As the 2022 college football season ended, many scouts were calling Jalen Carter the number one defensive prospect in the draft. He's a bull who ravages opposing linemen and can crash the pocket from just about anywhere on the line. Then the offseason began, and some of the decisions Carter made during that time nearly ended his career before it even began.
Now, he lands with the Philadelphia Eagles with more questions than answers, despite the talent. Should he reach his potential, this could very well be the best pick of the entire draft. Should his off-the-field concerns continue, he may not finish out his rookie deal.
Position: Defensive Tackle
School: Georgia (Jr.)
Measurables: 6'3, 323 lbs.
Where he wins: Off of the line. He's a rocket strapped to a bus.
Areas for improvement: Well...
Jalen Carter is a back-to-back national champion with Georgia and was the main reason their defense in 2022 was as dominant as it was. He was voted All-SEC and was a unanimous All-American selection this past season as no offense could gameplan how to stop him.
He played through injuries, produced at a high level and was as reliable as he was disruptive. To say he 'jumps off the tape' is an understatement. On the field, he's damn near perfect.
On January 15, a car crash occurred resulting in the deaths of two people. Police believe it occurred as a result of street racing between the deceased and Jalen Carter. On the day of the NFL combine, Carter was charged with reckless driving and street racing. This was not the first time Jalen Carter had run-ins with the police. During the fall semester of 2022, Carter was charged with traffic violations three times for three separate incidents.
He's a giving teammate. Using his scholarship money to buy a Georgia walk-on lunch every day so the player could eat with the team.
He was a fan of the 'big hat' era of 2022
He regularly works with the local Boys and Girls Club to spread his generosity around to those in need and this past December debuted the first-ever Jalen Carter Toy Giveaway for Christmas.
It's just not fair, man. The Eagles just made the Super Bowl (though they did lose). They just locked down their franchise quarterback. They have two first-round picks this year thanks to a mid-draft trade with the Saints in 2022. Now, they use one of those first-rounders to trade up and select arguably the best player in the draft.
This feels like a good scheme fit, but it also feels like a good culture fit. Nobody wants to see a player with character concerns go to a hot mess of a team with no direction, and now, Carter finds his place with a team that doesn't just have a direction — they're steering the league.