Well this is nuts. Many teammates defended Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter when ESPN draft expert Todd McShay cautioned against alleged "character issues". Less than a week after the Bulldogs won the national championship came the fatal street racing incident outlined above. It's just awful and tragic and feels kind of nasty thinking about "what this means for the draft" angles when two peoples' lives were lost in something so reckless and senseless.
Although Carter only faces two misdemeanor charges, there will obviously be a larger question about his judgment off the field. Whether this was a one-time thing or a red flag that implies other risky behavior, the perception is going to follow Carter all the way to when the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off on April 27. That's the narrative everyone will run with.
We're talking about a guy whose floor was looking like a top-four pick. In my last mock draft, I had the Bears trading down from No. 1 overall to the fourth slot with Indianapolis. With Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr. going to the Cardinals at No. 3, Chicago had Carter locked in as a no-brainer pick to help transform their defense.
I get why Carter reportedly left the Combine right before his time slot to speak to reporters. That would've been a total disaster if he'd gone to the podium as scheduled. The news of his arrest warrant broke so close to the moment he was meant to address the media, too. Would've been nuts if this surfaced an hour later and Carter had to answer for it in real time. All that said, the whole thing is still a terrible look.
Update: Here's Carter's statement in response: