Seahawks Reaction: Too many concerns about Jalen Carter to draft?

Mar 16, 2023, 2:08 PM | Updated: Apr 6, 2023, 2:24 pm

Seattle Seahawks Jalen Carter...

Jalen Carter of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts in the National Championship versus TCU on Jan. 9, 2023. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

One of the top NFL Draft prospects who has been tied to the Seahawks this offseason is All-American defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who starred for the Georgia Bulldogs.

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It seemed like a slam dunk that Carter would be a top five pick, and before the Chicago Bears traded the No. 1 pick to quarterback-needy Carolina Panthers, some thought Carter could go No. 1 overall.

Carter faces some serious questions now, however, as he had plead no contest to a misdemeanor stemming from his involvement in a drag racing incident that resulted in the deaths of a Georgia teammate and staffer. Then on Wednesday, Carter showed up to Georgia’s pro day nine pounds heavier than he was at the recent NFL Scouting Combine and couldn’t finish position drills due to cramping and heavy breathing, per an ESPN report.

The Seahawks hold the No. 5 pick in the upcoming draft, and Carter seems like a great on-field fit because he plays a key position of need for Seattle. But with all these red flags, should Seattle pass on him?

Here’s a look at what all our Seattle Sports hosts had to say about Carter.

Brock & Salk

Mike Salk called Carter’s pro day “disastrous.”

“He didn’t look good. I mean he’s bouncing and jiggling and all that. And then not being able to finish? My gosh,” he said.

Later in the show, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard shared his thoughts on the situation.

“At least when you get to the field, all those other things disappear and you show up,” he said. “But you can’t finish a combine workout, a pro day workout? And you’re out of gas, and you’re huffing and puffing and you don’t even finish and you don’t even pass the jiggle test because you’ve got all sorts of stuff moving around in too many different directions? That’s a bad look.”

How far could Carter fall in the draft?

“If history tells us anything, he’s gonna fall out of the top 10. He’s gonna fall to 12 or 13,” Huard said. “There’s gonna be some team that says, ‘Yeah, and he’s not a top 10 guy. I’m not investing that.'”

Huard brought up offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, who fell to 13 overall in 2016 after video surfaced on social media of him using a gas mask to smoke marijuana. Before that, he was expected to be one of the first players selected.

“When you’re a big, physical, ‘there aren’t many built like you’ kind of guy like Tunsil, like (Warren Sapp), like this kid, I think he falls out of the top 10, but I don’t think he gets out of the top 15,” Huard said.

Bump & Stacy

Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus was asked if the Seahawks should gamble on Carter at No. 5 overall.

“Yeah, I would,” he said.

Bumpus said that it’s understandable why Carter wouldn’t show up to his pro day in very good shape considering all the things he’s dealing with off the field, especially considering a teammate of his died.

“Put yourself in the young man’s shoes and realize he’s dealing with a lot. Wrong, right or indifferent, he is dealing with a lot,” Bumpus said. “So it doesn’t surprise me at all that he showed up and he was out of shape. You think he’s motivated to wake up like he did before the passing of his teammate every day at 6 a.m. to grind? No. He’s got to work his way through this. You have to take that into consideration.”

Bump said that now teams like the Seahawks will need to do their homework to see if they can trust Carter.

“He will talk to teams that are interested, so it’s up to organizations … Do your homework. Do you trust him? Do you think he’s good to go? If you do, then you take the pick,” he said.

Co-host Stacy Rost said there’s a lot still to be answered about Carter.

“There could be many answers. One of them is still, ‘Hey, bad news, move on.’ And the other one is, ‘Hey, this is a guy who has some red flags but could be a good person and could be willing to change.’ None of us know the answer,” she said. “So if you’re sitting here saying, ‘Pass on this guy, he’s horrible, he’s a horrible person,’ alright, that’s your opinion, but none of us know just like I don’t know that he’s a good guy. I have no idea.”

If the Seahawks are on the clock at No. 5 overall and Carter is available and general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll pass on him, Rost said that would be very telling.

“If the Seahawks pass on him at 5, they are in such dire need of help at that exact position that I am fully convinced those interviews went horribly,” she said. “If the Seahawks pass on him at 5, the way that John and Pete love and appreciate athleticism and potential, the way that they are willing to take on guys for second chances, and the way that they need this position group more than any other, (then) this was a bad interview. That’s what passing on him at 5 tells you.”

Wyman & Bob

Dave Wyman, a former NFL linebacker, couldn’t believe Carter would show up to his pro day nearly 10 pounds overweight and so out of shape.

“You know it’s coming … You show up and you’re not in shape? I mean, that’s the bare minimum,” he said.

Co-host Bob Stelton thought Carter should have used his pro day as a way to show just how good he is on the field.

“Wouldn’t you go out of your way to say, ‘You know what? I’m putting on the best show I could possibly put on to try to erase that question out of people’s mind. Yeah, I don’t know what’s going to happen with this case, but I’m going to show you that if you get me on the field, here’s what you’re getting,'” he said.

Stelton asked Wyman if he’d be mad if the Seahawks passed on Carter in the draft.

“No, not at all. I mean, look, this is a guy that could maybe not make it on the field. We never saw (2017 second-round pick) Malik McDowell (play for the Seahawks). Never,” Wyman said. “… It’s just a matter of how mature or how immature is he? And maybe he gets it and turns around … I mean, you’ve got a chance to play and be a top five pick.”

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