Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter has started to be taken off draft boards leading up to the 2023 Draft by NFL teams due to his legal troubles. Carter was once considered a lock to be a top 10 or even a top 5 draft pick, but now his future in the NFL is in serious jeopardy.
According to a source who spoke to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the Las Vegas Raiders have crossed Carter off their board and will not take him with the 7th overall pick. Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels previously stated that the team would do their homework on Carter, who was previously considered one of the top two or three players in the draft, but it seems that the team has decided to move on from him.
Carter’s legal troubles stem from an incident on the morning of January 15th, when he was racing a car driven by Georgia recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy. The car crashed, resulting in the death of LeCroy and Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock, who was a passenger in the car. Carter was charged with two misdemeanors – racing and reckless driving – on March 1st.
In court, Carter pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to one year of probation, a $1,000 fine, and 80 hours of community service. However, his legal troubles have now cost him dearly in the draft, with at least one NFL team unwilling to take a chance on him.
The Raiders’ decision to cross Carter off their board is likely influenced by the recent legal troubles of former 1st round pick wide receiver Henry Ruggs, who was arrested in 2021 on charges of DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, and two counts of reckless driving. Ruggs is accused of driving 156 mph with a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 before crashing into another car, resulting in the death of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog.
The comparison between the two cases is too close for comfort for the Raiders and their fans in the Las Vegas community. With Carter now off the board for NFL teams, his future in the NFL is in serious doubt. It remains to be seen if he will be able to overcome his legal troubles and return to the field.