ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 31: Jalen Carter #88 of the Georgia Bulldogs pursues C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the third quarter in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Is Jalen Carter now a possibility for the Eagles? And if so, should they take him? One month ago, Jalen Carter falling to the Eagles was something not even worth considering. Some had him going as high as the first overall pick. And noone had him falling past pick 5. But legal troubles are putting his place as a top 5 pick in question. Suddenly the Georgia DT is falling in mock drafts and some places have him ending up in Philly. Would that be the right move for the eagles though?  

And the Eagles could certainly use some help at DT. Javon Hargrave is likely leaving in free agency. Fletcher Cox could be gone too. And even if Cox returns, the Eagles can’t rely on him to play a major role at his age. Even last year, Cox played far fewer snaps than ever. Leaving the Eagles with just Jordan Davis and Milton Williams at DT. And while they both have flashed talent; they alone are not enough to carry the interior of the defensive line.  

We know the Eagles love to take defensive linemen. Five of their last 12 first-round picks were Defensive Linemen. Two of those, Fletcher Cox and Jordan Davis, were Tackles. And off-field issues aside, the agreement among everyone previewing the draft is that Jalen Carter is the best defensive lineman available. In fact, many will say he is the best player period.  

Jalen Carter’s talent is undeniable. But should off-the-field troubles keep him off the board? Or is he too good for the Eagles to pass on?   It is something the Eagles at least have to consider. Even if the result is that they need to take him off their board entirely. So what exactly are the legal troubles he is facing?

  • A Force at DT

    When Carter is on the field, there are few if any questions about him. The 6ft3 300lb DT is one of the best defensive players coming out of the draft.

    He does it all in the middle of the line. Need someone to stop the run? He helped anchor a defense that allowed the fewest rushing yards across the last two seasons. Need someone to rush the passer. He led the 2022 Bulldogs with 31 QB hurries despite missing several games with a UCL sprain. In his last three seasons, he is 2nd in Pass Rush win rate among the 168 Interior Linemen with at least 300 pass rush snaps, and 9th in total pressures with 60.

    What makes him so special, is a combination of quickness along with natural play strength. while he didnt light up the combine with a crazy 40 time like him former teammate Jordan Davis, on look at him playing will tell you is far quicker than a man of his size should be.  He is the type of player that requires a double team, because most tackles or guards are not good enough to block him one on one. Just watch this clip of what happens when you don’t commit to the double team.



  • Pending Legal Troubles

    It is impossible to talk about Jalen Carter without bringing up the legal troubles. Jalen Carter was involved in a crash that killed two people. Chandler LeCroy, a recruiting staffer for Georgia, and Devin Willock, an O-Lineman for Georgia. Police are saying that evidence shows Carter and LeCroy were racing at dangerous speeds before the accident.  

    Carter faces two misdemeanor charges. Reckless driving, and Racing on Highways/ Streets. Reports suggest Carter initially misled police about his role in the crash. But he is not currently being charged with Obstruction of Justice or any similar crime. So if it is true he misled the police, they don’t seem to be seeking to punish him for it. The two misdemeanor charges carry a maximum of one year in jail. But unless the charges are changed, he could avoid jail time altogether.  

    The full story of that night is not yet known publicly. The knowns are that LeCroy’s car was moving at speeds well over the speed limit before the crash. And her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. But whether or not Carter was speeding, or drinking, is not known. Since he was with LeCroy and Willock, one would assume so. But there is no evidence he was drinking, hence the lack of a DUI charge. Two people are dead though. And Carter seems to have played some role in it, even if he did not cause the crash. 

    Most likely, he was doing something he shouldn’t have been doing. But it is hard to fairly judge him yet with just half the story out there. He is scheduled to appear in court in April, before the draft, so we may learn more then. And any team interested in drafting him will do their own work and will know much more than we do about the incident. But as fans, we may be operating in the dark about what really happened.  

    Carter posted to his social media that he will answer the charges and expects to be fully exonerated. He appeared in court for booking after the arrest warrant was put out, and then released on $4000 bond.

