NFL Insider Says Eagles Have ‘Eyes’ on Controversial Playmaker

Nick Sirianni

Getty Head coach Nick Sirianni of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is never satisfied with his team’s depth along the defensive line. Despite bringing back Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham in free agency, there is growing speculation about the franchise using the 10th overall pick on controversial Georgia stud Jalen Carter.

The 6-foot-3, 314-pounder playmaker has been called a future Pro Bowler, arguably the most talented player in the 2023 NFL draft. He was compared favorably to Titans star Jeffery Simmons in one scouting report, thanks to violent and subtle hand usage. More importantly, teams have been informed that Carter will serve no jail time for his involvement in a fatal single-car accident.

Carter checks all the boxes of the kind of impact playmaker that Philly tends to value. Character and maturity issues have him dropping in recent mock drafts, but the consensus remains that he’ll fall no further than No. 10. The Eagles are expected to be the “stopgap” there. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Eagles have their eyes on Carter in the first round and sharing a locker room with Jordan Davis – his former teammate at Georgia – could tilt the tides.

Fowler wrote (via Bleacher Report): “And then a lot of people are watching for Philly here at No. 10, believe it or not. Even though they’re always fully-stocked on the defensive line, they love linemen. He would be going with his former teammate, Jordan Davis, and veterans like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, who would be a good influence.”

ESPN’s Todd McShay Explains Character Concerns

Carter’s “character concerns” have been called into question dating back to last year. It was thought to be more of a personality issue until charges for reckless driving and racing were levied against him. While he’s since been exonerated, Carter still brings baggage and teams interested in drafting him will have to grapple hard with the pros and cons.

ESPN’s Todd McShay noted that he remains a top-10 pick even with those character concerns. He pegged him at No. 5 to the Seattle Seahawks in his latest mock draft.

“Jalen Carter, let’s just lay it on the table. He’s the best prospect in the entire 2023 NFL Draft,” McShay said, via Nick Schultz. “It’s rare to find a guy that can get consistent pressure from the interior and be also as dominant vs. the run. The problem is there’s football character, there’s personal character, and a lot of questions about it.

“And to me, the football character plus the off-the-field incident with a former teammate and a staff member passing away in the car wreck, and then showing up nine pounds overweight to the pro day, it’s a lot of red flags. So I think he goes five to 10, somewhere in that range.”

NFL Scouts Drooling over Georgia Star’s Potential

CBS Sports’ Kyle Stackpole put out a sound scouting report on Carter, one that called out his “great quickness to attack gaps.” He ranked him as the second-best player in the entire draft and the top talent among defensive line prospects.

Here is how he evaluated Carter:

Jalen Carter has elite quickness for a player of his size. His value increases as a result of a shortage of pass rush-capable interior defenders. A relatively young prospect, Carter has had limited pass-rush production and is still developing in that area. The Georgia defense has primarily relied on the athleticism of its players to run games and create chaos. He has great strength to play the run.

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