Defensive tackle Jalen Carter needs no introduction for Georgia Bulldogs fans. A year ago, he broke onto the scene as a true freshman and was one of the most dominant players on the roster by season's end.
While Carter is well known in the Peach State, his name isn't national just yet. That is about to change.
Carter is the most talented defensive lineman the Bulldogs have had in the last decade. At 6-foot-3 and 310 pounds, he has prototypical size for an interior defensive lineman. Yet, despite his massive frame, Carter is an explosive athlete. His first step is elite and he can move laterally to bring down ball-carriers outside the numbers.
He is not a finished product in pass-rush at the moment. On tape, he does display the ability to bull-rush and perform swim moves but he does have to learn a few counters to improve his game.
Carter separates himself with his mental edge. He understands the game and was diagnosing offensive plays at the snap a season ago.
As the season wore on, Carter consistently recognized where a play was going before anyone else on the defense. Players work for years to learn how to diagnose offenses and Carter was doing it as a true freshman.
Simply put, Carter has checked every box at this point in his career. He is a future first-round pick and has a chance to be the highest interior defensive lineman selected since Quinnen Williams was the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Those are all realistic expectations for this young phenom.
"He's a first-round pick, without a doubt. It's going to be a matter of how high." - Source on Jalen Carter
Pairing Carter with defensive tackle Jordan Davis is quite a tandem. They are extremely disruptive in both the run and pass game and will wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
Davis is already a known commodity. He is the No. 1 nose-tackle prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft and has already proven himself on the big stage.
Carter has a chance to do even more as a Bulldog. His combination of size, athleticism and football IQ are more than enough to consider Carter a future All-America candidate.
The play of the Georgia defense will be dictated by Carter and the rest of the defensive front seven. Only time will tell, but right out of the gate on opening day, we will get a good feel for what Carter is on the big stage. The team will travel to Charlotte, N.C. to take on the Clemson Tigers.
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