Each year as the NFL draft approaches you hear stories about why a player has either risen in the draft or seen his stock drop for one reason or another. Sometimes it stems from performance at the NFL combine, pro days, private workouts, or the one they love to use the most as it pertains to a prospect of color, character issues. So many times, in the past those two words have cost prospects millions, and a lot of the time the misguided opinion is nothing but hearsay or smoke and mirrors.
Why Did Todd McShay Say Jalen Carter Had Character Issues?
That seems to be the case with Georgia Bulldogs star defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who’s got a real chance to be the No.1 overall pick in the draft. Despite his high billing across the league, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay recently questioned the dominant game wrecker’s character, saying:
“With Carter there are some character issues — does he get along with everybody? What’s he like to deal with in the locker room? Those sort of issues,” McShay said on ESPN. “I know it’s early in the process, but I’m forewarning everybody out there. Carter is going to be a hot-button name when we talk about some of the intangible aspects of it.”
That’s a damning statement without any reference or concrete evidence.
It must’ve been a slow news day when McShay made the accusations about Carter who has never been mentioned as a player who isn’t aligned with his teammates. All Carter did was terrorize opposing offenses all season for back-to-back defending champion Georgia. Saying things like that can be detrimental. Hopefully, no damage has been done.
Jalen Carter’s Position Coach Sticks Up For Him
In an interview with The Athletic, Tray Scott, Jalen Carter’s position coach and the man who spends more time with Carter recounts Carter purchasing lunch for walk-on teammate Weston Wallace daily, from his scholarship funds, since Weston didn’t receive any.
Even Wallace chimed in on the matter.
“Jalen heard about that,” Wallace said. “I’m the only walk-on in the defensive line room and he goes, I’m not gonna let that happen.’ So he used his scholarship money to pay for me to get lunch every single day,” Wallace said in the interview with Feldman.
Now does that sound Iike a player with character issues?
No, it doesn’t, and people like McShay and fellow NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. can’t keep getting away with saying things like that when they aren’t true. It hurts players’ draft stock and costs them money.
Carter Could Go No. 1 Overall
Whomever gets Carter will be getting a game-changing, versatile defensive lineman who’s capable of lining up inside or outside. He’s in the mold of what you saw the Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs do with All-Pro Chris Jones.
Carter could go anywhere in the top five, but the belief is if the Bears don’t trade the pick and keep Justin Fields, the pick will definitely be Carter. If the pick is traded, the likelihood that he goes No. 1 decreases, but either way his name will be called very early in the green room in Kansas City.
And hopefully asinine comments like those by McShay doesn’t affect that.