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Jalen Carter news shakes NFL Draft plans for all 32 teams

Carter is wanted in connection with a deadly crash in Georgia

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Texas Christian at Georgia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, cited by many as the top prospect in the entire 2023 NFL Draft class, is wanted in Georgia for connection to a car crash that killed two people. The report comes from multiple sources and stems directly from a statement by Athens-Clarke Count Police, who have issued an arrest warrant for Carter and alleged his involvement with a street race that killed teammate Devin Willock and Georgia staff member Chandler LeCroy on January 15.

Carter is often mocked in the top-three for the NFL Draft, with perhaps the only thing keeping him from regularly being the number one pick for the Chicago Bears being the fact that a team may decide to trade up for a quarterback. But Carter is regularly thought to be the top all-around prospect after being cited as Georgia’s top player on the last two national championship teams.

But that entire football resume will fall behind Wednesday’s news that Carter was allegedly involved in this fatal car crash. Police issued a statement on Wednesday alleging that Carter was driving a vehicle “in a manner consistent with racing” that resulted in a crash that killed Willock and LeCroy.

How this influences the Los Angeles Rams specifically can’t be known at this point. The two charges, reckless driving and racing, are misdemeanors, according to The Athletic’s Seth Emerson. If Carter is available to play next season, we’ve seen teams overlook legal issues and “character concerns” in the past, so he may not fall very far in the draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay’s report in December of “character concerns” for Carter are now clearly a matter that will affect how teams assess the value of him as a first round draft pick.

This is something that affects all 32 teams and the entire league, as Jalen Carter has been one of the most talked about future NFL players over the last two years and this will probably change the entire draft in some way.

This is a developing story and much more information will be needed before adequately assessing the potential outcome.