Fanspeak Mock Draft 3.2: What does Carter news mean for Chicago, Arizona?
How badly does Chicago want to come away from this draft with a potential generational player on defense?
Does Arizona think twice now about trading down?
And will a team like Dallas decide to move up in the draft?
The fallout from the Jalen Carter news won’t be fully known until after the draft as the star defensive tackle returned to Athens Wednesday night after he was charged with racing and reckless driving – both misdemeanors in Georgia. He immediately posted bond after he was booked, then returned to the Combine Thursday morning to complete measurements and team interviews, according to media reports.
His arrest comes as a result of a fatal Jan. 15 car crash that killed one of Carter’s teammates and a recruiting analyst for the team. According to media reports, Carter initially told investigators that he wasn’t near the accident when it happened. However, evidence since then shows that two vehicles were involved, including the one involved in the fatal crash.
Carter was the No. 2 overall prospect in the Fanspeak-Jake Rigdon big board but has since dropped to No. 14.
You can read more about the Carter situation here.
For now, though, analysts and NFL personnel alike are trying to figure out how this will impact Carter’s draft standing. Despite the seriousness of the incident, it’s hard to see Carter falling out of the first round, even if he’s convicted on both misdemeanor charges.
But odds are good that Carter will fall in the draft. Remember, Carter already faced some scrutiny earlier this year after a Walter Football Hot Press report that said some NFL team sources had concerns about his overall makeup, with questions arising about his work ethic and love of the game.
“When teams are debating whether to use a top pick on him, they’re going to want all the information they can get,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter said. “… and Jalen Carter wants to tell his side of the story, which is why he was in such a rush to get back (to the Combine).
Regardless, this will have a ripple effect on the rest of the draft.
Chicago, for example, now has to decide how badly it wants a premiere defensive player in this draft. Prior to the news, the Bears could have potentially traded down two times to the No. 4 pick and still likely would have had a shot at drafting either Carter or Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson, who’s now the No. 2 prospect.
But with Arizona lurking with the third overall pick and also desperate for defensive upgrades, a move past the No. 2 spot – currently occupied by Houston – likely means Chicago won’t have a shot at drafting Anderson. Likewise, Arizona was sitting pretty before the news, as the Cardinals likely figured they’d have a shot at drafting whichever defensive player was still on the board, Carter or Anderson. Now Arizona has to figure out other potential options for that pick.
Someone, though, will inevitably pull the trigger on Carter on Day 1, and the further he falls, the less draft capital it would take to move up. A team in need of defensive linemen like Dallas or Buffalo, for example, could conceivably move up 10 spots from the late 20s without giving up too many picks or players.
For example, Dallas would likely have to give up its first-, second- and third-round picks to move up from No. 27 to No. 14, currently owned by New England. But if Carter is available when Seattle goes back on the clock again with its second first-round pick, No. 20 overall, then it would likely require just a first- and a third-round pick to consummate the deal.
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On an unrelated note … former first-round hopeful Adam Anderson may finally get his day in court this month. The former star Georgia pass rusher was charged with the Oct. 29, 2021 rape of a 21-year-old woman in a house in Athens. Police took out a warrant on him about two weeks later, and a grand jury indicted Anderson in April.
For now, the trial has been set to start on March 27.
Anderson was widely regarded as a first-round prospect before the alleged incident.
1. Chicago Bears: Edge Will Anderson, Alabama
The old-school line of thinking is that, if a player you really want is available, then you should go ahead and take him rather than getting cute and trading down for more picks with the hope that the player will still be available. Besides, the Bears will still have a shot at trading down in other rounds and accumulating more picks, as Chicago owns the first pick of the third, fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.
2. Houston Texans: QB Bryce Young, Alabama
Whelp, the Anderson pick certainly makes things easier for Houston.
3. Carolina Panthers: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
(Trade with Arizona)
The Panthers would have to pay a pretty steep price to move up six spots, but at least they’d get their QB of the future.
4. Indianapolis Colts: QB Will Levis, Kentucky
Chicago’s decision to stick with the No. 1 overall pick could also help Indianapolis, as the Colts wouldn’t have to do anything to still land one of the top QBs.
5. Seattle Seahawks (via DEN): CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
The top remaining pass rushers just aren’t a great scheme fit for Seattle’s 3-4 defense, as both are seen as better fits as a defensive end in a 4-3 than as an outside linebacker or 5-tech in a 3-4.
6. Detroit Lions (via LAR): DL Jalen Carter, Georgia
Carter controls his own destiny at this point; answer teams’ questions honestly, and he probably won’t fall too far. Don’t forget, too, that he was considered the best defensive prospect for Georgia the past two seasons, including in 2021 when he played alongside pass rusher Travon Walker, who went No. 1 overall to Jacksonville.
