NFL Sources Weigh in on Jalen Carter’s Potential Fit With Eagles

Jalen Carter

Getty Jalen Carter makes a tackle against Michigan in a 2021 game.

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is notoriously astute at finding value during the NFL draft, and has a simple core philosophy that has yielded a pair of Super Bowl berths with one championship over the past five seasons.

That philosophy is consistently bolstering both lines of scrimmage as the backbone of a championship-caliber roster.

Roseman is armed with a pair of first-round picks, including the No. 10 overall selection, pilfered from the New Orleans Saints last spring that could position the Eagles to come away with one of the more dominant defensive prospects in this year’s class … Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter.

“From a talent perspective Jalen is a perfect fit for the Eagles,” an AFC scouting director told Heavy. “But, maybe big picture, he isn’t, after taking Jordan Davis last year.”

Entering the NFL Combine, there were mock drafts that had Carter as the first non-quarterback chosen in this year’s draft class. However, Carter’s draft stock has plummeted in the wake of entering no contest pleas stemming from allegations of racing and reckless driving in an accident that killed his Georgia teammate, Devin Willock, and program staffer Chandler LeCroy on January 15.

Eagles Need to Weigh Risk-Reward of Pairing Jalen Carter & Jordan Davis

The Eagles hosted Carter on an official visit on April 3, and it isn’t difficult to envision Roseman tabbing Carter as an eventual heir apparent to Fletcher Cox on Philadelphia’s interior, and reuniting a defensive line that powered a 2022 National Championship in Athens.

“Here’s the thing,” the executive said, “they need to make sure that Carter and Davis’ relationship is strong and they don’t feed off each other in a negative way that could foster laziness.”

Davis, after the Eagles traded up to select him No. 13 overall, struggled to crack an elite defensive line rotation as a rookie. In 2022, Davis posted 18 total tackles but flourished in the postseason where he added 3 tackles and a pair of quarterback hits.

Might Roseman jump at the opportunity to further fortify the defensive line for upwards of the next decade by pairing Davis alongside Carter?

What Would Jalen Carter Bring Philadelphia Eagles?

On the field, Carter plays to every bit of his 6-foot-3 and 300-pound frame, as a disruptive interior presence.

Last season, Carter produced 32 total tackles with 3.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 pass breakups, viewed by many as Georgia’s premier defensive player.

But, how does Carter project at the next level?

“He has about the same ceiling as Derrick Brown does in Carolina,” an NFL defensive line coach told Heavy, on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about Carter. “He’s a really talented player, but with low sack production.”

Across three seasons in the heart of Georgia’s defensive line, Carter produced 6.0 sacks. But, Pro Football Focus gives Carter an 89.1 pass-rush grade. There are few general managers in the league who wouldn’t sign up for that kind of interior pressure on opposing quarterbacks, especially from a behemoth of a run-stuffer.

Cox enters 2023 at age 32, playing on a one-year deal with the Eagles.

If nothing else, adding Carter to the Eagles’ defensive line would provide stability to the position for years to come.

But, the upside for Roseman and Philadelphia, is pairing value with need, given that there was a time Carter was considered the premier prospect in the entire draft. Drafting Carter is an Eagles-type move, and could further stabilize a position group the organization believes is most critical to launching Super Bowl runs for years to come.

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