Huard: What Seahawks will look to get out of Jalen Carter visit

Apr 10, 2023, 11:37 AM | Updated: Apr 11, 2023, 12:38 pm

Seahawks draft combine Jalen Carter...

Jalen Carter of Georgia looks on during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on March 2, 2023. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Seattle Seahawks right now is whether they’ll be willing to use the No. 5 overall pick in this month’s NFL Draft on Jalen Carter.

Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider talks latest Jalen Carter news

The defensive lineman from Georgia has the talent befitting of a selection in the top five of the first round, but there have been a number of concerns raised about him during this draft cycle. The biggest is that he pleaded no contest to charges of reckless driving and drag racing stemming from an incident in January that resulted in the death of a teammate and Georgia staffer. He was sentenced to probation and community service while also having to pay a fine.

There’s also the fact that he didn’t work out at the NFL Scouting Combine, and while he did participate at Georgia’s pro day, he didn’t complete the workout due to reported cramping and heavy breathing after showing up nine pounds heavier than he was at the combine.

The Seahawks are in position to get some answers on Carter this week, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday morning that Carter has a visit scheduled Tuesday with the Seahawks at their headquarters in Renton.

Former NFL quarterback and current FOX college football analyst Brock Huard shared his perspective Monday on what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider will hope to get out of the visit with Carter.

“They want to dig into him deeper. They want him in their environment,” Huard said during the daily Blue 88 segment of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk. ” From what I understand… this is not to come in and work out. These top 30 visits for guys, especially those represented by (agent) Drew Rosenhaus who are not going to take other visits of anybody outside the top 10 – remember, that was the news a week ago with Jalen Carter – this isn’t a workout, this isn’t height and weight, this isn’t any of that. This is pure psychology. This is digging into… ‘Does this guy love football? Does this guy want to be great?’

“It’s one thing at the combine, and it was even shortened at the combine – he left town, he had to go deal with the legal stuff during the actual combine. His pro day, totally disappointing. Couldn’t finish that workout. So this is a chance to bring him in for hours and sit and look in the eye of (Seahawks defensive coordinator) Clint Hurtt, look in the eye of Pete and John, meet the entire staff, see how he interacts with everybody in that building, see how he carries himself.”

Huard said the visit will be an opportunity for Carter to change the “narrative” around him now.

“This is all about reading the room, reading for Jalen Carter. How are you reacting and changing the narrative about you that frankly, right now, is one that you don’t love football, one that you don’t come into shape, one that you’ve failed other interviews? And this will be the biggest of that young man’s life right now.”

Huard drew from his own pre-draft experience with the Seahawks where he was surprised with a question about how hard he was on his teammates to explain what Carter could expect on Tuesday.

“They try to throw some zingers at you and see how are you going to respond,” Huard said. “And for Jalen, those zingers are all there. They don’t have to fabricate anything. ‘Here’s video of you after speeding your car, and here’s video of you unable to finish your workout, and here’s our scouts with reports on you and other scouts saying that you don’t love practice.’ And how are you going to respond to that? Is there going to be a level of accountability, a level of contrition, a level of ‘Hey, yeah, I’ve been an immature guy and I’m not a finished product’?”

ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller told Brock and Salk last week that the Seahawks would be an ideal situation for Carter because of their track record with players who come into the NFL with character concerns, and Huard hopes Carter shows in his visit that he sees it that way, too.

“How much will he sell wanting to be a Seahawk? I mean, there’s a place that I’ve seen resurrection projects, and I’ve seen Frank Clark turn his narrative and his story around. ‘You all have done it, I’ve got areas I gotta grow up and I want to be a Seahawk.’ Pretty big on both sides of the equation for this one.”

Blue 88 airs live at 7:45 a.m. every weekday during Brock and Salk. Listen to Monday’s edition in the final segment of the podcast below.

For more on Carter, watch the video of draft insider Lance Zierlein’s Monday conversation with Brock and Salk here:

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