Jalen Carter will not workout at scouting combine


Georgia's Jalen Carter will not participate in workouts at the NFL's Scouting Combine this week.

Carter will undergo a physical and meet with teams for pre-draft interviews, and according to his agent he will work out at Georgia's Pro Day on March 15.

This isn't unusual for the NFL Draft's top talent to skip the combine in favor of their pro days, a more controlled and favorable environment.

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Carter is the name most frequently linked to the Chicago Bears in mock drafts, even if they trade down.

Carter fills a need in head coach Matt Eberflus' defense, so it's an obvious fit.

The other defensive star in the conversation is Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson Jr.

"If I look at this year's draft class and what I know to date, you have a chance where they're picking, to get an impact player on the defensive side of the ball," ex-NFL general manager Rick Spielman said on NBC Sports Chicago's Football Night in Chicago. "There's gonna be a lot of debate going on. Should it be Jalen Carter? Should it be Will Anderson?"


The Bears owned arguably the worst defensive line last season. They recorded the least number of sacks (20) in the NFL last season, hardly pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

A player like Anderson, who punched in 27.5 sacks over the last two seasons, would benefit the Bears greatly. 

"Will Anderson, I think, has a chance to be a franchise-type pass rusher off the edge," Spielman said. "Great kid. I've spent some time with him down at Alabama."

On the other hand, the Bears' defense similarly struggled to defend opposing offenses' run game, allowing the second-most rushing yards per game and the most rushing touchdowns during last season. 

A consistent gap-stopper, like Carter, could help plug up the middle and rush the quarterback. 

"Jalen Carter is a difference maker as a three-technique or an under-tackle," Spielman said. "Those are harder to find because I don't think you're going to see any of those types of guys out in the free-agent market."

So, therein lies the question the Bears will likely ponder for a large portion of the offseason – Carter or Anderson?

"I just think it's hard to find a game-wrecking three-technique," Spielman said, referring to Carter. "I know with Chicago's defense, and what [Matt] Eberflus likes to run, that if you have a game-wrecking three-technique, that makes all the difference in the world. You can build around that.

"And those guys are rare to find, especially a Jalen Carter-type."

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