  • We Know He Faced Great Competition

    People will say the SEC gets talked about too much. And maybe they do. But there is a clear pipeline from the SEC to the NFL. Especially from schools like Georgia. And if you are a defensive lineman in the SEC, you can be sure you are facing some of the best offensive linemen in the league. We constantly see Alabama Offensive Linemen going in the draft. And being a winning team, Georgia also runs into Ohio State a lot once the Playoffs come around. SEC schools and The Ohio State make up 50% of what many sites seem to rank as the top 10 offensive linemen in the draft.

    There is a reason at least 10 SEC players shave been taken in the first round in 5 of the last 6 drafts. They have led all conferences in first-round picks in 11 of 12 drafts. Georgia is in the top 5 for most first-round picks produced since 2000.

    The question is does that translate into success in the NFL for these players? Well the SEC also regularly leds all conferences in most alumni in the Pro Bowl, All Pro Teams, and in the Super Bowl. 4 Georgia players and 3 Alabama alumni played in this last Super Bowl. In total 20 SEC Alumni played in Super Bowl 53, a potential 106 players, nearly 20%.

    Being from the SEC does not guarantee success. But it certainly gives a player a higher chance to be successful. Especially in the trenches.


  • Teammates Defend Him From Character Questions

    Before the car accident story ever came out, Todd McShay caused a stir by reporting that Jalen Carter had “character issues.” The question was then, and still is, what the hell McShay meant when he said that. Did he know about the pending legal troubles? Was he suggesting Carter is a problem in the locker room? Or was he referring to the other traffic violations that were known at the time such as speeding tickets? 

    We don’t know. Because McShay just dropped a vague report and never expanded on what meant. But Carter’s teammates and coaches immediately jumped to his defense. Georgia D-Line Coach Tray Scott sat down with Bruce Feldman from The Athletic to debunk those accusations. 

    “You honestly don’t know the guy if you think that. You can ask anybody on the team, whether it’s the O-line that he bullies every day out there … everybody thinks he’s an all-around great guy, and I think he’ll be great for any team that picks him.” 

    [Source: The Athletic]

    Scott also shared a story about how Jalen Carter paid for his teammate Weston Wallace’s meals. Wallace, a walk-on, couldn’t eat with the team because of NCAA rules. So Carter made sure Wallace still got to eat. And Scott was not the only person defending Carter at the time. Teammates, and players from other teams, all took to social media to back up Carter’s character and go back at McShay.   

    Now, none of this does anything to change what happened in the crash. But it at the least shows another side of Carter. And McShay’s statements were vague enough that he could have mean that Carter is an issue in the locker room. So it is important to see that his teammates and coaches all seem to respect him enough to defend him. And to hear stories of good things Carter has done as well.  

  • But Will He Actually Be There at 10?

    Say you are the Eagles. You have done enough research into Jalen Carter’s legal issues, and you feel comfortable taking him. The question still is, will he be there? How far will Carter actually fall? Before the Bears traded down, people were mocking him first overall to them. If there were no legal troubles, he would likely be the first non-QB taken.

    The Panthers, Texans, and Colts are all near locks to take a QB. And there could easily be a 4th as well. This means Carter would have to get past The Cardinals, Seahawks, Falcons, Lions, Raiders, and Bears. One of them will take Will Anderson, and one will likely take top O-Linemem Peter Skoronski. Will 3 teams pass up on a guy generally considered the top talent in the draft? By then we will have a much better idea of the legal trouble he faces. If jail time is actually on the table, no one is taking him in the first round. If jail time is not on the table, he might start rising up the draft boards again.

    It’s tough to fairly judge where he will fall to. There are reports of NFL GMS and scouts saying he will fall outside the top 10. But that could just as easily be GMs trying to get him to fall so they can take him. The games NFL teams play at this time of the year make it hard to trust any reports like that. Teams will make up injuries, intentionally leak dirt on players they want to draft to scare other teams away, and worse. Carter is very good though. And we know teams have forgiven talented players for worse. Unless the legal trouble will actually land him in prison, there is still just as good a chance he goes at 3 as him falling to 10.

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