NFL Mock Draft: Raiders Picking DT Jalen Carter

Raiders Scouting Report: Georgia DT Jalen Carter

For years, Las Vegas Raiders fans have hoped for an elite player on the interior. If you recall, Khalil Mack once needed help badly. Unfortunately, the Raiders failed him. Now, they face the same issue with Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby. With the potential for an elite pass-rushing duo in Crosby and Chandler Jones, Las Vegas needs some juice inside. Look no further than Georgia’s Jalen Carter. It’s no surprise that your typical NFL mock draft has the Raiders selecting Carter.

Jalen Carter’s Strengths

At 6’3″ and 300 pounds, Jalen Carter is a massive defensive tackle with unbelievable play strength. Oftentimes completely overwhelming to his opponents, he destroys the run game with his ability to anchor and nullify reach blocks and pull guards. When double-teamed, his incredible body control gives him the ability to writhe his way through to the ball. Simply put, his motor never stops, and he’s always in attack mode.

Against the pass, Carter uses his lightning-quick first step to gain an advantage before using a deadly club/swim move combo to destroy the lineman with ease. He is just too big, strong, tenacious, and athletic for any offensive lineman to stay in front of him for a prolonged period of time. While at Georgia, he was used in a variety of alignments and has experience as a 1, 3, and 5-tech. He was exceptional at every spot and always knew what was being asked of him in regard to alignment.

Jalen Carter’s Weaknesses

As a young player with just one year of starting experience, he is still raw in some respects. Chief among them is that he does not always appear to have a pass-rushing plan pre-snap. While he does have his swim/club move, the rest of his repertoire will need to be fleshed out. Another minor nitpick that will need to be coached in the NFL will be his pad height. He has a tendency to stand straight up out of his stance, which could get him into trouble.

Raiders Scouting: An NFL Evaluation

As an easy evaluation, Jalen Carter, like the rest of his former teammates, is a lock for the top five. In fact, many believe he was the best overall player on the legendary defense that won back-to-back national championships. While defensive tackle may not be the most sought-after position in the sport, Carter is a true difference-maker that can give any defense an immediate facelift. I would have no qualms about taking him with the first overall pick, and a team without a need at quarterback may do the same.

NFL Mock Draft: Would The Raiders Take Him?

If you could create a player to fill a need on the Raiders’ defense, he would look a lot like Carter. In dire need of a pass rusher on the interior, he fits Las Vegas like a glove. Furthermore, with Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones on the edge, he would not be overwhelmed inside.

However, it would take a minor miracle for him to wear silver and black. Unless general manager Dave Ziegler elects to trade up, Carter is not going to be there for him at seven. Would the team move up for a defensive tackle? Unlikely, with the need at quarterback still present. Still, dreaming of the Raiders with a true three-technique to complement Crosby should be enough to keep Raiders fans hoping.

*Top Photo: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

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