The Detroit Lions will have a significant decision to make with the No. 6 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, regardless of how things play out. Jalen Carter, my No. 1 draft target for the Lions since November, has been dealing with legal issues for the past two weeks after leaving the Combine early to turn himself in to Georgia police. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing and was sentenced to no jail time, a $1,000 fine, 80 hours of community service, and one year of probation. Carter’s recent “issues” could cause Lions' general manager Brad Holmes to take a hard pass on drafting him at No. 6, even if he is available. Georgia held its pro day recently, where Carter showed up nine pounds heavier than at the Combine two weeks earlier and struggled to finish the workout. His poor performance could impact his stock in the draft, but his explanation of recent events to teams could be the determining factor in his stock.
- The Lions may have a tough decision with the No. 6 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Carter has been dealing with legal issues, including misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing.
- Carter's pro day performance was poor, and he showed up nine pounds heavier than at the Combine two weeks earlier.
- Carter's explanation of recent events to teams could determine his stock in the draft.
Big Picture: Jalen Carter could fall to the Detroit Lions at No. 6
The Lions could have a significant decision to make with the No. 6 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft if Jalen Carter is available. Carter's recent legal issues and poor pro-day performance could cause the Lions to pass on him, even if he is their No. 1 draft target. On the other hand, if Carter can provide a convincing explanation to the NFL teams about recent events, his stock may not be impacted, and he could still be a top pick in the draft.
Bottom Line – Lions could have a tough choice at No. 6
In my opinion, there is no question about it, Jalen Carter was not only the best player in college football in 2022, but he is exactly what the Lions need on their defense. That being said, Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell have made it clear that they are not going to add players to their locker room who do not fit the culture they have built since coming to the team prior to the 2021 season. If Holmes and Campbell do their homework and come to the conclusion that Carter is their guy, then they should absolutely select him at No. 6. But if there is any doubt at all, they could very well decide to take a hard pass.