NFL super agent Drew Rosenhaus is trying to save himself and Jalen Carter from losing a great deal of money. Once considered the top available prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, he has been red flagged with maturity and work ethic issues in recent months. Carter is currently working out for teams privately, and next up is the Chicago Bears with the No. 9 overall pick. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Rosenhaus said that Carter will not be working out for any team outside of the top 10.
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Carter has everything an NFL defensive coordinator would want in an interior lineman. He is humongous at 6-foot-3, 300-plus pounds with long arms, massive hands, and great explosion. In his junior season at Georgia he nearly equaled the production of his previous season while playing in one fewer game due to injury. This five-star recruit lived up to all expectations in college.
What is going on in Georgia?
However, since Georgia won its second-consecutive national championship there hasn’t been much positive news surrounding Carter. The night following the parade he was involved in a car accident that took the life of a teammate and a team staff member. A warrant for his arrest was issued during the scouting combine. Carter had to leave Indianapolis to turn himself in and return later.
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In March he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. While the case may be closed in the eyes of the law, some recently released police body-cam footage will reopen it in the court of public opinion. In the original Atlanta Journal-Constitution report, it was alleged that Carter left the scene of the accident and didn’t call 911. His attorney has denied both of those allegations, but the video shows Carter’s conversation with the police. He tells them that he did not call 911, and he is not wearing shoes.
After the combine, Carter did something that, while not illegal, is considered a grave sin to NFL scouts. He showed up out of shape to his pro day. Those days are designed by the universities to show players in their best light. It’s almost like a performance that is put on for NFL scouts. Carter showed up nine pounds heavier than he was during the combine, and could not finish the drills. He also ghosted his combine interview.
Which teams are willing to take a chance on Carter?
I’m willing to give him a pass on the Pro Day. The news of his plea agreement became public the day after. Dealing with the stress of legal problems and also the whole world knowing that an activity that he participated in resulted in the death of two people that he knows, he might have spent some days stress eating instead of working out.
Still, Rosenhaus and Carter have their work cut out for them to attempt to assure teams with picks at the top of the draft that the young man can be trusted. Part of what makes these drafts so difficult is that it involves giving young people a lot of money and responsibility. All while knowing that young people make mistakes. The question always has to be asked: Who of these players should not be trusted, and who is simply a young knucklehead?
Carter had better learn quickly that while he is going to make a lot more mistakes in his youth, there are some that must be avoided. He is also going to be held to a different standard than most people in seemingly benign situations. If he receives a speeding ticket, even after his 12 months of probation ends, it will be viral news.
He has a lot to prove if he wants to avoid sitting in that green room all evening on Apr. 27. Rosenhaus is putting out the messaging, but it’s Carter who is going to have to put some meaning behind it.
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