Eagles DT Jalen Carter opens up on pre-draft process & reuniting with former Georgia teammates

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Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter watches as players warm up on the field before the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Jalen Carter is a Philadelphia Eagle. Another cornerstone of that rampant Georgia Defense will be suiting up in midnight green and it’s safe to say that fans are excited about the long-term prospects of the defensive line. The rookie quickly hopped on a media call following the 2023 NFL Draft to answer some quick questions.

On his visit with the Eagles

“The 30 visit went great. It was good vibes when I first got there.”

Carter quickly praised not just the team, but the individuals he met with, including new defensive coordinator (Sean Desai).

Teams weren’t interested in Jalen Carter’s off-field incident

“They didn’t ask much about the accident. It was getting to know me, my love for the game of football and my personality.”

“I felt in good condition but I should’ve conditioned a lot more before the Pro Day.”

The Elephant in the room is of course the fallout from a traffic accident that resulted in the loss of a teammates life. According to Jalen Carter, the Eagles (among others) weren’t interested in that at all and instead wanted to learn about him as a person and why he loves football.

His response to this was that he’s a winner. He’s been on winning teams since he was a child and loves to be the reason on a Monday that his team won over the weekend. When asked about the kind of player the Eagles would be getting, he had this to say:

“My general expectations is that whoever drafts me was going to get the best player in the draft. I feel Philly is a good team to go to and play for.”

Jalen carter
Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) waves to the crowd before the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game between Georgia and TCU, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, projected as one of the top players in next month’s NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing in conjunction with the crash that killed offensive lineman Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member.(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Reuniting with old friends

“I talked to Jordan Davis yesterday. Me and Nakobe text a little bit. We’re probably gonna have a Facetime and talk about what we’re going to do”

“Coming back and playing with former teammates is an exciting moment for me. Those guys were the leaders of the 2021 team. I know if i got any questions I can ask them”

Of course, Jalen Carter isn’t the only former Georgia Bulldog on the team. He’ll be joining both Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis – two other stalwarts from that vaunted 2021 defense who were highly regarded as key leaders.

It’s nice to see that the comrarderie is still in-tact and the strong bonds built down in Georgia will continue to thrive in Philadelphia. It’s likely a huge reason behind Howie Roseman’s decision to draft him in the first place.

A surprise appearance?

Jason Kelce was at the NFL Draft in Kansas City and was pictured with Jalen Carter following his pick. When asked about what the future HoF Center had to say, Carter’s face lit up and he said the following:

“Jason Kelce said he can’t wait for 1-on-1’s.”

Neither can we!

An honest man

You’ve just had one of the most emotional moments of your life and are now thrust into a press conference where the world will be watching. If there’s ever a place to make a mistake, exaggerate a bit under the pressure, or pull a Jonathan Gannon, this would be it. Jalen Carter didn’t.

He openly admitted to not knowing much about the team. He stated that he couldn’t recall much about the scheme due to the amount of teams he met with. He was transparent when asked about difficult topics on the biggest day of his life.

Say what you want and have all the concerns you like, but someone who’s going to hold his hands up and be accountable even in micro scenarios that ultimately don’t matter that much is certainly the kind of person who will be accountable when it matters most. That’s a massively encouraging sign early on.

AP Photo/Darron Cummings