NFL Draft 2023 Rumors: Jalen Carter Viewed as Unlikely to Fall Outside Top 10 Picks

Adam WellsMarch 18, 2023

ATHENS, GA - APRIL 16: Jalen Carter #88 before the Georgia Bulldogs Spring game at Sanford Stadium on April 16, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Jalen Carter's underwhelming performance at Georgia's pro day and recent plea deal after being charged with street racing and reckless driving is reportedly unlikely to significantly impact his stock in the 2023 NFL draft.

Per ESPN's Matt Miller, scouts around the league believe Carter will still be a top-10 pick because he "has too much talent to fall very far."

Earlier this week, Carter's attorney, Kim Stephens, told ESPN's Mark Schlabach the 21-year-old pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation, 80 hours of community service, a $1,000 fine and will be required to attend a defensive driving course approved by the state of Georgia.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department charged Carter with reckless driving and racing at the time of a single-car crash that killed Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock on Jan. 15. The investigation determined the vehicles being driven by Carter and LeCroy "in a manner consistent with racing."

Police determined LeCroy's blood alcohol concentration was .197, more than twice the legal limit in Georgia of .08. There has been no suggestion Carter was over the legal drinking limit or otherwise impaired.

Carter left the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1 after the police department issued a warrant for his arrest. He returned to Indianapolis the following day to continue his interviews with teams and take official measurements.

Wednesday was Georgia's pro day and Carter's first opportunity to work out in front of scouts. Jim Nagy, executive director of the Senior Bowl, noted Carter weighed in nine pounds heavier (323) than he did at the combine.

Schlabach reported Carter was unable to finish his position drills after struggling throughout the day.

According to Schlabach, Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus were among the NFL personnel in attendance at Georgia's pro day.

B/R's NFL scouting department ranked Carter as the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2023 draft class coming out of the scouting combine.

Even if some teams at the top of the draft have too many concerns about Carter's conditioning and recent off-field issues, history has shown there's going to be at least one club that will bank on their coaching staff maximizing his skill set.

There are also a number of teams at the top of the draft, including the Falcons, Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Las Vegas Raiders that could use a disruptive player in the middle of their defensive line.

Carter appeared in 35 games for Georgia over the past three seasons. He recorded 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks in his career.