Carrington (6-foot-5, 284 pounds) has the prototypical build for a 3-4 defensive end. He can hold his ground at the point of attack; collapse the pocket; and contain the backside of plays.
"I can play in any defense, I believe," Carrington said.
DE Alex Carrington
He also won a lot of points with the coaches in attendance by outworking his peers in most drills.
"[I just needed to show] that I'm a fierce competitor," he said.
Perhaps what's most impressive about this small-school product is what he's yet to show, as he has as much untapped talent as any prospect in the draft.
Carrington hails from the small Sun Belt Conference, where he ranks fourth all-time with 21.5 sacks. All but two of those sacks came in his junior and senior seasons, when he appeared to be a man playing amongst boys.
Although Carrington lacks the explosiveness to be a dominating pass rusher on the next level, he could instantly be the top pass-rushing lineman in San Diego; the only Bolts defensive lineman to net more than two sacks last season was Alfonso Boone (three), an unrestricted free agent who is unlikely to return.
Carrington's potential to combine impact plays with nitty-gritty work has coaches and scouts salivating.
"I can have a day-and-night improvement," he said. "I know what [NFL coaches] expect and what they're looking for. I just have to come out and execute."
Carrington learned a lot from the Detroit Lions coaches during Senior Bowl week. He also took away some moves and mechanics from his fellow defensive linemen.
He made an effort to connect with his more polished peers in Mobile, learning "where they come from, the schemes that they've played in, things like that. It was exciting"
Exciting also describes the possibility of Carrington coming to San Diego. He and Vaughn Martin would give the team a pair of incredibly talented youngsters to build around for the future. And in the short term, the young blood could provide a spark off the bench in a rotation that will feature Luis Castillo, Jamal Williams, Jacques Cesaire and Ryon Bingham.
There is still a lot to be settled before the Chargers set up their draft board. But we know this: A.J. Smith will not shy away from small-school players; he loves hard-workers; and he knows rebuilding the defense is his top priority. If nothing else, it seems like the stars are aligning.
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Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.