There is a lot of uncertainty over what is going to happen with Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. On most consensus boards, he is one of the three best players in the 2023 NFL Draft. But once you get into the off-the-field issues with Carter, he immediately starts coming down those boards.
Weeks after his poor performance at Georgia pro day, reports come from the team that Carter is already off the board. As of now, those two confirmed teams are the Las Vegas Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons. We’ll find out on opening night of the 2023 NFL Draft if the Raiders and Falcons live up to their word.
One team to keep an eye on for Carter is the Detroit Lions. Earlier this week, head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media and explained how the Lions reached out to former teammates. Campbell said, “…he told us some things we didn’t know. Which probably no one would know. It was like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.
Campbell wouldn’t elaborate on whether those things were good or bad but needless to say, it’s an interesting comment. In addition to those comments, it has been confirmed that Carter will take a pre-draft trip to Detroit. But this isn’t the Lions’ head coach’s only interesting comment on Carter. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller also had some interesting comments.
The easiest assessment you have for the 2023 NFL Draft is Georgia IDL Jalen Carter. He is one of the best players in the draft, if not the best player in the draft.
Impressive due to his length, strength, athleticism and versatility, he could be an impact player from day one… pic.twitter.com/oGJSeLscpP
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) February 27, 2023
Miller said during a conference call on Friday, ‘We talked about Jalen Carter before, where does he fit in? I think [Detroit] Best suited for Carter outside Philly. It’s great because you have Dan Campbell. He’s going to make sure you’re working.
In addition to those comments, Miller also said, “Talking to people in Georgia, one thing I constantly heard was that Jordan Davis and Nakobe were players for Dean Carter. They led the locker room and everyone Followed, everyone fell in lockstep. These comments were made after Carter mentioned “in a locker room that is structured and has good leaders.”
There is a possibility that Carter could become the 10th player overall for the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, the Eagles could even consider going up for Carter to make sure they get him. Pairing him with Nkobe Dean and Jordan Davis could be the next step in Carter’s career miracle.
Report: Georgia DT Jalen Carter no longer on Raiders draft board https://t.co/o5k72via DFDaa @thedraftwire
— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) March 30, 2023
At the same time, the Lions could strongly consider Jalen Carter with the 6th overall pick. Over the years, they have had the best players in the NFL Draft fall into their kitty. In 2021, it was Penny Sewell and in 2022 it was Aidan Hutchinson. Could it happen again this year? All this is possible. But the main question is, does Carter really fit in on the Lions?
The player on the field does, of course. He displays a consistent motor, versatility and just raw power. He has active hands and is capable of winning with a pass-rush scheme that is active but benefits from his speed and power. Carter will compliment the Lions defensive line led by Aidan Hutchinson. But pairing him with Hutch, Kominsky, Paschal, McNeil and the rest of the group could truly benefit Carter transitioning to the NFL. Time will tell, especially with off-the-field concerns, but taking one of the most talented players in this year’s draft seems more than possible.