The Eagles won the NFC Championship last season before falling just shy of hoisting the second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. Rather than resting on his laurels, general manager Howie Roseman made a concerted effort to upgrade the roster this offseason. Selecting Jalen Carter — and his teammate Nolan Smith — accomplished this goal.
Jalen Carter adds his talent to an Eagles roster that narrowly missed a Super Bowl title in 2023
Carter was once considered a shoo-in to go No. 1 overall at the 2023 NFL Draft. For much of the 2022 college football season, quarterbacks like Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud began setting themselves apart from the pack. But Carter and Will Anderson Jr. remained fixtures in top-three discussions.
Alas, an off-the-field incident and subpar workouts sent NFL front offices back to the drawing board. The talent with Carter was undeniable, but what about his character? What about his work ethic and desire (or lack thereof) to be great? Eight other franchises weren’t willing to roll the dice on the Georgia star — and Howie was right there to take advantage.
We can argue until we are blue in the face about Carter’s involvement in an automobile accident resulting in the death of his former teammate and a Georgia staff member. Ultimately, Carter was never criminally charged. He entered a plea deal, effectively ending this sad chapter of his life.
In turn, the Eagles got arguably the best player in the 2023 NFL Draft at No. 9 overall. Reports since Carter arrived at training camp further support this thought. He has been holding his own against the best offensive line in the league. The Bulldog alum is eating up double teams and looking like the dominant player we all watched at Georgia.
Perhaps the selling point for Roseman regarding Carter is the veteran locker room he enters. Established players like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Darius Slay will keep the rookie in check. The Philly roster is known for pushing every person on the roster to be their best. Expect the same with Carter — because he sure does.
Defensive Rookie of the Year and a Super Bowl? Carter says yes
The first-round talent recently told the media that his goal for Year 1 is to hoist the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award at season’s end. Don’t worry Eagles fans: He brought up a Super Bowl trophy, too. With Jalen Hurts entering the new league year as a heavy MVP favorite, Philly could see tons of hardware headed to the City of Brotherly Love.