With the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft right around the corner, the Las Vegas Raiders will have a tough decision to make in the first round.
The Raiders own the No. 7 overall pick in the draft and they could go in several directions. Although they signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year deal this offseason, Las Vegas might be tempted to take his successor should the right quarterback prospect fall.
There’s always the best player available route and Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter would certainly fit that mold. However, Carter’s legal troubles have reportedly taken him off the Raiders’ board, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
But Carter is not an option for the Raiders at No. 7, having already been crossed off by the team, according to a league source.
Carter had been charged with the two misdemeanors on March 1 after a police investigation concluded that Carter had been racing the car driven by Georgia recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy on the morning of Jan. 15. LeCroy’s car crashed, resulting in her death and the death of passenger Devin Willock, a Georgia offensive lineman. Carter was sentenced to one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service following his plea.
Tafur adds that the charges against Carter might invoke unpleasant memories of former Las Vegas first-round pick Henry Ruggs III who was involved in his own car incident:
While the cases are not the same, the comparison is too close to home for the Raiders and their fans in the Las Vegas community following the 2021 arrest of former receiver Henry Ruggs. Ruggs is still awaiting trial on charges of DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and two counts of reckless driving in connection with the death of 23-year-old Tina Tintor and her dog. He is accused of driving 156 mph with a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 before crashing into Tintor’s car.
The Ruggs’ situation is still too fresh in the organization and fans’ minds, so it makes complete sense for them not to consider Carter. Despite his obvious talent and skill at a position of need, the aftermath of picking Carter would be just too much for the Raiders.
With 12 picks at their disposal, Las Vegas will have plenty of opportunities to add productive players to their roster. There’s also always the possibility of moving up in the draft if a player they like slides down, so it’ll be exciting to see what direction they go in when the draft officially begins.