2023 NFL Draft: Jalen Carter struggles during Georgia pro day workout
Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter might not have had the pro-day performance he was seeking to solidify his stock as one of the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Carter weighed in at 323 pounds on Wednesday, nine pounds heavier than his weight at the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago in Indianapolis, a source told Reese’s Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy.
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Carter did not participate in any athletic testing but did take part in positional drills, according to reports. NFL Network reporter Sherree Burruss said team personnel evaluators told her that Carter’s day was a mixed bag, with some indicating he struggled toward the end of his workout.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart called Carter “a generational talent” and defended his character following the pro day.
“He is a great young man,” Smart told Burruss. “His teammates love him. When you look at the course of the year he had, he gets injured on the first play (of the season vs. Oregon). He fights back, he gets injured again with an MCL (against Missouri).
“He probably could have shut it down. He decided to come back and play really for his teammates. I think that says a lot about his character in terms of what his competitive character is like and what he wants to do on the field for his teammates.”
Carter did not speak to media at the pro day. The former Bulldogs star is No. 5 in NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s ranking of the top 50 draft prospects.
Carter left the combine after arrest warrants were issued for him in Athens, Georgia, for racing and reckless driving charges stemming from an investigation into a fatal Jan. 15 car crash. Carter, 21, was booked on the two misdemeanors and released from custody the same day after paying a $4,000 bond. He then returned to the combine but did not participate in on-field activities in Indianapolis.
All 32 NFL teams attended the Georgia pro day, including Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, Bears head coach Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and GM Omar Khan. Carter helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships the past two seasons and played at a dominant level at times last season, despite dealing with knee and ankle injuries.
Carter emerged as a force in 2021, playing alongside 2022 first-rounders Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt on arguably the best defensive line in college football. After being named a second-team All-SEC selection in 2021, Carter earned first-team Associated Press All-American and all-conference honors during Georgia’s run to a second straight national title.
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