As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Jalen Carter.
Check out all of our 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports & Prospect Profiles
6’3″ – 310 lbs.
Five-star recruit who rotated into the defense for 287 snaps as a freshman, finishing with 14 tackles (three for loss), a blocked kick and a touchdown catch. Played 396 snaps as a sophomore as the team’s third defensive tackle behind eventual 2022 first-rounders Jordan Davis (Eagles) and Devonte Wyatt (Packers), grading out much more highly than in his freshman campaign (PFF) and posting 37-8.5-3.0 with another two blocked kicks. Turned in a similar junior-year line of 32-7.0-3.0.
Thickly-built defender who looks the part of an interior lineman. Typically lines up at both one-technique and zero-technique on fronts with anywhere from two to four down linemen. Brings a high level of intensity and aggressiveness on a snap-to-snap basis. Has the explosiveness to threaten gaps out of his stance. Nimble with quick change-of-direction skills to finish. Strong enough to bull-rush opponents and create congestion in the backfield, with very good leg drive after contact. Capable of locking out linemen and holding the point of attack when he wants to. Looks fast in backside pursuit when the play direction is going away from him; very rangy player who works hard to get toward the sidelines. Physical player who likes to deliver hits on opponents and set the tone defensively. Very active with his hands, showing some variety to his rush approach; mixes in effective swim, rip and swipe moves with regularity. Seeks out open lanes with impressive lateral quickness; dangerous on stunts and twists. Has an excellent closing burst for his size, coming in like a homing missile to deliver hits in the backfield. Some feel for anticipating screens, allowing him to break off his rush and get out toward the sidelines.
Height and length measurements could be important to draft stock. Snap count has been limited by Georgia’s deep defensive line and rotational philosophy. Has a penetration-first mentality and could be temperamentally unsuited to more of a patient, read-and-react type of defensive front. Can play out of control at times, leading to balance issues/waist-bending. Highly explosive when he gets moving, but actual reaction times to the ball being snapped can be inconsistent. Aggressiveness can cause him to get sucked in by misdirection. May not be the best fit in an odd defensive front, particularly one with two-gap principles.
A very disruptive penetrator because of his explosiveness, quickness and intensity, he has all of the tools to develop into a dominant every-down player, particularly as an under tackle in an even front with an aggressive one-gap philosophy. Some teams might like to see a little bit more patience and discipline in his run fits, but looks like his physical and mental tools will likely help him earn a selection among the first five or so picks in this year’s class.
Projection: Round 1
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio