On the Green Bay Packers’ virtual draft party on Wednesday, Green Bay Packers now-former-safety Tariq Carpenter stated that he has been moved to inside linebacker by the team going into 2023. As Carpenter tells the story, he thought that he was going to be a linebacker while going through the pre-draft process last offseason but ended up spending most of his rookie year at safety.
Carpenter was always considered something of a hybrid player, as he was often used as a box safety at Georgia Tech, but converted to linebacker full-time during the all-star game circuit. At his pro day last year, Carpenter was measured in at 6’3” and 230 pounds while still managing to post a 4.52-second 40-yard dash.
According to Carpenter, he was briefly moved to outside linebacker — a pass-rushing position — for a few weeks during his rookie campaign but returned to safety for the late stretch of the year. He stated that he was up to 230 pounds in the preseason but dropped to around 215 pounds in-season and is now at 220 pounds.
Speaking on where he sees himself playing long-term, Carpenter claimed, “I’m willing to do whatever I need to do. I also trust the coaches here.” At least for now, Carpenter looks to join an off-ball linebacker room alongside 2021 All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell, 2022 first-round pick Quay Walker, 2021 sixth-round pick Isaiah McDuffie and special teams contributor Eric Wilson.
Carpenter played in 14 games last season and played 122 special teams snaps along with 16 defensive snaps — which mostly came in three-high safety looks and late in games. Only one rookie, long snapper Jack Coco, played more special teams snaps for the Packers in 2022 than Carpenter.
If you’d like to watch the Packers’ virtual draft party, which included interviews with Carpenter, receiver Samouri Toure and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt, you can stream it below.