the rest of ya NUTZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!

        • lovecanada // November 17, 2017 at 4:42 pm //

          So what you’re saying is riderpride is about rubbing it in the face of peoples face? Greycups are purely for this?
          I’m afraid the riders and their fans are i for a shock this week

          • man you rider haters , just love to keep going and going , every second comment regarding the riders is 100 +years yatta yatta loooser’s ……. no grey cups etc etc, . So now when a Rider fan posts that We Bel13ve that under Jones we will have a run of Cups , we are Rubbing other fans noses in it !!!. Just admit your JEALOUS of Rider nation , as you have no idea of what Rider nation is all about and can NEVER have that kind of feeling . Frankly I could care if the Riders ever won another grey cup ever I would support them heart and soul non the less but you creatons don’t get atht about R Nation. win loose or what ever this sunday or next the one thing I do know is that next June when the season starts R nation will have 30000+ rocking in Mosaic to Bring Them Out!!!!—- and I am positive not many of the other franchises apart form Edmonton /Winnipeg can say the same !!!!

  9. greenenvy? // November 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm //

    Overrated. The guy has been called the “most talented” going to Mtl last year where he got 250K but was canned by his coach before the season was out. He knows how to get headlines, I’ll give him that. But when you finish over 600 yards behind the best guy, well… Shania Twain said “that don’t impress me much”. Carter had part of the season after his release until February when he signed to get an invite to an NFL training camp. That’s why he took a 1 year deal with Mtl & again with Sask. Like Walker in Tampa Bay, who catches WAY more balls than Carter (his catches/target are among the poorest of the top receivers this year & last), you end up in camp with the 3rd string QB & have to make an impression & Walker, who initially made the team, was let go as soon as they traded for a drafted player. The NFL invests a lot of money, upfront & otherwise, in their draft picks so you have to blow them away & them some. Carter’s lack of interest last year, his “me 1st” attitude (daily meetings with Jones -really???), & his signing for 130K by the Riders indicates how much interest there was for him here, never mind the US. As for DB, what a joke. Get real. Training camp fodder, at best.

    • Does the “best guy”, who’s 600 yards ahead of him play on team with 2 other 1000 yard receivers? Or was he the primary target all season? That’s what I thought. And don’t see any receivers strong, enough, well/conditioned enough, or talented enough to play offense and defense. Sounds like you’re jealous.

    • Yeap sounds like Jones has kind of figured out how to handle enigmatic talent ,do doubt that part of the watch kind of a NFL style model to protect your investment and maximize its potential , don’t doubt that part of the Duron watch was meeting with Jones and his staff to determine the maintainance vs reward factor regarding Dunron . In the very competitive NFL such risk reward senarios are how its done , jealous much that the Riders now have the resources to do similar in the CFL yeap!!!!!!! By the way how did the NFL go for Tressman , hmm yeah , right FIRED in a SEASON worst COACH in the HISTORY of the BEARS !!!!!! Tressman is a amature in comparison to JONES, but Jones will be respectful all the same . ,

      • lovecanada // November 17, 2017 at 4:45 pm //

        Yeah. Because if there’s one thing Chris Jones is its respectful and sporting!

        • Damm straight Jones is respectful !!! he respects the hell outta his players and that is all that counts!!! And Damm straight the man will do anything to win , he has clearly stated that fact time and time again , he is PAID to WIN football games!!! period !!!!!!!! He is honest to a fault on those matters never has said anything different !!!!! Again ist pro ball ,and he understands his job , pardon him if he dosn’t double talk and then HOPE he doesn’t ge t caught cheating. He is forth right and commonly admits to pushing the edge rules etc, only difference between Chis and OTHERS !!! is he freely admits it and is not some slimey whiney assed worm hoping that no one finds out he cheats!!! in your opinion. He has a NFL style approach to building a winning program – its worked in Edmonton (who talent wise are still benifiting from his approach). Again I for one have come around to accepting and respecting Chis for who he is and that is a WINNING football coach , that cares a lot about football and having the team he is running benefit from anything he can do to make winning happen !! Yeap to me that is Sporting , doing what ever is in oyur power to HAVE YOUR TEAM win !!!! You might not like it but at least he is honest about what ///who he is !! AKA Don Mathews— god rest his soul who was one of Jones greatest mentors , and Mathews operated in the same badass way . Only after Mathews unfortunately got cancer and was dying did media portray him as a saint that could part water with just a thought !!

