Jalen Carter NFL Draft

Jalen Carter

  • IDL Georgia
  • Junior
  • #3
  • 6'3"
  • 310lbs
  • Prospect
  • Southeastern
Georgia Bulldogs

Prospect Summary

Jalen Carter NFL Draft Scouting Report

IDL, Georgia Bulldogs

Jalen Carter was a highly-regarded recruit that was compared to Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. The athleticism for a defensive tackle is obviously a result of being a three-sport athlete in high school. Along with football, Carter was on the basketball team and was a weightlifter. He came in second place in his heavyweight division by bench-pressing 395 pounds. His first two seasons on the field were as a rotational disruptor until he became the unquestioned starter in 2022. 

Carter has been called the best defensive player on that historic 2021 Georgia defense. His motor runs hot on both run and passing plays. Carter does not lack effort. He is seen chasing the ball to the far sideline and upfield as a backside defender. In the run game, despite not having the frame of a traditional nose tackle, Carter holds up well at the point of attack reduced inside. He plays the 0,1, 3, and 5-techniques. I love his body control to handle double teams and corkscrew/twist through blocks to impact the ball carrier. I noticed improvement with his lower body to anchor and hold his ground to clog running lanes. His power can be overwhelming for opponents. He can stonewall zone-reach blocks to sit and occupy that lane. Carter cuts off those block attempts and leverages gaps well for a young player. He shuts the door/designed gap in the face of running backs. He’s a difficult task to move consistently in the run game. 

As a pass rusher, Carter’s versatility is on display. He exchanges gaps on a routine basis with the defensive line games Kirby Smart ran. The lower-body flexibility to drop his weight and dip/slip underneath blockers’ hands was impressive. In the moments he does get to attack a single gap, he has a devasting club/swim combination that knocks offensive linemen off balance and creates clear paths to the quarterback. He has the hand and functional power to simply drive blockers into the lap of their passer. When he fires off the ball, Carter’s first step is quick and puts him into the offensive lineman’s space in a hurry. 

Carter remains a very young player and it shows in his game. He is not the most technically refined defensive prospect at this stage of his development. He does not rush with a consistent plan to attack pass-blocking schemes. He relies too heavily on that club/swim combination and it opens his chest for quick/powerful-handed punching linemen. He needs to continue to develop his pass-rush hand package to take his game to the next level. Georgia used him heavily as a looper on twists and stunts to free up other rushers, but to his technical detriment. His pad level needs more consistency to fully take advantage of his raw power. He will pop straight up out of his stance after the snap and surrender the immediate leverage advantage. 

In all, Carter is a top-three player and arguably the best prospect in the 2023 class. His raw athleticism and physical strength are a dangerous combination for blockers to handle. The way Smart used Carter is not how I envision an NFL defensive coordinator deploying him. Carter is a day-one starter and his ceiling is very high. Iron out some of the technical wrinkles in his game and this young man can skyrocket in the NFL as a disruptive force on the defensive line.

Top Reasons to Buy In:

  • Body control
  • Raw power and athleticism
  • High ceiling/upside

Top Reasons For Concern:

  • Pass-rush plan
  • One-year starter
  • Technical refinement

Size (NFL Combine):

Height: 6′ 3”

Weight: 314 lbs

Arm Length: 33 1/2”

Hand Size: 10 1/4”

Athletic Testing (TBD):

40-yard Dash: TBD

Vertical Jump: TBD

Broad Jump: TBD

Short-Shuttle: TBD

Three-Cone: TBD

Bench Reps: TBD 

Ideal Role: 3-technique defensive lineman 

Scheme Fit: single gap penetrating/attacking

TDN Consensus Grade: 91.00/100 (First Round Value)

  • Parson Grade: 91.00/100

Written By: Damian Parson

Exposures: Ohio State (2022), TCU (2022), Georgia Tech (2022), Tennessee (2022)

Jalen Carter NFL Draft Scouting Report. Add him to your big board here.