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Will Anderson wins AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award over Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Carter

Digital Brief: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024
Digital Brief: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024 02:36

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter lost the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Award to Houston's Will Anderson on Thursday night at the NFL Honors show in Las Vegas.

Carter was a finalist for the award with Anderson, Seattle's Devon Witherspoon, Pittsburgh's Joey Porter Jr. and Los Angeles' Kobie Turner.

Anderson recorded 151 points to win the award, while Carter had 122. Turner had 95, Witherspoon got 57 and Porter Jr. had six.

Carter, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft, had a great start to his rookie season but cooled off as the year went on. He had 33 total tackles, six sacks -- which ranked third on the team -- two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Anderson has similar numbers to Carter. The Texans defensive end had 45 total tackles, including 10.5 for loss, and seven sacks.

In his second NFL season, Carter will be tasked with learning a new defensive after the Eagles fired defensive coordinator Sean Desai and senior defensive assistant Matt Patricia, who took over play-calling duties late in the regular season.

The Eagles hired long-time defensive coordinator Vic Fangio last month to lead the team's defense after an abysmal end to the season where the team lost six of their final seven games, including the wild card round exit against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Birds started the season 10-1 and finished the regular season with an 11-6 record.

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Carter will be a key piece in Fangio's defense next season and more pressure will also be put on his shoulders to perform with the potential departures of veterans Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham looming ahead.

Both Cox and Graham are free agents entering the offseason. Graham said after the playoff loss he'd like to do a "farewell tour" and play one more season in Philly but Cox's return to the team remains unclear at this time.

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Entering the NFL draft last year, Carter was rated as best prospect in the class by some draft analysts but fell due to off-field concerns due to his involvement in a fatal crash that left University of Georgia teammate Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy dead.

Carter was charged with two misdemeanors and entered a deal with authorities, where he pled no contest, received 12 months of probation, and had to pay a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service along with a driving course.

Since the incident, Carter has been sued by Willock's father and a woman who was seriously injured in the crash. 

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