Latest On Eagles’ Jalen Carter Selection

One of the key questions heading into last night’s first round was how far down the board Jalen Carter would fall. In the end, the Eagles traded up one spot (to No. 9) to draft the controversial defensive tackle.

Carter’s pre-draft process included two potential red flags for NFL teams: the fatal accident he was involved in following the Bulldogs’ national championship, and an underwhelming Pro Day performance. The former resulted in a plea agreement being reached which ensures he will not face jail time. The latter was representative of his standing amongst his coaches.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes that members of the Georgia staff “are not [Carter] fans,” adding “they weren’t bashful about saying so” in the lead-in to the draft. The All-American’s character has come into question in the wake of his troublesome offseason, and whispers emerged around draft night that Carter overcame those poor evaluations to remain a target for the Eagles – a team which has added four Bulldogs defenders in the past two drafts, including three first-rounders. To no surprise, the team’s decision was a key talking point after the opening round concluded.

“We spent a lot of time investigating the incident around it,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer“We talked to Jalen about a variety of things. We’re not going to get into what we talk to our players about… But at the end of the day, nobody’s hiding from the fact that a tragic event happened.”

Carter himself said the Eagles “really didn’t ask much about the accident” in their evaluation of him. Philadelphia was often named as a logical landing spot for a number of reasons, including their positioning in the top-10 of the draft order. Carter only visited with teams set to pick in that range, though some reportedly took him off their draft boards altogether. The Eagles’ need to add to their defensive front (as they did in 2022 with Jordan Davis, one of several former Georgia teammates Carer is set to re-join) made it little surprise when they traded up to select him.

Plenty of attention will be on Carter given the questions surrounding his ability to translate his college production to the NFL level and grow from the events of the recent past. Scrutiny will no doubt follow the Eagles if he is unable to do so, though the team is clearly confident he will become a long-term contributor on one of the league’s best rosters.

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