Wow. They really did it.
The Eagles moved up one spot to make this selection. They traded a 2024 fourth-round pick to jump up.
After much speculation about the Birds potentially needing to move up as high as No. 5 to get Carter, the Eagles were able to land him just one pick ahead of their original selection at No. 10. That’s pretty awesome. Great job by Howie Roseman to suss out Carter’s value.
Prior to concerns related to Carter’s arrest regarding a car accident where two died, there was thought he could be the top non-quarterback selected in this draft. Pro Football Focus had him as their No. 2 overall ranked prospect:
DI Jalen Carter, Georgia: Carter is neck and neck with Quinnen Williams for the best defensive tackle prospect we’ve graded at PFF (since 2014). Williams was a touch quicker, while Carter is a bit more powerful, but it’s darn close. Carter finished 2022 with a Power Five-leading 92.3 overall grade.
Former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah had Carter ranked at No. 6 overall:
NFL teams that are considering spending a pick on Carter will need to examine his off-field issues following his March 1 arrest on reckless driving and racing charges. On the field, Carter is a difference maker and must be accounted for on every snap. He has the versatility to line up at any position along the defensive front. Against the pass, he has an explosive first step and understands how to work through the edges of blockers. He jars opponents with his initial strike before clearing his hips and closing in on the quarterback. He has the change-of-direction ability of a player 40-to-50 pounds lighter. He can use pure power to run through single blocks and possesses the quickness to split double teams. Against the run, he is firm and strong at the point of attack and has the range to make plays on the perimeter.
The Eagles are arguably uniquely qualified to select Carter due to the sturdy presence of vice president of team security/chief security officer Dom DiSandro and the familiarity with former Georgia teammates Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.
Carter fills a big need for the Eagles at defensive tackle with the team losing Javon Hargrave to the San Francisco 49ers in free agency. Now the Birds have Carter, Davis, Fletcher Cox, Milton Williams, Kentavius Street, Marlon Tuipulotu, and Marvin Wilson in their DT rotation.
Very exciting outcome for the Eagles! Of course, now we’ll see if Carter is able to live up to his potential or if the reasons related to his fall were justified. For the Birds, it’s a worth risking taking.
Here’s a scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
When assessing a player’s draft grade, we take into consideration areas like traits, toughness, explosiveness, skill level, potential for growth and positional projections. Across the board, Carter checks out in a big way. However, his maturity will need to be vetted by each team as they make their evaluations. The tape shows a defender with odd- or even-front versatility and a rare blend of first-step quickness and leverage through contact. He’s capable of finding quick wins against sloppy guard play and finishes the play once he’s in the backfield. His hand usage can be violent or subtle, but the feet are always active and searching for an opening. Based upon talent, traits and projection, Carter appears ready to step into the NFL and become a productive three-down talent with Pro Bowl potential.
College stats via Sports Reference:
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