Apr 26, 2023 - Sports

Lions draft preview: Defensive tackle Jalen Carter

Former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter holds up a newspaper celebrating the team's national championship

Jalen Carter celebrates Georgia's national championship victory over TCU in January. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jalen Carter has the talent to be the No. 1 overall pick, but past behavior and judgment could allow him to fall to Detroit at No. 6 in Thursday's NFL Draft.

State of play: The 6-foot-3, 314-pound defensive lineman was a standout on Georgia's national championship-winning defense.

The intrigue: Carter's power, speed and size make him an ideal pro interior lineman — on the field.

  • Pairing him with Aidan Hutchinson could give the Lions one of the most explosive defensive lines in the league.

Yes, but: Under coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes, the Lions have a reputation for valuing gritty players with an innate desire to succeed. That might not be Carter.

Best case scenario: Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

Worst case scenario: Former Michigan State Spartan Malik McDowell, whose career floundered after legal problems.

Quotable: "Supremely talented, immature, does it on his pace," an anonymous scout told NFL writer Bob McGinn.


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