The Las Vegas Raiders hold the No. 7 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and if Jalen Carter is still on the board, should they select him?
The 2023 NFL Draft kicks off in less than two weeks, and unlike last year, the Las Vegas Raiders hold significant draft capital. This draft season has been an interesting one, as we have seen some quarterback emerge as potential top-10 picks, and there has been no shortage of controversy as well.
One big non-QB name that has dominated the headlines has been Jalen Carter, a punishing defensive tackle from the University of Georgia. There is no doubt that Carter is a generational talent at the position, a position of incredible need for the Silver and Black, but will the Raiders take a chance on the prospect when all is said and done?
Of all the draft prospects out there, especially the first-round guys, Carter is having one of the worst draft seasons of them all. He had issues off the field, and has looked out of shape during workouts, leading some draft experts to believe that he could fall out of the top-5.
If that happens, and the Raiders are still at No. 7, will they draft him?
Should the Raiders draft Jalen Carter?
Earlier on in the draft process, there was a report that the Raiders would be shying away from Carter, but all of that noise ended when they brought him in for a top-30 visit. To gauge how good Carter is, you only have to look at Bleacher Report's rankings for this year's draft class, a ranking that shows Carter as the No. 2 prospect behind Will Anderson Jr.
The issue with Carter, from a Raiders perspective is the off-the-field incident, one that placed him at the scene of a fatal car accident where he had reportedly been speeding. The crash killed one of his teammates and a staff member, but Carter pleaded no contest, and will not serve any jail time for his role in the tragic event.
While Carter is by far one of the most talented players on this draft board, the Raiders may shy away from drafting him this April, especially after what the franchise went through with former first-round pick, Henry Ruggs III. Also, despite the accident, many feel Carter will not even be there when Las Vegas picks at No. 7, so it could be a moot point, but what happens if he is there?
This is a Raiders defense that is starving for more elite defensive players, as they look to finally put a strong team around star edge rusher, Maxx Crosby. Carter is likely to be a big-time player at the next level, but in the end, I believe it will be for another franchise, even if he is available at No. 7 overall.