Carmichael possesses above average physical tools. He possesses decent height, below average bulk, but very good top end speed that allows him to keep up with any player he covers. He also appears to be a somewhat fluid athlete, and he appears to have the athleticism to go up and get the football at its highest point.
Carmichael displays ideal ball skills. He has excellent hands, outstanding athleticism to go and get the ball at its highest point, he has a natural ability to follow the ball through the air, and seems to always be in good position when the football is coming his way.
Carmichael displays excellent fluidity as an athlete. He displays above average change of directions skills, he appears to have pretty lose hips, and he is pretty good at adjusting to passes and finding his way into position on a lot of well thrown passes.
Carmichael displays ideal coverage skills and solid instincts. He is a pretty good run stopper, displaying above average strength and excellent on field intensity, he uses solid tackling fundamentals, he is physical in coverage, and he has ideal route recognition skills. He does, however, often give receivers too much of a cushion off the line of scrimmage.
Carmichael has excellent intangibles. He overcame the death of his father, Bernard, who died of a heart attack at the age of 40, and he seems like a very hard worker on and off the field.
In 2009, Carmichael produced one of the most outstanding (and underrated) seasons a corner has ever had. Only one team's #1 receiver can say they were able to get over 46 yards on Virginia Tech (Duke's Donovan Varner, who got 87), which has to be at least partially attributed to Rashad Carmichael. I will admit that statistic is slightly flawed, for, depending on the formation of the team a corner played against, Carmichael might not have always been matched up against a number one receiver, but if there was any validity in talking about how Darrelle Revis shut down Randy Moss in 09' there is validity in what Carmichael did too. So it has been established that he allowed virtually no yards. But on top of that, he somehow managed to get 6 interceptions on the season, 3rd in the FBS among cornerbacks! Are you kidding me? He was dominant enough for quarterbacks never to get any yards on him, but, despite the small quantity of balls thrown in his directions, he still amassed 6 interceptions (and 55 tackles)? Are you kidding me? There is absolutely no way that is possible. I swore, when I scouted him, I always got the feeling he was catching more balls than the receivers he was covering. That domination may never be matched. Now, in 2010, he hasn't been quite as dominant due to a series of nagging injuries. He has missed multiple games this year due to an ankle injury and his production has suffered (2 number #1's have gotten 80 yards on him), but, without the injuries, he would have been just as dominant this year as he was last year.
Overall, when I think of Carmichael and his 2009 season, I think of it as one of the best and undervalued in recent memory. His unbelievable coverage skills and physical tools will be a force to be reckoned with at the NFL level.
NFL Comparison: Champ Bailey, with a little bit more ball skills, but a little bit less speed.