Jalen Carter’s decision to attend draft seems to confirm he’ll be a top-10 pick
When Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter decided not to visit with teams not drafting in the top 10, there were two possible explanations: (1) his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is trying to speak a top-10 selection into existence; or (2) Rosenhaus knows with certainty that a team in the top 10 will take Carter.
The fact that Carter has decided to personally attend the draft seems to suggest it’s the latter.
Really, why would Carter be in Kansas City waiting to be picked if he believed that the wait would be long enough to make him look foolish for drawing a line at pick number 10?
The broader NFL business is driven in large part by relationships. And given that Rosenhaus’s firm represents more players than any other, he’s in position to work 35 years of relationships in a way to secure the certainty that he needs, in order to properly advise Carter.
Yes, it’s possible that someone has lied to Rosenhaus. But there would be a price to pay on the back end, since every team is dealing with or will be dealing with Rosenhaus in the future.
Carter has been one of the only controversial players during the weeks leading up to the draft. News of criminal charges arising from a January car crash that claimed two lives sent shock waves through the Scouting Combine. He eventually pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of speeding and reckless driving. He later had a poor Pro Day workout, the pre-draft equivalent of failing a take-home, open-book exam.
It’s entirely possible (and this is speculation, but it’s informed by the circumstances) that the Eagles have made it clear to Rosenhaus that, if Carter is there at No. 10, they will take him. That sets a firm floor that coincides with Carter’s cutoff for pre-draft visits.
Carter could also go before that, possibly as high as No. 5 to the Seahawks. Or someone could trade up to the top 10. There’s been some chatter about the Steelers trading up from No. 17 to No. 9 with the Bears, and who better than Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to press the right buttons on Carter to get him to commit to playing hard all the time on the field, and to making all the right decisions off the field?
Regardless, if Carter doesn’t know with certainty that he’ll be a top-1o pick, he’s taking a risk that easily could have been avoided by keeping a low profile as the picks are made on the night of April 27. The better assessment is that he knows the risk of being caught in the green room for an extended stay is low enough to show up for the party.