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Jalen Carter NFL Draft
NFL Draft

What Are Jalen Carter’s 4 Best NFL Team Fits?

  • Jack McKessy
  • April 3, 2023
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Just about a month ago, there was no question that Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter was worthy of a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Since then, some very valid concerns have arisen that seem to have dropped his draft stock a bit. Off of the field, an arrest warrant was issued for Carter under suspicion of reckless driving and racing in connection with a tragic accident that occurred in January. Then, at Georgia Pro Day, the former Bulldog seemed out of shape and struggled to participate in on-field drills.

The tape shows us a very talented athlete capable of making an immediate impact on any defensive front, but teams will have to wrestle with some recent concerns in their evaluation of Carter. Should these four teams feel comfortable with drafting him, they’d be the best fit for the Georgia product.

Detroit Lions

The Lions seem to have figured out the edges of their defensive line. Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston thrived in their respective rookie seasons as they combined for 17.5 of the team’s 39 sacks in 2022. However, Detroit’s interior defensive line needs some upgrades after a troubling year up the middle that included allowing 320 rushing yards to a Carolina Panthers attack that no longer included Christian McCaffrey. 

With the addition of Carter, the Lions would immediately boast one of the best, young defensive front sevens in football with Hutchinson and Houston on the edge, Carter up the middle, and second-year linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez coming off of a fantastic rookie year of his own.

Seattle Seahawks

If there’s one head coach that’s equipped to deal with Carter and the off-the-field concerns that come with drafting him, it’s Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Not only that, but Seattle could use help along their defensive line after finishing as a bottom-12 team in pass-rush and run-stop win rate. 

The Seahawks may be in a perfect spot to draft Carter after a run on quarterbacks in the first four overall picks of the draft. The raw power and athleticism Carter has to give him one of the highest ceilings in the class as a pass rusher and run stuffer up the middle.

Chicago Bears

The Bears already made some moves this offseason to address a defensive front seven that was in dire need of better playmakers after allowing the second-most rushing yards in the NFL last season. They addressed the linebacker position with the signings of Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, and Dylan Cole. Chicago also picked up defensive linemen Andrew Billings and DeMarcus Walker but shouldn’t be done with upgrades. 

If Carter falls to the No. 9 overall pick, it’s a no-brainer selection from the Bears. He’d be the centerpiece of a young defensive core as the team looks to move out of their rebuilding status and toward playoff contention as one of the best athletes and a prospect with one of the highest ceilings in the class.

Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas boasted a bottom-11 team in pass-rush and run-stop win rate in 2022 while also allowing the fifth-most offensive yards in the league. They only had three interior defensive linemen under contract going into this offseason and needed to make some significant improvements to help out edge rusher Maxx Crosby. The Raiders brought back Jerry Tillery and signed John Jenkins to address some of the needs in the interior, but neither of those players has the upside that Carter could bring if he’s available at No. 7 overall.