By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
4:24 PM EST, February 25, 2013
One of the better pass rusher prospects in the NFL draft is currently sidelined with a knee injury.
Florida State standout Tank Carradine is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in November against the Florida Gators and was unable to work out for teams at the NFL scouting combine.
Carradine, who recorded 11 sacks last season prior to his injury, says he expects to be ready to work out for NFL teams roughly a week before the draft in late April.
“I expect to be 100 percent in April,” said Carradine, who had a combine meeting with the Super Bowl champion Ravens. “Before the draft, I’m going to do everything they did at the combine:run the 40, do position drills at my Pro Day.”
The Seminoles' Pro Day workout is March 19.
Carradine has been working out in Houston with the same physical therapist who oversaw Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“My knee feels good,” Carradine said. “I’m like a month ahead of schedule with all the rehab I'm doing. I'll definitely be ready for camp."
As for how the injury affects the 6-foot-4, 276-pounder's draft prospects, it's unclear. It will all hinge on how Carradine works out for teams and what their doctors think about his medical outlook, but a serious medical situation typically hurts a player's draft status and financial outlook with them being drafted later than they would if they were healthy.
"I hear stuff, I really don’t pay it no attention," Carradine said. "I know with my knee situation you never know how things are going to work out, if you see that my knee is healed."
Carradine expressed confidence in himself, that some NFL team will be happy to draft him. He has the right role models, saying he tries to pattern his game after the Chicago Bears' Julius Peppers and the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware.
"They’re going to get a great person, a guy that’s passionate about thegame of football, a guy that’s a team player, cares about his team,loves to win, just a great guy overall," said Carradine, who transferred to Florida State from Butler Community College in Kansas and had 16 1/2 sacks in two seasons with the Seminoles. "A guy that’s got a motor, a guy that is physical against the run, disruptive against the pass, and a guy that can shoot through gaps, and a guy that’s just all over the field, and a guy that you’ll want on your team that will come in and make impact plays on your defense."