HomeDa Birds NewsJalen Carter's Ranking Among PFF's Top Rookies

Jalen Carter’s Ranking Among PFF’s Top Rookies

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Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud is rightfully going to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, and perhaps in unanimous fashion. But Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter continues to be the top overall ranked rookie, at least according to one outlet. 

Carter blocked a field goal attempt in an overtime win against the Buffalo Bills in Week 12, and remains the top-rated rookie according to Pro Football Focus’ grading system. 

“Carter continues to make strides late in the season, putting up one of his most well-rounded performances this past week,” PFF wrote. “The Eagles interior stalwart totaled eight pass-rush wins in Week 12, tying the season-high mark he set back in Week 1.” 

Jalen Carter is having a dominant rookie season for the Philadelphia Eagles. 

USA Today

The 90.3 grade that Carter has received is the top mark among rookies, followed by the aforementioned Stroud (86.3) and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon (85.5). Fittingly, Carter currently has the shortest Defensive Rookie of the Year Award odds at -250, with Witherspoon next at +200. 

Whether Carter finishes the season as PFF’s top-rated rookie and/or wins Defensive Rookie of the Year, it’s clear that general manager Howie Roseman and the Eagles got a steal getting the former Georgia Bulldog at No. 9 overall. He looks like the most gifted player from his draft class. 

Of course, there was never a debate about whether Carter had the talent to go No. 1 overall, or at least be the first non-quarterback off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. Off-field concerns are the reason he fell to the Eagles, who were the rare Super Bowl-caliber team to have a luxury pick in the top 10. They could afford to gamble on Carter, because if things went south, Roseman wasn’t going to lose his job. 

Related: Jalen Hurts Clear-Cut MVP Favorite After Win vs. Bills?

It remains to be seen whether Carter will be able to stay out of trouble off the field. There was a bizarre incident at a Center City Target in November, which Carter chalked up to “probably just some misunderstanding.” And while Carter avoided jail time by reaching a plea agreement in a street racing incident that left former Georgia teammate Devin Willock and a member of the coaching staff dead, he still has unresolved civil charges. 

From a football sense, it’s not hyperbolic to say that Carter has a chance to be a Hall of Famer if he stays on the straight and narrow. He’s that good. Only off-the-field issues will prevent him from being a superstar in the NFL. 

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