The Atlanta Falcons do the optically right thing by bringing in former Georgia star defensive tackle Jalen Carter for a top-30 visit.
Even though they don’t have to draft him, good for the Atlanta Falcons in finally coming to their senses and bringing in Jalen Carter for a top-30 visit.
Carter may have grown up in Apopka, Florida, but he starred collegiately right up the road in Athens for Georgia. In terms of talent, he is the best player Kirby Smart has ever coached. When it comes to where he ranks among the most elite players to don the Red and Black for the Dawgs, I mean, we are talking about the equivalent of Champ Bailey, but along the defensive line, people.
He may have baggage, but the Dirty Birds are not that stupid. They have joined the ranks of the Seattle Seahawks, the Detroit Lions, the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles who will have brought him into their respective team facilities for a top-30 visit. This never had to be this hard, so good by Atlanta for at least keeping the wolves at bay.
Carter may be off the board before they pick at No. 8, but this is all the collective Dawgs/Falcons fanbase wanted. You don’t have to draft him if you don’t want to, but you need to at least give him a chance. Thankfully, general manager Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith are intelligent.
Should the Falcons draft Carter at No. 8 if he is still available? We do know that he is a top-10 lock.
NFL Draft rumors: Atlanta Falcons bringing in Jalen Carter for a top-30 visit
All things equal, the Falcons should absolutely use their No. 8 pick on Carter. The reason for this is really simple: Do you want the next Ndamukong Suh playing on your team or against your team? Again, bringing Calais Campbell into the building, as well as already having Grady Jarrett in-house should be plenty of veteran leadership to be able to handle whatever baggage Carter may carry.
However, the Falcons have not had a winning season in five years. They are in the midst of their worst run in my lifetime, so I can understand why they could be risk averse in this situation. Depending on how this meeting goes, he may not jive with the Falcons’ coaching staff and brass, and that’s okay. But with that in mind, Atlanta does not have to placate to the rabid Georgia fans.
While I would envision that the Falcons are way more likely to draft Texas running back Bijan Robinson or Carter’s Georgia teammate Nolan Smith at No. 8, even if he were still available, all that matters is they brought him in for a top-30 visit. It shows that they are doing their due diligence to see if this can work. Had they not done this, it would have looked so horribly optically.
Even with all his off-field concerns, teams picking inside the top 10 are enamored with his talent.