  10. greenenvy? // November 17, 2017 at 2:06 pm //

    The best guy had about the same # of targets as Carter, even with Carter playing on defence. Carter only had 12 less targets but caught 27 less balls. So Carter got thrown to less than 1 time less per game than Zylstra, Sean, but had over 600 yards less. Carter was top 10 in targets. Yeah, that’s what I thought – overrated.

    • How many yards did Bowman finish with? Under 500? Oh yeah, because everything went to Zylstra… probably one of a handful of players on Edmonton that even played the whole season. None of that will matter if they meet again anyways. Riders were resting starters last time they played, next time would more resemble the 1st time. When they got their asses kicked at home and their win strak was broken.

      • Careful ,Edmonton is much better now then they were , but last game of the year was still abit of a smokescreen by our Riders. A possible Rider – Eskimo Grey Cup might be the best match available . But Riders do have work to do ! Ray can have one of those I am LUCKIER THEN SHIT games he pulls off from time to time and if Wilder plays well, its going to be a tough closer game. AS well, KG sometimes takes a step back when the most is on the line !!! Here is hoping that KG has one of his best playoff games ever and seizes the moment!!!! If nothing else if pulled mentors Brandon to have another outstanding game !!! One step at a time Rider nation One step at a time

  11. greenenvy? // November 17, 2017 at 4:56 pm //

    Again, Sean, Carter had 12 less throws over 18 games than Zylstra – Carter had 4 games with 12 yards or less, 6 with 45 yards or less. So 1/3 of the season his production was not very good. It’s not that he was getting thrown the ball less than Zylstra, he wasn’t catching them. As for being a deep threat, Carter caught 10 of 33 balls thrown his way. That’s 6 more deep targets than thrown to Zylstra who caught 17 of 27. Look at the stats on the CFL website. Carter was dead last at 30% of deep balls caught, Zylstra #1 with 63% of deep balls caught. It’s pretty simple, Sean. The reason Carter was 600 yards behind is because he likes to grandstand with the one-handed catches & Zylstra uses 2 hands & makes more catches with about the same # of throws. Zylstra missed 2 games by the way & had 10 100 yd games – kind of consistent. Carter had 3, despite all his targets.

  12. Carter isn’t consistent enough for the NFL to take a chance on him along with his immaturity. He has big games and then a string of games with 12 yards or slightly better. I am not sure why the media has idolized him. He is no where close to the best receiver in the CFL.

    • Because he is entertaining. Isn’t that the purpose of being a sports fan. Wait I know you get it right.

      • I find Ellingson, Zylstra and S.J. Green, among others, very entertaining without the attitude, the arrogance and the constant yapping.

  13. So, you’re now waking up to the fact that Trash Madani’s BS about Washington being interested in Carter as a DB was just that, BS … in spite of the fact that Madani’s credibility has been essentially zero for a long time now and I doubt that any serious football people pay any attention to anything he says. No, NFL teams are not interested in bringing in a 27 year old who has never played DB before and training him up to be an NFL DB, no matter how good his athletic ability is.

    This article is also irritating in that it seems to be very naive about the way scouting works. NFL teams sign many CFL players every year and they scout those players in person just like any other prospect. There are NFL scouts at lots of CFL games, and probably at all the playoff games, and they won’t just be scouting players on one sideline, and they won’t just be scouting players that are FAs at the end of this year. They don’t just start scouting players in their senior years or college, after all. For Ottawa you can be sure they were looking at Spencer and Newsome as well as I’m sure number of other players. Congratulations, however, on doing Madani’s work for him and diverting attention to the NFL and away from the CFL in the middle of the CFL playoffs.

    And scholarships to Ohio State and Alabama don’t come close to defining Carter’s athletic ability. We’ve had lots of players in this league who have had scholarships to schools like this but very few if any who have had Carter’s athletic ability, and there are and have been some truly elite athletes in this league. Wilder was the #1 high school prospect in the US in his senior year as one example.

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