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Carter Warren’s Pursuit of the NFL Features One More Stop in Pittsburgh



Carter Warren wasn’t able to take part in on-field drills during his time in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine last week, deciding to wait until Pitt’s Pro Day later this month, but he was still active.

There were a ton of informal meetings with NFL teams, showcasing that he’s recovered from his torn meniscus and ready to make the jump to the next level, but he may have been most active as he watched Calijah Kancey and Brandon Hill run their 40s.

“Y’all should’ve saw me,” Warren said Saturday at the NFL Combine. “I was screaming at the TV, ‘Run, run!’ I was so excited for them, great times — for Haba as well. I’m excited for the future for them.”

It was a successful week for Pitt football in Indianapolis, with Kancey, Hill and Baldonado all testing very well. Warren — along with SirVocea Dennis and Israel Abanikanda — wasn’t on the field, but it was still a highly productive weekend.

Warren was able to meet a lot of great people during his week in Indy, getting the chance to learn more about NFL offenses and how he’d fit within the system. It was just a continuation of his time at the Shrine Bowl in February, determining his future.

The talks in Indy weren’t exactly about what Warren needs to work on at the next level, but what he’s capable of doing when it comes to positional versatility.

“A lot of teams were asking me if I can play right tackle, if I could possibly play guard, and my answer was yes,” Warren said. “I can do it all. I played left tackle for four years, but here and there at practice, I’d play a little right tackle, as well. I played a little left guard as a freshman, so I have experience at both of those positions.”

In six seasons at Pitt, after not seeing the field during his first two, he emerged as a full-time starter at left tackle in 2019. Over the next four seasons, he made 39 starts — starting all but one game over the next three seasons.

The 2022 season was detailed by a torn meniscus against Rhode Island, starting the first four games before the torn meniscus shut down his season, but he has been able to showcase that he’s recovered since even his Shrine Bowl appearances.

He’s a long-time left tackle, an All-ACC left tackle no less, but it goes deeper than that. He’s a team captain, a veteran leader who brings the younger players under his wing and someone who used NIL opportunities to give back to the local community. It may have been exciting to watch Pitt close the season with a Sun Bowl win, but he certainly missed being with his boys.

Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Carter Warren (77) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

“I wish I could’ve been out there for Izzy’s performance, you know, just being with the boys and hanging out with them, I missed it,” Warren said. “But I’m so happy for them.

“I was the motivator. If someone came to the sideline or had a bad play or whatever, I did whatever I could to up lift the guys.”

Warren was afforded a front-row seat, well, he stood on the sideline, to watch Pitt’s offensive line rally in 2022. It wasn’t just him who injured last season after all. Gabe Houy and Owen Drexel spent basically the entire season battling injuries, missing most of the season. And Warren was able to watch the linemen who filled in.

It’s probably the reason why he feels confident in labeling Branson Tayor and Matt Goncalves, the pair who started at left and right tackle last season, respectively, as the offensive linemen to watch next season.

They’re on the up and coming, he said, and they’re ready to break out. And if there’s any reason he feels confident in Goncalves’ ability, it’s because he’s seen him in action — mainly his backside.

“His athleticism, he’s very quick,” Warren said. “He’s faster than me, man. He beat me downfield in a heartbeat. He’s real athletic, and I’m ready to see him do his thing.”

Warren will not be playing with Goncalves or Taylor anymore, and his time with his Pitt teammates may be coming to an end, but the experience in Indy is one that will not be soon forgotten — especially as he roomed with Abanikanda.

“It’s a cool moment,” Warren said. “One more time with the boys hanging out, just chopping it up and seeing everybody do their thing, so it’s a great experience. I’m happy, ready to get going.”

It was a cool experience, especially following his time out in Las Vegas at the Shrine Bowl, but he’s ready for what’s next. He’s especially ready to hit the field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex at the end of the month, but it’s all in pursuit of reaching the next level.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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