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Georgia Football

Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart: Jalen Carter is a Generational Talent

March 15, 2023

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ATHENS - Kirby Smart said Wednesday that Georgia Bulldogs DL Jalen Carter is a “generational talent.”

Kirby stumped for Carter after the projected first-round pick completed his Pro Day workouts at Georiga’s indoor practice facility in Athens. Carter appeared to be either slightly injured or ill during the workouts. 

Nonetheless, the consensus view is that Carter will go in the first round. But his draft stock has slipped since his arrest in the middle of the NFL Combine a few weeks ago. The plan all along from the Carter camp was for the high-level prospect to do his full workout in Athens rather than in Indianapolis. 

Carter battled injuries during much of the 2022 season. He was knocked out nearly all of October after an injury at Missouri. Still, he’s stayed near or at the top of a slew of NFL Draft boards during the season. Carter was the lynchpin in the Bulldogs’ undefeated defense in 2022.

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ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. placed him at the top of his mock draft in late January

“Chicago's roster needs help from top to bottom, but its defense was particularly dreadful in 2022, ranking last in the league in sacks (20) and points allowed per game (27.2). It has to be D all the way for wherever the Bears make their selection. Carter, an explosive interior pass-rusher and run-stuffer, gets the nod over Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. on my Big Board. He's the best player in this draft, a Day 1 starter in the middle of this defense.”

Since that time, however, the arrest has driven Carter’s stock down among draft analysts, and Chicago has traded the No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers. 


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