Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was once considered the top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft by a number of analysts.
But now it feels that time has long past.
Sure, part of Carter’s slip down draft boards comes from the value placed on quarterbacks relative to defensive tackles. But much of it is his own doing.
There were already questions swirling about Carter’s effort level and decision making during the college season. Those questions only rose throughout the draft process.
First, Carter played a role in a fatal car crash while allegedly racing against a car driven by a Georgia football staffer and one of his former teammates.
Then he showed up to Georgia’s Pro Day nine pounds heavier than he was at the NFL Draft Combine and did not participate in position drills.
Those decisions only further precipitated his fall down draft boards. But he won’t have to worry about falling too far. At least, not according to Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports.
“Indeed, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports that Carter is unlikely to fall out of the top-10 selections, even with a potential run on quarterbacks in the top five or six picks of the draft,” McDonald reported. “The talent that Carter possesses is seen as rare by NFL talent evaluators, with the potential to develop into a top-flight defensive tackle who can shut down the run and get after the quarterback at the same time.”
It’s not surprising to see a relatively high floor on Carter’s draft stock. While the concerns are valid, his talent level is still through the roof. If some NFL team can unlock that consistently, they’ll have a perennial Pro Bowl selection on their hands at a key position.
Then again, if Carter continues to show limited effort and questionable decision making, he could also be out of the league in five years.