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Eagles Film Review: Jalen Carter’s upside is extremely high

A closer look at Philadelphia’s first of two first-round picks.

SEC Championship - LSU v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the 2023 NFL Draft over, it’s time for some film rooms on the Philadelphia Eagles’ rookie class. I will try and get to all the players and some UDFAs over the next few weeks. There are loads of scouting reports that will obviously say very similar things, so I have tried to include film clips to back up everything and I will talk about the player’s fit with the Eagles at the end of the piece. I watched the all22 on several rookies, but I can’t share those clips on my own Twitter accounts (or I risk getting blocked), so I’ve used a few other accounts here. Let's go!


+ High-level prospect with all the athletic traits to be an excellent player.

+ Manhandles players at times with his length and upper body strength. Has a nasty bull rush.

+ Has quick and powerful hands to almost casually swat defenders away from him. Can strike defenders with insane power and knock them backward.

+ Has a really strong anchor and can hold up against double teams too. He’s a fantastic run defender.

+ Explosive element to his game and can win with quickness at the snap. Very elusive and can avoid blockers altogether at the snap.

+ Has good closing burst to finish the play and make the tackle.

+ He has ridiculous flexibility for a man his size which really stands out on T-E stunts. He has legitimate bend to him.

+ Versatile, can be a 1-gap penetrator or a 2-gap run defender depending on scheme and down/distance.

+ Has the athleticism and bend to play at DE at times. He has the size and athletic profile to play numerous positions.

+ All-pro upside.


- Some concerns over his character, as you are all aware of. You can read more about that here.

- Sometimes has an inconsistent anchor. Is it an effort issue or a fatigue problem?

- Production should be better considering the talent. 6 sacks in his career is not good enough for someone so talented.


If you read my defensive line preview article, this is what I said about Carter.

I see Carter as an elite prospect as a disruptive 3 technique, but he can do it all. He could play anywhere along the defensive line and would be fine. He’s a high-level prospect with outstanding traits and the film to back it up. He has an explosive element to his game and can win in so many ways. He can be over-aggressive at times and could anchor better at times, but the upside is as high as anyone in this class.

Trading up for Jalen Carter was my dream outcome this year. I think he is a phenomenal talent. The most talented player in the class, regardless of position, and the upside is extremely high. I expected the Eagles might have to get to pick 5 to take him, but I never expected in my wildest dreams that they could get him at pick 9.

Carter can play so many roles in this Eagles’ defense. He can play as one of the 4i defensive tackles next to Jordan Davis as part of a 5-man front, but can also play as a traditional 3 technique in 4-man fronts. Carter isn’t big enough to be a pure nose tackle, but he is big enough to play as a 1-technique too if needed. I wouldn’t be stunned to see him play some 1-technique against certain teams to rotate Davis. I absolutely love Carter as a 4i next to a nose tackle and as part of a 5-man front, because it should allow him to get a lot of one-on-one matchups. Just like this!

He should be able to play on early downs, pass-rushing downs, and you may even see him play at defensive end at times on obvious pass-rushing downs. He is a unique talent who should contribute instantly to the Eagles’ defense, especially in run defense, and will play a lot of meaningful snaps this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if he surpasses Fletcher Cox on pass-rushing downs next year, and we see a lot of Jalen Carter next to Milton Williams on pass-rushing downs.

Javon Hargrave was an absolutely fantastic signing by the Eagles and was one of the elite interior pass rushers in the league for a few years, but he did get moved too frequently in the run game. Carter has a long way to go to be as productive as Hargrave, but I do think he will instantly improve the Eagles’ run defense and be an upgrade there. I am incredibly excited by the selection of Carter and I am expecting big things from him.

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