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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jalen Carter, DT, University of Georgia

Jalen Carter is easily amongst the best players in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is a massive man with amazing traits.
Jalen Carter is easily amongst the best players in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is a massive man with amazing traits.

Jalen Carter is seen by many as the best player in the 2023 NFL draft class. We break down the skillset that he brings to the table here.

Jalen Carter was one of the most dominant players in college football over his career at Georgia. He was apart of an extremely talented defensive line in 2021 that included Travon Walker, Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt, and Nolan Smith. He is arguably the best prospect of all them.

With how much he was able to dominate for Georgia throughout his career he projects well to the NFL. With that being said, let’s break down why that is the case.

Fanfield.io

This scouting report is also available in a video format here. I strongly encourage everyone to watch that video as it allows you to visualize everything I discuss in this scouting report.

Overview

Birthdate: 4/4/2001

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 300 pounds

High School: Apopka HS (Apopka, FL)

Recruit (247): 2020 class- No. 18 Natl No. 4 DT

2022 Stats: 32 pressures 3 sacks 22 stops

2022 PFF: 92.3

2021 Stats: 34 pressures 4 sacks 21 stops

2021 PFF: 85.3

Strengths

  • Quickness
    • Moves very well for his size (6-foot-3, 300 pounds).
    • Consistently wins pass rushing reps with quickness.
    • Multiple examples in his tape of teams attempting to make reach blocks on him, which simply doesn’t work as it leaves way too much time for him to shoot through the gap and make a stop in the backfield.
    • Will be very important for his game translating to the NFL as not a lot of linemen are going to have the foot quickness to slow him down.
  • Power/Strength
    • Ability to win with power is very apparent and quite remarkable.
    • Makes him an absolute nightmare to run against and he consistently wins leverage battles.
    • Many examples on his tape of him just straight up bullying opposing linemen.
    • Wins his matchups as the LOS and blows up run plays at a high rate.
    • Even when he doesn’t end up making a tackle on the play, he still very much impacts the play. 
    • He often commands multiple blockers freeing up other defenders to make plays and he drives linemen back to eliminate rushing lanes for the RB.
    • Strength gives him the ability to two gap on run plays- a very valuable skill in the NFL
    • Utilizes bull rush to win pass rushes consistently.
    • Will be able to win with power consistently at NFL level as well.
  • Hands
    • Techinical Ability
      • Not only does he have all the physical traits to consistently win pass rushes and leverage battles but he also knows how to use his hands very well.
      • Utilizes swim and rip moves very effectively in pass rushes.
      • Hand placement is very effective in bull rushes and leverage battles in the run game.
      • Puts hands under linemen’s armpits which allows him to use his strength to control the OL and two effectively.
  • Production
    • Highly Productive at UGA
      • Jalen Carter is widely known as one of the best players in college football.
      • PFF grade of 92.3 was the best of any defensive player in the Power Five in 2022.
    • Run Stopping
      • 91.2 run defense grade in 2022 was the fifth best amongst FBS DI’s.
      • Consistently makes stops in the run game.
      • Even when he’s not the one making the tackle, he still possibly impacts run plays.
    • Pass Rushing
      • 89.1 pass rush grade in 2022 was the sixth best amongst FBS DI’s and the second best amongst the Power Five.
      • 90.0 pass rush grade in 2021 was tied for second best amongst FBS DI’s.
      • Consistently dominant as a pass rusher at UGA, something that will translate to the NFL.

Weaknesses

  • Snap Count
    • Limited snaps at times
      • Snaps are limited at times as he was apart of a defensive line rotation at UGA.
      • Even in big games this season he comes off the field more than you may expected.
      • Against Tennessee he played 48 of 80 snaps (60%) and against Ohio State he played 52 of 70 snaps (74%).
      • Not a major concern as UGA has LOADS of talented defensive linemen, so it makes sense to rotate them, but he’ll need to play much more snaps in the NFL.
    • Stamina Concerns
      • Looked gassed on the sideline numerous times vs. Ohio State.
  • Finishing Plays
    • Missed Tackles
      • At times struggles bringing down ball carriers.
      • Tackling grades: 2022- 58.7, 2021- 47.8, 2020 41.6
      • 14 missed tackles in his career- 15.7% of tackle attempts were missed

Jalen Carter DT Georgia Final Evaluation

Position Rank: DT1

Projection: Top 4 Pick

There is little no doubt that Jalen Carter is a blue chip prospect. He has a very strong case to be considered the best player in this class. Carter projects to become one of the best interior linemen in the league very quickly.

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