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Georgia’s Jalen Carter is back at the NFL Combine but will his Draft stock be affected?

Having been booked on misdemeanor charges after a tragic accident, the main question is whether or not the Bulldogs star’s draft stock will be affected.

Having been booked on misdemeanor charges after a tragic accident, the main question is whether or not the Bulldogs star’s draft stock will be affected.

While it is of course good news that the highly coveted Bulldogs player is back where he should be, it goes without saying that his involvement in the tragic accident that led to his teammate’s death will be something that will follow him from this point on. How that affects his stock in the upcoming NFL Draft will be interesting to see.

Georgia’s Jalen Carter returns to NFL Combine

If you didn’t know, Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle, Jalen Carter, is almost unanimously projected to be selected as the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. Yet, in the last 24-hours Carter came to the attention of the football fraternity for reasons that had nothing to do with the game. Indeed, the 21-year-old had a warrant issued for his arrest from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, just minutes before he was due to appear before the media on Wednesday at the NFL’s Scouting Combine. Carter was later booked on misdemeanor charges of racing and reckless driving for his alleged role in a fatal car crash which claimed the lives of one of his teammates, Devon Willock and one Georgia’s recruiting analysts, Chandler Lecroy, back in January. With that, we can now confirm that Carter was back at the Combine on Thursday to complete interviews and measurements.

Exactly what was Jalen Carter’s alleged role in the January 15th accident?

From what we can understand, Carter reportedly misled prosecutors when first interviewed, claiming that he was a mile away from the crash. Later, he would go on to admit that he was beside the car when it crashed and ended the lives of both his 20-year-old teammate and a 24-year-old recruiting analyst. The car was allegedly travelling at 83mph, which is double the legal speed limit.

“The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other,” the ACCPD said in a statement. “Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash, the Expedition was traveling at about 104 miles per hour.”

What has Jalen Carter said about the situation?

Late on Wednesday, Carter actually addressed the warrant, while seemingly downplaying the whole scenario in a statement on social media:

For the moment there is little else that has come to light, meaning that it remains unclear as to how this will affect the way in which NFL teams look at the potential star.

A sad situation for the Georgia Bulldogs

Of course, at the center of all of this is something much more serious than the potential damage to a NFL career that hasn’t started. A young man and woman lost their lives needlessly, something which one of Carter’s other teammates, Nolan Smith, spoke about in an emotional appearance at the Combine on Wednesday. Addressing the loss of his friend and teammate, Smith couldn’t fight his tears.

“This is the first time I’m talking about it,” Smith said when asked about the fatal car crash that killed Georgia teammate Devin Willock, only six days after they won their second consecutive college football national championship. “That’s my guy,” Smith said, while trying to maintain his composure. “I get sensitive talking about it just because I love him. And he never did anything wrong in his three years. He was supposed to graduate. Most people don’t know his brother passed like that. No one should deserve to die like that.” Interestingly, Smith was also asked about Carter’s character to which he responded very concisely. “Man, I just want to go ahead and clear this up right now to y’all – J.C. is just misunderstood. He’s probably one of my favorite teammates to play with. I love pass rushing with him. I just (love) being around him in the locker room. He’s just an amazing friend.”