Georgia DT Jalen Carter, top-3 prospect, declares for draft

Jan 10, 2023, 9:43 AM
Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) waves to the crowd before the national championship NCA...

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) waves to the crowd before the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game between Georgia and TCU, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter announced after his team won the College Football Playoff Championship over TCU on Monday that he will depart school and enter the 2023 NFL Draft.

Carter, a junior, is considered by some as the top prospect in the draft, and he certainly will be under consideration by the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the No. 3 pick.

Carter recorded two tackles in the 65-7 CFP title victory against the Horned Frogs at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Despite a nagging ankle issue and a midseason knee injury, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound tackle recorded 32 tackles with three passes defensed, three sacks and two forced fumbles in 2022.

He was already on scouts’ radars after a 37-tackle, three-sack season in 2021 that helped Georgia win its first of two consecutive titles.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. moved the defensive tackle into the top spot on his big board at the end of December.

Georgia had five defenders picked in Round 1 last April, and Carter arguably was more disruptive than all of them in 2021. He’s explosive at the snap and finishes well around the ball, even though he didn’t put up huge numbers (8.5 tackles for loss). He has a big frame and can play as a 3-technique tackle. He can dominate from the interior.

Carter and Alabama Crimson Tide edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. are considered top-three prospects by most draft experts and could be of interest to Arizona, which first must hire a new general manager and head coach after firing Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury on Monday.

A trio of quarterbacks could be under consideration to go ahead of the Cardinals’ pick with the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans drafting first and second, respectively. Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis are the three quarterbacks considered potential top-five picks.

Like Arizona, Chicago does not need a quarterback with Justin Fields at signal caller.

Houston could use one, as could the Indianapolis Colts, who draft fourth and could consider trading up in the draft if they like any of the quarterback options.

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