Players That Bear Watching: Georgia D-lineman Jalen Carter

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Chicago Bears fans -- true Chicago Bears fans -- know that the “brick and mortar” of this franchise lies with how formidable its defense is.

Chicago is home to the “Monsters of the Midway” and it’s time to rekindle what has made the Bears iconic. Currently, the defense is toothless and a shell of itself, but there may be one player who could significantly change things. Jalen Carter possesses the physical attributes and requisite mental composition to instigate a Bears revival toward greatness.

Name: Jalen Carter

Position: DL

School (Year): Georgia (JR)

Measurables:  6’3”, 310 lbs / 4.96 40-Time

Career Notes: [2022] Outland Trophy Finalist; [2022] All-SEC First Team (AP and Coaches); [2021] CFP National Champion; [2021] All-SEC Second Team (Coaches)

Best Game: Casual college football fans that probably tuned into the SEC Championship game might list Carter’s most memorable moment as his “best game.” Carter’s iconic moment versus LSU in the conference championship game involved his unusual sack of Tigers’ quarterback Jayden Daniels. Splitting an ineffective double team, Carter moved past an offensive lineman and grabbed Daniels, hoisting him in straight up the air with one arm like a parent does their infant child. A great moment, yes, but not Carter’s best game. Carter's most accomplished all-around play happened against Tennessee on November 5 in Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs hosted then-No. 1 ranked Tennessee and demolished them 27 to 13. Carter manhandled the Volunteers, registering four stops with two tackles for loss plus a sack and two forced fumbles to help Georgia remain undefeated.

What they’re saying about him: “He’s explosive, dynamic and changes the way the game is played” - Tennessee Volunteers Football Head Coach Josh Heupel

Skill Set: Carter is an extremely athletic 6-foot-3 and 310 pound defensive lineman who is blessed with freakish attributes. An enviable blend of size, power, agility and quickness that is as difficult to stop as it is breathtaking to watch,  “sudden impact” might be an appropriate phrase which describes the immediacy and explosive results from Carter’s aggressive onslaught. An elite first step helps him get upfield quickly, only to be followed by powerful pass rushing maneuvers that foment chaos in the backfield. Carter's speed-to-power transition generates instant leverage against opponents and allows him to manipulate them with impunity. 

Why Chicago? Jalen Carter is exactly who the Bears need to renew their notoriety as one of the NFL’s historically dominant defensive franchises. Carter plays with the athleticism of Bears great Tommie Harris; while incorporating the tenacity of Hall of Famer Dan Hampton and the ruthlessness of Doug Atkins. Defensively, Chicago is back to operating within a base 4-3 scheme and Carter would be a perfect fit as a three-technique defender. Quick enough to spit the A and B gaps, with a lengthy frame to disrupt run plays or pressure the quarterback, Carter possesses an excellent change-of-direction agility that enables him to pursue backside and track down ball carriers. Ultimately, Carter’s presence could possibly draw enough attention from opponents that other Bears’ defenders should be able to elevate their play and production on the field.

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