Mel Kiper Jr’s updated Top-25: UGA DL Jalen Carter still No. 1
It’s NFL combine week, which means ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has updated his top 25 big board as draft prospects make the trip to Indianapolis to showcase their skills for NFL teams.
Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter has been at the top of Kiper’s rankings since the initial list in December and remains No. 1 overall ahead of the combine.
Despite missing two games hobbled by a knee injury, Carter’s disruptive interior presence on Georgia’s defensive line as the Bulldogs secured another national title didn’t go unnoticed.
“I moved Carter to No. 1 in my December Big Board update, and he finished the season playing the best ball of his career. He had 12 quarterback pressures in his final three games for the back-to-back national champs, showing that he can wreck games from the interior. He was fantastic after he returned in late October from missing two games because of a knee issue. Check out this show of force in the SEC title game against LSU. Georgia had five defenders picked in Round 1 last April, and Carter arguably was more disruptive than all of them in 2021. He’s explosive at the snap and finishes well around the ball, even though he had just six career sacks. Carter is in the conversation for the top pick — if the Bears keep it.”
According to reports, the Chicago Bears are considering moving the No. 1 overall pick, which could hurt Carter’s chances at becoming the second consecutive No. 1 selection for the Bulldogs.
The All-American has elected not to participate in workouts in Indianapolis and will workout at Georgia’s pro day on March 15.
UGA offensive tackle Broderick Jones has dropped off of Kiper’s big board in the new update after coming in at No. 24 in December.
Jones is still rated as the No. 3 offensive tackle in Kiper’s positional rankings, and will participate in workouts with the offensive lineman on March 5.