The Philadelphia Eagles may have gotten a steal by trading up for Jalen Carter and taking him with the 9th overall pick. It all depends on whom you ask. There is no questioning Carter’s talent, but the off-the-field stuff has been a topic of much scrutiny and debate.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio dropped a bombshell report on April 28 that blasted Carter’s character. In it, the former college standout is accused of clashing with coaches and being a bad influence in the locker room. The 6-foot-3, 314-pounder didn’t appear to have a ton of fans on the Georgia coaching staff, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and people chose to bite their tongues ahead of the draft instead of going on record and ruining Carter’s career before it started. Here is a snippet of what was said:
When it comes to defensive tackle Jalen Carter, the word making the rounds before the draft was that the Georgia coaches did not have nice things to say. (We specifically decided not to mention any of that until after he was picked, so as not to participate in the pre-draft effort to get guys to fall.)
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media hinted at that last night after Carter became the ninth overall pick in the draft. We’ve heard it more bluntly and strongly. Members of the Georgia coaching staff are not Jalen Carter fans, and they weren’t bashful about saying so.
Jordan Davis: Instant Support System for Carter
There has been much chatter about Carter’s strong relationship with Jordan Davis. The two were teammates at Georgia, along with Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean, and had each other’s backs. Davis was a mentor to Carter in college, with some saying he could be the guy that keeps the first-round pick “in line” at the next level.
How close are they? Well, Carter attempted to explain duing his post-draft media availability in South Philly.
“Yeah, it feels good, that Philly is putting their trust in me to come in here and put in hard work and do what I can to help the team,” Carter said on April 28. “Just talking to [Jordan Davis], he’s just a good guy to talk to. I could talk to him any time. I can call him any time of the day, any time of the night. He’s just my guy and I love that man.”
Carter also revealed details of his pre-draft visit with Eagles leader Jason Kelce. The All-Pro center will be another guy tasked with keeping tabs on Carter during his rookie year.
“He was just cool, cool vibes. He’s a cool guy to be around,” Carter said. “He made it fun for me, just explaining what Philly is about, that it’s just a family here, everyone is going to take care of you and you’re going to have some fun while being on a business trip playing football.”
Howie Roseman Not Worried: ‘He’s a Winner’
General manager Howie Roseman was forced to answer a bevy of questions regarding Carter’s character. Remember, he was arrested on reckless driving and racing charges stemming from an incident that killed two people in a tragic car crash.
Carter was exonerated, but a dark cloud continues to hang over him. Roseman isn’t worried. The Eagles did their homework.
“We understand that all these players, they need to be developed. They’re coming into the league at a very young age. They’re not finished products,” Roseman told reporters on April 27. “I think when we got to know Jalen, we just felt like here’s a kid that he does love football. Obviously, he’s a winner. He won in high school. He won in college.”