7. Green Bay Packers: OT Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
(Trade with Los Vegas)
How long will the Jordan Love era last in Green Bay? Fans may find out soon – at least Skoronski would help get the post-Rodgers era off to the right start.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Edge Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
Who Atlanta has interviewed so far isn’t as interesting as the position those prospects play. And while it’s a small sample size, the Falcons have mostly interviewed with pass rushers. Wilson is still recovering from a foot fracture but has reportedly had good interviews with teams thus far, according to media reports.
9. Arizona Cardinals: Edge Lukas Van Ness, Iowa
(Trade with Carolina)
Don’t be surprised if Van Ness starts to enter the top-10 discussion after the Combine, as the 6-foot-5, 275-pound junior nicknamed “Hercules” has often been compared to the recently retired J.J. Watt. The 21-year-old focused on hockey as a youth before playing varsity football his final two years of high school. Here’s the crazy part: Van Ness didn’t start a single game in college.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (via NO): Edge Myles Murphy, Clemson
Ultra-talented and incredibly athletic, Murphy has nonetheless seen his draft stock take a big dip in recent months. Could it be information overload where a player drops in the rankings simply due to over-analysis? Or is there something else that’s keeping him out of many top-10 lists? The Combine will go a long way toward answering those questions.
11. Tennessee Titans: DL Bryan Bresee, Clemson
Tennessee obviously needs a new OT after the release of Tyler Lewan, but if they don’t take someone like Paris Johnson of Ohio State with this pick, then maybe Johnson’s teammate Dawand Jones will be available in the second round. Besides, Bresee would be hard to pass up, especially with DeMarcus Walker hitting free agency. Can you imagine how potent the one-two punch of Bresee and Jeffery Simmons will be at defensive end in the Titans’ 3-4 front? Scary.
12. Houston Texans (via CLE): G O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida
Is this too high for Torrence? Probably, but the former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun is the top interior lineman in this draft. Add Torrence, and suddenly Houston has the beginnings of what appears to be a pretty good offensive line.
13. NY Jets: S Brian Branch, Alabama
New York is this close to being a really good team. Add a solid QB – Derek Carr? – and another playmaker or two, and the Jets might turn into perennial playoff contenders.
14. New England Patriots: OT Paris Johnson, Ohio State
Johnson would fill in nicely at RT for Isaiah Wynn, who is an UFA.
15. Green Bay Packers: OT Broderick Jones, Georgia
Jones is a bit undersized for a tackle but is also one of the most athletic OTs in this draft, so he would give the Packers positional flexibility and an extra layer of protection for Jordan Love, who may start next season if Aaron Rodgers is traded away..
16. Washington Commanders: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Quentin Johnston, TCU
Second-year QB Kenny Pickett needs more weapons on offense.
18. Detroit Lions: CB Joey Porter, Penn State
Detroit watches as Pittsburgh passes up on the son of a favorite Steeler player, shakes its head, then gladly takes Porter.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs could be the pick here, too.
20. Seattle Seahawks: DL Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh
The team needs to upgrade its defensive line. Kancey would fill in nicely for UFAs Poona Ford and L.J. Collier, who’s had a disappointing career since being drafted with pick No. 29 in 2019.
21. Miami – FORFEITED
21. LA Chargers: WR Jordan Addison, USC
We’ll keep saying it until draft day: the Chargers need youth and speed at receiver.
23. Baltimore Ravens: RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
Who needs receivers when you have Gibbs and, hopefully, Lamar Jackson?
24. Minnesota Vikings: CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
Big, strong physical – just what the Vikings need at cornerback.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Kylee Ringo, Georgia
Ringo is said to be very similar to Tyson Campbell, the team’s first-round pick out of Georgia in 2021.
26. NY Giants: WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
JSN is the higher-ranked prospect, but Hyatt has far more speed – just what the Giants could use.
27. Dallas Cowboys: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
This just feels like a Cowboys pick. JSN was a decorated preps star in the Dallas area, and he plays at a position that is arguably one of the team’s greatest needs this offseason.
28. Buffalo Bills: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
Josh Allen gets a shiny new toy? Doesn’t seem fair.
29. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Dawand Jones, Ohio State
Don’t be surprised if the massively sized Jones rockets up draft boards after the Combine.
30. New Orleans Saints (via SF): TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah
A team with a shaky QB situation like New Orleans must have steady weapons like Kincaid if it wants to avoid a bottom-5 finish in the league.
31. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Cam Smith, South Carolina
The Eagles could lose as many as eight defensive starters to free agency. Adding elite talent at cornerback and pass rusher – both premiere positions – is a nice start.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas
Sanders is now ranked ahead of Clemson’s Trenton Simpson in many analysts’ draft boards.
Los Angeles Rams, second round: LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson
Cleveland Browns, second round: Edge Zach Harrison, Ohio State
Miami Dolphins, second round: RB Kendre Miller, TCU
Denver, third round: OT Wanya Morris, Oklahoma
San Francisco, third round: CB D.J. Turner, Michigan
Jake Rigdon (@jrigdon73) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak.com. His big board is updated at least once per week during the season and leading up to the draft. Message him on Twitter to receive $3 off your new Ultimate GM subscription.