Jalen Carter NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Georgia DL
40-YARD DASH: TBD
— Good size for an NFL defensive tackle and carries little to no bad weight. Has room for growth on his frame if needed.
— Accelerates off the line of scrimmage well in pass-rush situations or when given a jet/go call to put pressure on offensive linemen immediately.
— Combines that get-off with low pad level, strength and physicality at the point of attack to help collapse the pocket with a bull rush.
— Does a good job of working to get on an edge instead of trying to go straight through an offensive lineman's chest.
— Shows impressive quickness, active hands and athleticism to win with finesse moves as a rusher.
— Has a wide array of pass-rush moves that he can win with: bull rush, push-pull, arm over/swim, rip, cross chop, etc.
— Impressive agility, bend and a limber lower half help him take an efficient path to the quarterback when slanting or when turning a tight corner after beating an offensive lineman.
— Great pass-rush motor to get coverage sacks and fight through double-teams.
— Has the quickness and nimbleness against the run to change the offensive lineman's aiming point and get off or avoid blocks, especially when slanting.
— Also has the agility to gain ground vertically and laterally with his first step when slanting.
— Has the athletic ability to redirect and make the offensive lineman miss if slanting puts him out of position.
— Has good knee bend to get leverage advantage when he does take on blocks, and has plenty of strength to get extension and shed.
— Violent when shedding to help get off blocks.
— Has the strength to hold his ground versus one-on-one blocks and won't pop his gap/leave his assignment early.
— Little to no issues making tackles near the line of scrimmage.
— Hustle player with decent speed to factor into gang tackles in pursuit.
— More deliberate off the ball when he isn't slanting on running downs, which could cause him to lose some ground against physical offensive linemen in the NFL.
— Takes on blocks with a narrow base when one-gapping.
— Was reliant on his upper-body strength in college.
— Has wide hand placement against the run and when bull-rushing.
— Linemen with strong grip strength will be able to get to his chest and latch on.
— Struggles to recognize and anticipate double-teams coming to turn his hip into the second blocker.
— Will get caught off guard and kicked inside against doubles.
— Can fall into a habit of doing too much dancing before bull-rushing.
— Needs to just get off the ball and get into the blocker every time.
— 5-star recruit in the 2020 class, No. 18 nationally, No. 4 DT, per 247Sports composite rankings
— Injuries: 2022 ankle (limited 1 game, missed 1 game), 2022 knee/MCL sprain (missed 2 games)
— 11 career starts, played with three first-round defensive linemen last season
— 2021 Honors: Coaches' All-SEC second team
— Played basketball and was a competitive weightlifter in high school
When watching Travon Walker, Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt last year, Jalen Carter constantly kept popping off the tape.
Carter was the best player on a defensive line that featured three 2022 first-round picks, including the first overall selection. That's part of the reason why he's been considered a top-five player throughout the 2023 NFL draft process.
Unlike a lot of defensive tackles who have a specialty, the Florida native is about as versatile as they come. He's quick and athletic to make offensive linemen miss as a run defender and has plenty of strength to hold up against and shed one-on-one blocks. As a pass-rusher, he can win with power using a bull rush or push-pull move or around the edges with finesse moves.
A lot of the Georgia product's negatives are admittedly nitpicky. There are a few technical flaws that he needs to clean up, most notably his hand placement on bull rushes and against the run, but most of his issues are easily fixable. His biggest area for concern in the NFL is probably his ability to take on double-teams, which slightly impacts his scheme fit.
Carter would be best as a 3-technique for a team that uses a lot of even fronts. He has the athleticism to also play as a 4i- to 5-technique in odd fronts, but his struggles against double-teams would be a major issue playing anywhere further inside than a 2i, and even that might be pushing it. He also lacks to size to play too close to the center.
With that said, any team picking toward the top of the draft that's looking for an interior defender who can make an impact against the run and as a pass-rusher should be more than happy to select Carter.
GRADE: 9.5 (Top-Five Prospect)
OVERALL RANK: 2
POSITION RANK: DL1
PRO COMPARISON: Warren Sapp
Written by B/R NFL Draft Scout Matt Holder