INGLEWOOD, CA – As they were watching the greatest blowout in bowl history on Monday – a 58-point drubbing of TCU by Georgia in the national championship at SoFi Stadium – many Bears fans who were watching envisioned one of those players in orange and blue next season.
That’s All-American defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who helped the Bulldogs to the 65-7 victory and a second-straight FBS title.
He could be a player that could help fix the interior of the Bears’ defensive line after that group struggled most of the 2022 season. Hours after helping Georgia to the national title, Carter opened up the chance of that happening.
As many expected, the junior announced that he’ll be leaving school to enter the 2023 NFL Draft on Twitter early Tuesday morning. He will be represented by agents Drew Rosenhaus and Ryan Matha, which was confirmed by both on Tuesday.
A disruptor in the middle of the line for the Bulldogs, Carter played a major role on a Georgia defense that was second in FBS in points allowed in 2022 (12.8 per game). His constant pressure opened things up for others on the defense, including Monday, where he only registered two tackles but helped to cause a number of big plays for the Bulldogs’ defense.
That included heavy pressure on TCU quarterback Max Duggan’s second interception that he threw to Javon Bullard late in the first half.
Carter finished the season with seven tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass deflections, and two forced fumbles with 32 total tackles as he was named a unanimous All-American.
He could be the Bears’ pick either at their No. 1 overall spot they currently hold, though it would be more likely they’d select him if they were to trade down and remain in the top five, where many have Carter projected to go in April’s draft.