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49ers draft history: Dexter Carter 25 years later

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The 2015 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday afternoon, and the San Francisco 49ers will look to add significant depth across the board with their nine draft picks. Some of the picks will work out (hopefully), and some will probably flame out. Draft history is littered with players who fell all along the spectrum of performance.

The upcoming draft marks the 25th anniversary of the 1990 NFL Draft. There was some serious talent in that class, but there were also some significant disappointments. Earlier Thursday, the New York Times released a "Where Are They Now?" feature about the first round picks from that class. There is quite the mix of interesting and heart-breaking stories. You could find that in a lot of draft classes, but 1990 featured several notable stories.

The 49ers held the 25th pick of that draft, which also happened to be the last pick of the first round. They were coming off a Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos. The 49ers pick would have been No. 26, but the Broncos exercised their first round pick in the previous year's supplemental draft, selecting Bobby Humphrey.

With pick No. 25, the 49ers selected Florida State running back Dexter Carter. The 170 pound back was brought in to help ease the workload for Roger Craig. That did not work out so well, as he ended up working primarily as a kick returner as his career wore on. He departed the 49ers after the 1994 season, signing a free agent deal with the New York Jets. He was subsequently waived by the Jets and claimed by the 49ers. He played in 1995 and 1996 before his career came to an end. We talked about him back in 2011 in the context of being a draft bust.

Here is some of what he has been up to since leaving the NFL. The whole feature is worth a read.

He returned to Florida after he left the N.F.L. in 1996, finished his undergraduate degree and later earned a master's degree in business management. He was savvy enough to save some of the $3.4 million he earned as a player, but he spent much of it repairing a damaged knee, which led to other complications, including a staph infection. He had 17 operations in eight years, including a knee replacement at age 35.

Carter has made motivational speeches and volunteered and worked as a coach, but when he sought other jobs, he sometimes found that employers were skeptical because they assumed he had a lot of money.

"People don't care if you played one year or 15 years, they just see the N.F.L. and they think you never have to work again."

Recently, though, he became the director of external projects and athletics at Valor Academy in Jacksonville, Fla., which he called "a new start."