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Jalen Carter: Seahawks visit this week
4/9/2023: It appears Seattle (and Las Vegas) have not taken him off of any draft boards yet
The Seattle Seahawks will meet with Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter “in the coming days” according to Peter King’s FMIA column that came out on Sunday night. Because Carter has often been talked about on this Seahawks newsletter as a prospect who Seattle could pick with their highest draft selection since 2009, it felt important to get an update out about him as soon as possible.
Now it seems to be officially official: No, the Seahawks did not “take Jalen Carter off of their draft board” as some reported.
King notes that Carter will also meet with the Las Vegas Raiders, which is not only important for Seattle’s sake but because of how pre-draft news is reported and gossip spreads like gospel; it was reported by The Athletic’s Vic Tafur on March 31st that the Raiders “took Carter off of the NFL Draft board”. Tafur had also reported last week that the Seahawks were looking to trade up in the draft for a quarterback.
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I have written about Carter a lot because he remains the player I see as “most likely” to land in Seattle, if he doesn’t get drafted in the top-four. The Arizona Cardinals would have to trade down or pass on him, but it wasn’t long ago that Carter was often thought to be the number one pick in the draft if the Chicago Bears hadn’t made a deal with the Carolina Panthers. If teams feel comfortable with the character questions, Carter by most accounts has all the football skills to be a top-four pick. The Seahawks do not seem to think that Carter the football player is out of reach anymore and according to King, will continue to investigate Carter the person more in the coming days.
In only slightly related news from King’s FMIA column, he reiterated that recent reports that Bryce Young is the quarterback favored by the Panthers at one is what he continues to believe.
This jibes with what I wrote last week — that Young has a lot of fans in high places in the organization. I agree with Mortensen that it’s not a done deal, but the momentum toward Young is real.
I do get that “this report, that report…these are all just rumors!” so take it all with a grain of salt. But it’s important for me that King and Chris Mortensen don’t tend to fall in with the “here’s a rumor, there’s a rumor” crowd. With Carter’s reported visit to Seattle, I have no reason to think that Carter isn’t visiting with the Seahawks.
It could be that what they’re hearing about Carolina’s preferences does not turn out to be true, but I do believe that they believe that there is a genuine preference for Young. And ultimately, I don’t see what the Panthers will have to gain by keeping this a mystery right up until they are on the clock.
You don’t trade up from nine to one just to risk losing the guy you’re about to build your franchise around. Remember the days when the number one pick could agree to a contract before the draft? If they lock in Bryce Young at any point, including if it’s already happened, I don’t see the downside anymore to letting that news get out.
In which case, we turn to the Houston Texans and if they’re sold on C.J. Stroud or if they might even have interest in Jalen Carter.
Now the Texans, they’d have some reason for mystery.