Name: Jalen Carter
Position: Defensive lineman
Weight: 300 lbs
Games watched: vs. Kentucky (2021), vs. Clemson (2021), vs. Oregon (2022), vs. Tennessee (2022), vs. Alabama (SEC Championship ’21), vs. LSU (SEC Championship ’22)
If you want just a quick snapshot on just how good Jalen Carter really is, he might be the best player from the 2021 Georgia defense. That defense included Travon Walker, Devonte Wyatt, Jordan Davis, Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean, Lewis Cine, Channing Tindall and Quay Walker, among others. He was 2nd team All-SEC despite only playing in a rotational role. Carter got the chance to truly shine in his junior season, wrecking opposing game plans and terrorizing quarterbacks all season long.
His 2022 numbers are far from eye-popping, with three sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and a pair of forced fumbles, but if you put on his tape, you will be blown away by his speed, ferocity and athleticism. His efforts did not go unnoticed either, netting him AP 1st team All-American and 1st team All-SEC honors. He dominated the trenches and has the potential to be an All-Pro level player at the next level.
Carter has an incredible get off for a player his size. He throws his weight around well and his play strength is astounding. He routinely knocked opposing linemen on their backside in both run and pass sets. He has a fantastic rip move to disengage from blockers, allowing him to penetrate the backfield quickly. Carter will be very effective in pass rush stunts at the next level as well with his ability to eat up double teams and draw additional attention. He can line up pretty much anywhere along the defensive line, with Georgia deploying him as a nose tackle and a standup edge rusher in the same game. If Carter does not get home, he has a knack for getting his hands into passing lanes to disrupt throws.
There are a handful of weak points in Carter’s game, but they are few and far between. He has a tendency to lose his balance as a pass rusher, ending up knocked way off his line or on the ground from time to time. It almost seems to be a byproduct of how fast he plays. There is the occasional snap where he gets moved off the ball in the run game. As I noted before, his production leaves a little bit to be desired as well, posting just six sacks over the past two seasons. I’ve seen some recent reports that Carter has some character issues. I’m not privy to that type of information at all, but it is something worth noting as we move through the pre draft process.
Carter is a menace and the highest graded player I have so far in this draft class. He is a three-down option with plenty of stamina to stay on the field all three plays. He competed against the best of the best in the SEC and should be a force in the NFL. Look for him to have a Quinnen Williams or Chris Jones type impact on a defense.
Ideal scheme fit: 1-technique defensive tackle