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Will criminal charges impact Jalen Carter?

Jalen Carter was booked and released Wednesday night for two misdemeanor charges in Georgia, which leads Mike Florio and Chris Simms to analyze what this means for the DT’s NFL future.

A day ago, the news of Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter’s alleged involvement in an accident that claimed two lives in January put a dark cloud over Carter’s prospects. Twenty-four hours later, Carter has been charged with two misdemeanors -- reckless driving and racing.

Carter hasn’t been charged with lying to police. He hasn’t been charged with involuntary manslaughter or any other crime suggesting responsibility, directly or indirectly, for the deaths resulting from a collision involving a car he wasn’t driving.

Although it’s a tragic and horrific situation that involved the loss of two human lives, the NFL angle arises from the potential impact of the charges on Carter’s draft standing. Based on the charges filed to date, the impact should be minimal.

Again, it makes the situation no less tragic. But Carter wasn’t driving the car that crashed. At worst, based on the current charges, he participated in an illegal race that resulted in one of the cars crashing.

Carter has expressed confidence that he will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing. Even if he isn’t exonerated as to the charges filed to date, it shouldn’t impact him.

Because the incident occurred before he was drafted, he will never be subjected to potential NFL discipline over the issue.

Right or wrong, teams are looking for the best football players. And nothing gets a guy a second chance (or a first chance) like supreme talent. If Carter was a marginal prospect, it would be an issue. Since he’s regarded as one of the top defensive players in the draft, it likely won’t affect him.

This is all based on the charges filed to date. And, once more, the situation was tragic. But as it relates to Carter’s football career, this doesn’t seem to the problem today that it seemed to be just one day ago.