Detroit Lions make tough decision on Jalen Carter in Dave Birkett’s 2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

We are getting closer and closer to the 2023 NFL Draft and it is seeming more and more likely that a scenario plays out where the Detroit Lions have a shot at the No. 1 prospect in college football. That prospect, of course, is DT Jalen Carter out of Georgia. Carter was widely regarded as the No. 1 prospect until his run-in with the law, and his Pro Day, where he was clearly out of shape. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, who recently released his 2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0, the scenario of Carter falling to the Lions at No. 6 will happen, but Brad Holmes will decide to go in a different direction.

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Key Points:

  • Jalen Carter is currently regarded as one of the top prospects in college football, but his run-in with the law and lackluster Pro Day performance has caused some concerns.
  • The Detroit Lions have a chance to draft Carter with the No. 6 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but it is becoming increasingly likely that they may choose a different player instead.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press has predicted that the scenario of Carter falling to the Lions at No. 6 will happen, but Brad Holmes, the Lions' general manager, may opt for a different option.

Why it Matters for Detroit Lions and Jalen Carter

It was not too long ago that it seemed like the Chicago Bears would select Carter with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. But, as we know, the Bears traded the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers, who want to select a quarterback. That, coupled with Carter's run-in with the law and his head-scratching Pro Day performance, where he came in nine pounds overweight and had trouble completing drills, has many believing he will slide in the draft. The Lions' biggest need just so happens to be on the interior of their defensive line, and Carter seems like the perfect fit if he can convince Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell that he also fits with their culture.

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Dave Birkett Believes the Lions Will Pass on Carter

With the No. 6 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Birkett has the Lions passing on Carter and selecting offensive tackle, Peter Skoronski out of Northwestern.

“That leaves the Lions with the Carter decision. I had one scout tell me last week Carter is the best player and biggest enigma in this year’s draft. He’s also the best fit for the Lions from a talent-meets-needs perspective. The Lions will do plenty of homework on Carter between now and April 27, but I have them passing on the big defense tackle for now. Instead, I gave them the best offensive lineman in the draft. Skoronski could start at guard this season, with an eye on perhaps moving to tackle if Taylor Decker, 29, ever ages his way out of town.”

After taking Skoronski at No. 6, Birkett then has the Lions taking DE Myles Murphy out of Clemson with the No. 18 pick.

“The Lions passed on Carter at six, but they should be able to get help for their defensive line at 18. Murphy was once considered a potential top-10 pick. He’s big, plays hard and would be a nice addition to the Lions’ young line.”

Bottom Line: Lions could have VERY difficult decision to make at No. 6

While Jalen Carter is a top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, his recent issues and Pro Day performance have raised concerns about his potential draft position. Despite the Detroit Lions' need for a defensive tackle, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press predicts that the team will pass on Carter and select offensive lineman Peter Skoronski with their No. 6 overall pick. This decision is based on Carter's perceived enigmatic status and the Lions' need to bolster their offensive line. However, the team is still expected to look for help on their defensive line later in the draft, possibly with DE Myles Murphy.

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