2023 NFL Draft: Jalen Carter reportedly shows up heavier, fails to complete position drills at Georgia pro day
It wasn't long ago when Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter was a strong candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Suddenly, his draft stock appears to be plummeting.
Carter reportedly had a disastrous pro day Wednesday, according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach. Carter, who weighed 314 at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, reportedly showed up to his pro day 9 pounds heavier. Carter decided to take part in only positional drills, but struggled to finish. He was reportedly "cramping up and breathing heavily," per Schlabach.
UGA DL Jalen Carter doing bag drills at UGA Pro Day. #Falcons watching. pic.twitter.com/VG8QB7iSmJ
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) March 15, 2023
It's another disappointing development in Carter's precipitous drop from the top of the draft. Carter's fall began at the combine, when reports emerged he had a warrant out for his arrest in Georgia for reckless driving and racing. Carter was allegedly racing Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and staffer Chandler LeCroy when the two died in a car crash in January.
Carter left the combine, turned himself in and posted bond.
Carter returned to the combine, though he did not participate in any drills at the event. He met with teams and had his measurements taken. Carter was scheduled to speak with reporters in Indianapolis, but that did not happen after he left the event to deal with his legal situation. Carter did not speak with reporters after his pro day Wednesday either, per Schlabach.
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Though Carter may fall in the draft, it's still expected he will be taken high in the first round. Scouts from all 32 teams watched Carter's pro day. Three NFL head coaches — Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Matt Eberflus of the Chicago Bears and Arthur Smith of the Atlanta Falcons — reportedly attended the event. The Falcons hold the highest pick in the draft — No. 8 — of those three teams.
Prior to the combine, it would have seemed unfathomable that Carter would drop all the way down to the Falcons at No. 8. Things can change in the weeks leading up to the draft, but it's tough to imagine Carter will be the top defensive player taken in the 2023 NFL Draft.