Those around the NFL don’t think that Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter’s stock will drop even after being charged with reckless driving and racing.
Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter was believed to be the consensus top prospect in the entire 2023 NFL Draft class. But on Wednesday, Carter was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and racing in relation to a Jan. 15 car crash that resulted in the death of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and team recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
With this concerning update, there are discussions about whether Carter’s draft stock will drop after these charges.
Yahoo Sports’ Charles McDonald spoke with those around the NFL about the charges related to Carter and how it would affect his stock. One person who works for a team that’s selecting in the top 5 of the NFL Draft told Yahoo Sports that Carter’s situation is “wait and see”in terms of getting additional information. Another source told the outlet that Carter was “special enough to survive something like this if this is the worst of the news.”
NFL teams reportedly don’t believe Jalen Carter’s draft stock will fall
In the Athen-Clarke County Police Department statement released on Wednesday, Carter’s 2021 2021 Jeep Trackhawk and LeCroy’s 2021 Ford Expedition were “operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing” around 2:30 a.m. ET on Jan. 15. Additionally, ACCPD said that both drivers “switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other.” Evidence determined that LeCroy’s vehicle was traveling at 104 mph before the crash.
LeCroy’s vehicle crashed into power poles and trees, where Willock was pronounced dead at the scene, while offensive lineman Warren McClendon and recruiting staffer Tory Bowles were injured. LeCroy later died at a hospital from the injuries sustained in the crash.
Per the police statement, LeCroy’s blood alcohol level was at .197, which is more than double Georgia’s legal limit. Alcohol impairment, speed, reckless driving, and racing were listed as “significant contributing factors” to the accident.
Carter was reported to be at the scene of the crash, where he left when medical personnel and police officers arrived nearly 90 minutes later, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Carter admitted that he was driving alongside the car, even though he reportedly said earlier that he was a mile away from the accident.
After the arrest warrant was issued, Carter left the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. to return to Athens. Carter released a statement, saying that he was going to Athens to “answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented.”
Carter was booked on reckless driving and racing charges, and released on $4,000 bond on Wednesday night. He returned to the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday to finish interviews and measurements, per NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport.