Insider Reveals Jalen Carter’s Status With Raiders Ahead of Draft

jalen carter

Getty Georgia DL Jalen Carter.

New Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler has been running a tight ship so there haven’t been any good leaks regarding what the team’s draft plans are. The team could take a quarterback, an offensive lineman or a defensive player and none would be a surprise. Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was widely regarded as the best player in the draft before some character concerns came to light.

Vic Tafur of The Athletic reported that the concerns were great enough that the Raiders would not select him if he fell to No. 7. Josh McDaniels denied that report and the team later brought him in for a visit. Now Tafur’s colleague at The Athletic Tashan Reed is also going against that report. According to Reed, Carter remains on the team’s draft board despite the character concerns:

And while there are concerns within Raiders headquarters about Carter after he pleaded no contest last month to two misdemeanor charges of racing and reckless driving following a car crash that killed teammate Devin Willock and Georgia recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy — the relevance of former Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III’s arrest on felony charges including DUI resulting in death following a 2021 car crash that killed local resident Tina Tintor can’t be ignored — league sources have told The Athletic he remains on their draft board.

Will Raiders Draft Carter if He Falls to 7?

If the Raiders could get Carter at No. 7, that would be a major steal. Players as talented as him typically don’t make it past the top five. However, as Reed noted, there are more reasons for the Raiders to be wary of adding him than other teams. The team can’t afford to have another first-round pick flop due to off-the-field issues.

Now, the Raiders have done far more work on him than anybody in the media has. They’ve met with him and have likely taken a close look into his background. If they think he checks out and won’t have issues in the NFL, they would love to add him. He’d be the biggest difference maker on defense the team could find this offseason. Whether or not the Raiders will draft him really comes down to how they feel about his character.

Raiders May Decide to Go OL in 1st-Round

The Raiders do need help on the offensive line but the group was decent last year and should be better in Year 2 under McDaniels. Most of the team’s spending comes on the offensive side of the ball and the team didn’t add any notable defenders in free agency. Many fans want to see the team draft a defensive player early or a quarterback but not many of them would love to see an offensive lineman picked so early.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated is close with McDaniels and typically has good insight from the coach. In his most recent mock draft, he predicts the Raiders to select Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski.

“My feeling is Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler will look for a program fit, and Skoronski would be a good one. I could see Paris Johnson Jr. here, too, and [Devon] Witherspoon if he were available.”

Skoronski should be a very good NFL player but the Raiders passing on defense and quarterback to add an offensive lineman could be a controversial move.

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