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NFL Draft: Could Georgia's Jalen Carter fall to the Eagles?

Digital Brief: April 5, 2023 (PM)
Digital Brief: April 5, 2023 (PM) 02:05

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A few months ago, Jalen Carter falling outside of the top five in the 2023 NFL Draft seemed like a pipe-dream. 

But, the University of Georgia defensive tackle has saw his draft stock fall over the past month due to multiple off-field issues. 

So, could Carter, arguably the best non-quarterback prospect in the draft, fall to the Eagles at No. 10 overall? 

Let's take a look below. 

Why is Carter's stock falling? 

Carter's draft stock has plummeted after he was arrested for his involvement with a crash that killed his fellow Georgia teammate, Devin Willock, and recruiting analyst, Chandler LeCroy. Two others were injured in the accident. 

The crashed car was traveling more than double the speed limit, according to police, and toxicology reports showed LeCroy was driving with a blood alcohol level of .197, more than double the legal limit. 

Carter faced misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. He entered into a deal with authorities, where he pled no contest.

Carter received 12 months of probation, had to pay a $1,000 fine and do 80 hours of community service along with a driving course. 

Carter reportedly misled prosecutors after the accident. He claimed he was a mile away from the crash before later saying he was alongside Willock and LeCroy's car in the accident.

After the charges stemming from the crash, Carter's draft stock dipped further after he reportedly showed up overweight and couldn't finish his positional drills at his Pro Day. 

Carter was also reportedly stopped by a police officer last year for going 89 mph in a 45 mph zone. He wasn't arrested during the incident. 

A bodycam video from the stop shows the cop telling Carter: "You're not going to jail. That's your break. Because it would make all kinds of news."

Eagles' draft history

It's no secret the Eagles value players on both sides of the trenches.

The Eagles have had 12 first round picks going back to the 2010 draft, and eight of those have been used on offensive or defensive linemen. 

Three of those players -- Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox and Lane Johnson -- are still mainstays on the team and have been key parts of the Eagles' success over the years, including the franchise's first Super Bowl in the 2017 season and their most recent trip in February.  

Even if Carter doesn't necessarily fall to No. 10, the Eagles could trade up with a team if he slips past No. 5 overall. 

In three of the past four seasons, the Eagles have made trades in the first round to get the player they desire. They did it last year with Jordan Davis, Carter's former teammate at Georgia, DeVonta Smith in 2021 and Andre Dillard in 2019. 

Most DOMINANT Defensive Lineman in College Football || Georgia DL Jalen Carter 2022 Highlights ᴴᴰ by JustBombsProductions on YouTube

The same thing might happen later in April if Carter falls, and he would certainly warrant that aggressiveness from the Eagles.  

Over the past two seasons, Carter was one of the key players on Georgia's two-time national championship defense. He had 69 total tackles, 15.5 tackles-for-loss and six sacks across the two seasons combined. 

Final thoughts

Carter is a blue chip talent. He fits a position of need for the Eagles, especially after Javon Hargrave and his 11 regular season sacks traveled west to the San Francisco 49ers. He played in college with Davis and Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean.

Carter is the type of player that can make an immediate impact to any NFL roster. And if the Eagles are comfortable enough to select him at No. 10, or trade up, they should absolutely do it. 

Here's a summary of his scouting report from CBS Sports

"Jalen Carter has elite quickness for a player of his size. His value increases as a result of a shortage of pass rush-capable interior defenders. A relatively young prospect, Carter has had limited pass-rush production and is still developing in that area. The Georgia defense has primarily relied on the athleticism of its players to run games and create chaos. He has great strength to play the run."

Carter would fit nicely alongside the Eagles' defensive tackle rotation with Cox Davis and Milton Williams.

The Eagles, like they always do, are doing their due diligence on the 6-foot-3, 314 pound wrecking ball of a defensive lineman. 

Carter traveled to the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia for a top-30 visit with the Eagles. Top-30 visits can be used by teams during the draft process as a way to gain information or be a complete smokescreen for other teams, but it makes complete sense why the Eagles are interested in Carter. 

Carter also isn't taking visits with teams outside the top 10 of the NFL Draft, and NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah connected the Georgia star to the Eagles. 

"The Eagles would be my educated guess on why Jalen Carter isn't taking meetings outside the top 10," Jeremiah said on Pat McAfee's show. 

The hypothetical scenario definitely adds up. 

The Eagles are pass rush obsessed, and if they believe the off-field issues aren't that big of a concern, general manager Howie Roseman could work his magic later this month and end up with Carter as a foundational piece of the team's defense for years to come. 

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