Off the field issues continue to damage Jalen Carter’s NFL Draft stock. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
On-Stage New Era NFL Draft Hats Available Now by Nathan Cunningham
Jalen Carter is one of the most physically talented players in this year’s NFL Draft class, but his stock may fall even further based on new intel.
Jalen Carter‘s draft stock already took a big hit when news broke of his involvement in a teammate’s fatal car crash. Recent facts uncovered by the Detroit Lions might plunge Carter’s stock into total free fall.
Head coach Dan Campbell wouldn’t divulge the specifics of what he characterized as “things we didn’t know” to the media. He also declined to classify the new information as good or bad. Campbell simply told reporters the things he’d heard from one of Carter’s teammates were “interesting.”
Interesting is now what Carter wants to be at this point in his pre-draft process. The more boring he can come across between now and the moment the Panthers go on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick the better his draft stock will be. More potential off-the-field drama will only give teams more pause when they consider spending a premium draft choice on the talented defensive tackle.
Dan Campbell on Jalen Carter:
“We talked to a teammate of his the other day and, man, he told us some things we didn’t know. That nobody probably would’ve known. It was like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.'”
Asked if it was good or bad:
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) March 28, 2023
NFL rumors: Dan Campbell hints at secret Jalen Carter info throwing draft stock further into question
In fairness, the Lions could be leaning into the idea of more drama surrounding Carter to shield their interest in nabbing the disruptive defender. Smokescreens are running wild as the Draft approaches and Carter is a player with elite talent. It’s not hard to envision a scenario where the Lions try to manipulate the media to make sure Carter falls to them in Round 1.
On the other hand, it’s also not hard to imagine one of Carter’s college teammates sharing some more troubling information about his off-the-field issues. The player originally told teams he expected to be “completely exonerated” from all charges connected with his tragic accident, but quickly elected to plead no contest to make sure he avoided jail time.
At the very least, expect teams to keep digging for as much information as possible about Carter before the time comes to either select or pass on him in the draft. Teams will always be willing to gamble on talent, but they want to understand what kind of odds they might be facing. Any additional incidents that come to light that might paint Carter as an immature person or worse could send his draft stock into freefall.