So there's a ton of speculation as of lately that the Falcons would likely pass on Jalen Carter if he falls to them at 8. Personally, I still believe that one of either Arizona or Seattle will pick him, so I doubt it will be our issue by the time we are on the clock. However, if indeed he DOES fall to 8, TF and Co. better be running to the podium to select him.
Ever since the odd season begin, AS and TF alike have talked a big game about building the trenches, which have been this team's biggest issue for years now. So far, they are walking the walk. We extended arguably the best interior lineman in football, resigned a 27 year old RT on a team-friendly deal, and signed a DT who has started 43 games over the last 3 seasons. Along with those moves, drafting Jalen Carter would cement the strong offseason this regime has had, in regards to building this team from the inside out. Additionally, since Deion Sanders left, the Falcons have lacked a DPOY caliber player who wrecks absolute havoc on opposing offenses. We've had some good players like Brooking, Tuggle, Shall, Abraham, and now Grady, but never "next level" guys like Bosa, Parsons, Mack, Donald, Miller, etc. And when we've had chances to get a guy like that, we pass up on them for a Takk, or a Tight End. After getting blown out at home in the playoffs, MS and TD realized that we needed to get more explosive offensively. So what did the Falcons do? Traded up to draft a WR who arguably turned out to be the greatest Falcon of all-time not named Matt Ryan. If Jalen Carter falls to 8, we have the chance to draft that type of player that hasn't been seen on this defense in some time.
Now about the elephant in the room. "He seems to have poor judgement and makes bad decisions." Okay. What college kid in their early 20s makes the right decisions 100 percent of the time? "He showed up fat and out of shape to the pro day." Okay: You just watched two of your close friends get killed in a car wreck. In connection to that car wreck, you face criminal charges (which ultimately resulted in a fine plus probation). Combine that with the pressure and media exposure that comes with being one of the to draft prospects in the NFL. "Atlanta is probably the worst place for him to go." Now this I can somewhat understand where people are coming from. In case you've been living under a rock, or are not from here, drag racing is very prominent in Atlanta. Large groups of people are blocking highways such as I-85 and I-75 and are drag racing, doing donuts, drifting, etc. I am not saying that Carter would actively participate in such activities, but it is a semi-concern.
Here is a reminder that we don't have the "bromance" head coach in the building anymore. while Kirby is without a doubt the best coach in CBF (yes Bama fans, he is), it just appears as if there really wasn't a strong sense of accountability on what happens off the field. Since January of 2022, nine UGA football players have been arrested. That's not including Adam Anderson, who was charged with felony rape in 2021 and essentially missed the reminder of the season. I am not saying that Kirby has no control over his team off the field, but there does seem to be an ongoing patter regarding player conduct off the field at UGA. Even during the mark Richt era, you saw it on the news quite a bit. Carter goes from that to not only a "no bs" coach in Arthur Smith, but also a league and commissioner who is more than willing to discipline players who violate the code of conduct. Some of the things you can get away with in college will earn you a multi-game or even season-long suspension in the NFL. If Jalen Carter doesn't learn from an experience that could have easily cost generational wealth for him and his family and recognize that his patter of poor judgement has to change, then well, I don't know. But I think he will.
Bottom line is: if he's on the board at 8, TF and Co. better not hesitate to pick him.