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30-Day, 30 Prospects Feature Series, Day-2: Defensive Tackle Jalen Carter

Despite being the most polarizing prospect in the 2023 Draft, Georgia DT Jalen Carter is considered by some as a “must-grab” by the Las Vegas Raiders if he falls to #7. Red flags continue to surround Carter, notably by being charged on March 1st with reckless driving and racing in connection to a crash that took the lives of his teammate and staff member, as well as showing up to Georgia’s Pro Day overweight and out of shape.

As a result of the red flags, his stock has dropped, as Carter was once projected to go in the top 3 of the draft. However, his elite-level talent, measurables, and explosiveness spark a league-wide debate amongst the experts, talking heads, and fans alike whether or not taking Jalen Carter is worth the risk, particularly amongst Raider Nation.

At 6′ 3″ and over 300lbs, Carter’s film absolutely pops, as he exhibits the complete package you hope to see in a defensive tackle – toughness, explosiveness, versatility, and room to sharpen his skills. His initial get-off speed is off the charts, causing havoc for interior lineman. Compound that with quick hands and a spectacular step-and-swim move, and Carter is a force to be reckoned with. Additionally, Carter is great against double teams, showing hip flexibility by quickly rotating the hips in an attempt to avoid contact from the 2nd man, while initiating contact on the 1st man, dominating the offensive lineman with punch power and drive. To sum it up, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Carter has been given a prospect grade of 7.05, which projects him to be an immediate Pro Bowl-type player. His game has also been compared to Pro Bowl DT, Jeffrey Simmons of the Tennessee Titans.

Maturity, motor, and the occasional struggle with larger interior offensive lineman highlight some of his weaknesses. Film showed that he struggled against projected late-first round guard O’ Cyrus Torrence vs. Florida. He also was visibly out of gas late in the National Semifinal Game vs. Ohio State.

Carter is absolutely a high-risk, high reward type of prospect who has the ability and acumen to be a cornerstone of a defense for years to come– if he wants it. For the Raiders brass in regards to the 2023 NFL Draft, the stakes can not get any higher, as Raider Nation grows hungrier and even more impatient to see a winner. If Zeigler and Coach McDaniels find themselves in a position to put Carter in the Silver and Black, it would be tough to pass him up despite the many red flags.

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  1. Pingback: Rookie Edge Rusher Tyree Wilson Can Have Breakout Game vs. Steelers – Planet Raiders

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