One of the top players in the 2023 draft class, Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, will visit the Atlanta Falcons after all.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed an April 17 report from MLFootball that Carter will visit the Falcons. Rapoport tweeted on April 18 that Carter will visit the Falcons on Wednesday.
Initially, there was some doubt about whether a visit between Carter and the Falcons would occur. ESPN’s Adam Schefter did not include Atlanta on his list of teams Carter was planning to visit.
The draft rankings from The Athletic, Pro Football Focus and ESPN each have Carter rated as a top 5 player in this year’s draft class. He’s a top 3 player on the big boards from The Athletic and PFF.
But it’s possible that Carter tumbles down to the Falcons at No. 8 in the first round because of perceived character flaws. He pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors charges of racing and reckless driving.
Two arrest warrants from The Athens-Clarke County Police Department alleged that Carter raced his Jeep against 24-year-old Georgia recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy. Carter’s teammate, offensive lineman Devin Willock, and LeCroy died in an accident following the team’s national championship parade on January 15.
Visits with players facing question marks away from football usually prove to be very important. NFL teams are very aware of what Carter can provide them on the field. He must prove through interviews this month that he’s not a risk as a top pick in the NFL draft.
The Falcons have added several players to their defense, especially along the defensive line this offseason. General manager Terry Fontenot signed David Onyemata to a long-term deal. Other defenders such as edge rusher Bud Dupree are coming to Atlanta on one-year contracts.
Adding the two-time national champion, though, would be like the cherry on top for the Falcons defensive line. He has All-Pro potential, particularly if he plays next to Grady Jarrett.
Whether or not the Falcons have a chance to draft Carter remains to be seen. But if they do, the visit will help the team decide whether to select him in the top 10.