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Is Jalen Carter Still in Play for the Seattle Seahawks?

Jalen Carter Seattle Seahawks

It has been a nightmare of a draft journey for former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. After dominating the 2022 college football season up the middle, Carter has been involved in off-the-field issues just after the National Championship. This resulted in Carter being charged with two misdemeanors. Eight days after the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Carter weighed in for the first Pro Day at Georgia and it was discovered that Carter had gained nine pounds. That much concern for his off-the-field issues and recent weight gain have made teams very way of drafting Carter. It is unknown if the Seattle Seahawks are out on Jalen Carter or still looking to draft him fifth overall. Recent events with Carter and the team in free agency could make a serious case one way or the other.

Is Jalen Carter Still in Play for the Seattle Seahawks?

Seahawks Load Up On Defensive Linmen Through Free Agency

The Seahawks needed to make some serious moves during free agency on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the biggest was adding talent and depth to one of the worst run defenses this past season. The Seahawks’ defense finished the 2022 NFL season ranked 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (150.2 yards). Seattle made six major new free-agent additions to the team, with two of them being at the defensive line. Jarran Reed spent his first five seasons with Seattle before playing one year at Kansas City and then Green Bay. Reed played well in bursts, but played mostly uninspired football, which might say more about the Packers as a whole.

The biggest new addition to the team was signing former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones to a three-year; $51.53 million contract. Jones is coming off his best season in four years with the Broncos this past season. He accounted for 47 total tackles, 24 solo tackles, 10 quarterback hits, 6.5 sacks, and one forced fumble in 13 games. Jones is a player that can contribute at the three-technique defensive tackle when the Seahawks play a 4-3 defensive front. He also plays the strongside defensive end as he can create pressure on the quarterback in the backfield. Reed and Jones’ addition helps fill in the departures of Al Woods, Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson and L.J. Collier across a disappointing defensive linemen group. The Seahawks’ moves with four players are likely the beginning steps for them to draft Carter.

Draft Analysts Believe Jalen Carter Is Still the Pick For Seattle Seahawks

The belief that Jalen Carter is out for the Seattle Seahawks is brought to fans and local media outlets, but in the eyes of major media outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, The Athletic,, etc, the Seahawks are still taking Carter. Seven of the top 11 NFL Mock Drafts from major media outlets have the Seahawks taking Carter with the fifth overall pick.

CBS’s Chris Trapasso believes Seattle will take edge rusher Tyree Wilson with the fifth overall pick and that Carter will fall to the 20th overall pick. Two other mock drafts believe Seattle will pick a quarterback first with The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez believing it will be Anthony Richardson and ESPN’s Mike Tannebaum believing it will be Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker. Carter remains a serious option for Seattle with the top of the first round being quarterback focused.

Is Another Position the Main Focus?

General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have to take this opportunity of a top-five pick with many considerations. There may not be an opportunity for Seattle to get a top-five pick again, especially with this talented roster. This might be the only chance the Seahawks can get a high-caliber young quarterback in the draft. Richardson is a project, but Seattle is the only top team in the top half of the Draft that can afford to have him sit. Smith has proven to be a reliable quarterback throughout the season. He also insists on playing like this until he is 40. That is a lot to believe, but many expected Smith to be in this current round of success.

Another opportunity for Seattle with this top-five pick is to take advantage of the major defensive talent and get better immediately. There are a lot of red flags on Carter after these past couple of weeks. There are not many red flags on a dominant NFL-ready edge rusher like Will Anderson. The Seahawks might not go wrong with either Anderson or Carter if they decide to go defense first. They must decide if winning more now to create consistency worth more than establishing a future franchise quarterback.

Main Photo: Joshua Jones – USA Today Sports



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