Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter officially signed his fully guaranteed four-year, $21.8 million rookie contract with the team on Thursday, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The deal includes a fifth-year team option.
The Eagles earned high marks for moving up one draft slot to No. 9 to select Carter.
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco called Carter the Eagles’ best pick, noting that he “has some off-field issues, but he is the best player in this draft. As one scout told me, he’s generational. If he can stay away from issues, and work harder at the game, he will be a Hall of Fame player.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. had Carter as his No. 1 prospect in this year’s draft, writing that “general manager Howie Roseman has had an outstanding run in Philly, and he crushed Round 1.”
And NFL.com’s Eric Edholm noted that “Carter might be the best player in this draft; Philadelphia got him with the ninth pick (after a trade up from No. 10) and is a successful enough franchise to be able to survive Carter busting for non-football reasons.”
There’s little doubting Carter’s talent. The 22-year-old accumulated 83 tackles (18.5 for loss), six sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defended in his three years at Georgia, helping lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships.
Those stats may not leap off the page, but Carter was a dominant presence in the middle of Georgia’s defensive line, disrupting opposing run games and collapsing the pocket with his interior presence.
For an Eagles team that lost Javon Hargrave in free agency and facing the eventual decline from 32-year-old mainstay Fletcher Cox, Carter filled both an immediate and long-term need. The hope will be that Carter and former Bulldogs and new Eagles teammate Jordan Davis will successfully dominate the line of scrimmage in Philadelphia from the interior defensive line for years to come.
Add in edge-rusher Nolan Smith, linebacker Nakobe Dean and cornerback Kelee Ringo, all Bulldogs alum, and Philadelphia has become Georgia North at the past two drafts.