How does he keep getting away with it!?
That was the general tone of the fan reponse to Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman selecting UGA defensive tackle Jalen Carter with the No. 9 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Projected for months as a potential No. 1 pick, Carter saw his stock plummet due to off-field issues. The Eagles, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, swooped in to bolster an already-elite defensive front.
The early results have been nothing short of remarkable. Carter has been one of the most explosive and disruptive defensive linemen in the NFL, constantly pressuring quarterbacks and stoppering the ground attack. He has the benefit of veteran teammates and a rock-solid defensive ecosystem in Philadelphia, but there's no mistaking the obvious talent on display.
As Carter mounts his Rookie of the Year campaign and solidifies the best defensive line east of the Mississippi, some teams are probably regretful of their NFL Draft night decisions. Eight teams passed on Carter — heck, more than eight when you consider the Bears' decision to trade back to No. 10, thus paving the way for Carter's arrival in Eagles midnight green.
These three franchises in particular have to been awfully bad about it.
No. 3 team who should have drafted Jalen Carter: Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders selected Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson with the No. 7 overall pick. He has taken 55 snaps with a Pass Rush Win Rate of zero percent, according to PFF analyst Louie Benjamin. He is the only EDGE with as least 25 rush snaps to not win a single advantage gained.
It is too premature to write the obituary on Wilson's career. It's Week 3, and the Raiders are trending toward a long and patient rebuild which could afford him ample opportunity to work through his early-career struggles.
That said, it's hard not to wonder what the Raiders' middle-of-the-road defense would look like with Carter anchoring the front line. He plays a different position than Wilson, but Carter would have far less competition for snaps than he does in Philadelphia.
Las Vegas passed up on the most NFL-ready and highest-upside defensive lineman in the draft. While perhaps the Raiders would stick to their convictions based on non-football research, it doesn't seem like the Eagles have dealt with any locker room flare-ups or festering tension due to Carter's presence on the team. In fact, there has been nothing but praise for Carter from his Eagles teammates.