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Jalen Carter's Unique Draft Position

A tremendously talented football player rarely finds themselves in a unique position heading into the NFL draft, yet that is precisely what happened to Jalen Carter, the 21-year-old defensive tackle from the University of Georgia.

In his three-year collegiate career, Carter had 83 tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles. He became an NCAA Champion on January 9, 2023, when the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 63-7.

Carter was considered by many to be a Top 5 NFL Draft pick.

Things changed when, just before 3 AM on January 15, 2023, a 2021 Ford Expedition carrying offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiter Chandler LeCroy crashed killing them both. Just six days earlier, Carter and Willock won the NCAA Championship Game for the Georgia Bulldogs football team.

For weeks, Athen’s police department kept details about the investigation a secret. Then, piece by piece, information came out about the victims and the situation.

Most people had no idea that Jalen Carter was involved in the accident. According to Zach Klein of WSB Atlanta, Carter had been preparing for the draft and even had a meeting with the Atlanta Falcons scheduled for March 1; however, that meeting was soon canceled.

On March 1, Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued two arrest warrants for Jalen Carter in connection with the fatal crash that took the lives of Willock and LeCroy. The warrants were for reckless driving and racing. Carter was at the NFL combine when the news broke.

Carter posted on his Twitter account addressing the warrants, stating: "There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing." Carter turned himself in on March, 1. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Carter returned to the NFL combine on March 2 to meet with teams and complete the activities at the NFL Combine.

As of now, it doesn't seem like the pending charges will have much of an effect on the future of Jalen Carter's football career. While Carter did fall out of the Top 5, according to CBS Sports' latest mock draft, he was still selected in the first round.

The official NFL Draft is on April 27, so we must wait and see what teams think of Jalen Carter.

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