The Giants wasted little time in choosing Carter, who ran a 4.32 40-yard dash this off-season. With more prominent receivers like Michigan's Marquise Walker, Virginia Tech's Andre Davis, Florida's Reche Caldwell and Pittsburgh's Antonio Bryant still on the board, the Giants went after Carter, who's a shade under 6-0 and 188 pounds.
In addition to his explosiveness and strong route-running ability, Carter impressed New York with his kickoff-returning prowess. He averaged 23.9 yards per return during his career, and scored on a 100-yard return.
"They said that I'd be returning kicks," Carter said. "I'd be proud to come in and be able to turn that around. I take a lot of pride in my special teams."
"He'll be given the opportunity to win that (kick-return) job," Head Coach Jim Fassel said.
Despite visiting New York, Carter admitted that he was "somewhat surprised" to be picked by Big Blue, but added, "my agent told me there was a strong possibility I'd be coming to the Giants." "We had the receivers all in a row and we liked Carter the best," Giants GM Ernie Accorsi said. "He's a returner and can fly." According to Ourlads' Scouting Services, Carter "needs work but has rare skills." He also has rare bloodlines. He lists former major league pitcher Dwight Gooden, Braves outfielder Gary Sheffield and former Browns TE Ozzie Newsome as cousins.
"Our family tree is pretty large," Carter said. "Gooden will definitely have something to say to me before I come to New York.
"All my cousins have been very influential to me. They've all helped me in a positive way."
In the third round, with the 78th overall pick, the Giants secured what they believed to be the last legitimate left tackle in the draft, Jeff Hatch, of the University of Pennsylvania. The addition of the 6-6, 307-pound former defensive lineman led Accorsi to state that, "I'll sleep better tonight knowing we got a left tackle prospect."
When asked about Hatch's prospects of starting at left tackle, Fassel said "that job's open." The Giants liked Hatch, who's known as a smart, tough player with a mean streak, enough that they decided against trading down to regain the fourth-round choice they gave up to obtain first-round pick Jeremy Shockey.
Hatch impressed Accorsi at the Blue-Gray game last December. "He more than held his own against that level of competition," Accorsi said. "We've added a very athletic left tackle. We feel he has everything you want."
Also, Accorsi denied television reports stating that the Giants were seeking to trade perpetually unhappy receiver Ike Hilliard.
Finally, in addition to the three players they drafted, New York announced the signing of three street free agents. CB David Mitchell, WR Derek Dorris and P Jason Van Dyke were added to the roster.