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NFL insider believes Jalen Carter could fall out of top 10 picks

The 2023 NFL Draft is fast approaching with quarterbacks expected to be the first two picks selected on April 27. Thanks to the emphasis placed on quarterbacks and some recent off-field concerns, one of the top prospects might fall out of the top 10.

Many believe the draft starts with the Arizona Cardinals holding the third overall pick, given the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans are projected to take C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young. With Arizona shopping its pick, there is also a possibility that an NFL team trades up to jump ahead of the Indianapolis Colts and four quarterbacks are taken within the top-five selections.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft prospects rankings

With quarterbacks expected to dominate the top of the draft, many of the top defensive prospects might slide a few spots. The likes of Will Anderson Jr., Tyree Wilson and Christian Gonzalez will still likely be taken with the first eight selections. However, there appears to be one standout prospect who could experience a draft-day freefall.

Peter King of NBC Sports wrote that he wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter drops out of the top 10. While he notes there is a possibility of the Seattle Seahawks drafting him at five, they might be the lone team who could prevent a considerable side.

  • Jalen Carter stats (career): 57 QB hurries, 18.5 tackles for loss

It would represent a massive drop for a player who many believe might be the most talented in the 2023 NFL Draft. Carter, a 2022 unanimous All-American, dominated the SEC for the last two seasons and has been compared to All-Pro defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons.

Carter entered the pre-draft process as the projected No. 1 pick to the Chicago Bears. Even after the Bears traded down, many thought the 6-foot-3 defensive tackle wouldn’t fall past Arizona at the third pick.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft order

However, NFL Draft rumors emerged about teams having concerns about Carter’s maturity and off-field issues. Shortly after he arrived at the NFL Combine, he had to go back to Georgia to turn himself in on an arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in street racing that played a role in the deaths of a teammate and Georgia Bulldogs staffer.

“There are concerns there and I don’t know where we’ll end up on that. But as far as football goes, I don’t view the concerns there that would prevent us from drafting him. I’ve heard about him not practicing hard. I understand, and that could be an issue. But he’s such a freak of nature.”

Anonymous NFL coach on Jalen Carter

Carter pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. Reporting after uncovered that he was warned about reckless driving by an officer in 2022 and was cited for going nearly twice the speed limit. He later showed up to Georgia’s Pro Day overweight and struggled during basic conditioning drills.

Ultimately, Carter’s talent and production will still land him in the early half of the first round. The decisions he made at Georgia and a pre-draft process that highlighted concerns about his work ethic might just push him further down the draft board than he expected.

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