NFL analyst explains why the Bears passed on Jalen Carter originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
In the first round of the draft, the Chicago Bears opted to pass on Jalen Carter, the tantalizing defensive tackle out of Georgia, to trade down and take Darnell Wright and satiate their needs on the offensive line.
Most suspected the Bears would take Carter if he was available at the No. 9 pick. And he was. Yet, the Bears decided to trade their pick to the Eagles, who drafted Carter instead.
Selecting Carter, according to NFL analyst Mike Florio, is a luxury only a team like the Eagles can afford.
"Something the Eagles, given the fact that they just won the NFC championship and still have a great team in place, are in a position to do," Florio said to Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score. "And they believe that they can get the most out of a Jalen Carter."
While nobody argues the talent Carter brings on the defensive line, some question his character. Carter was charged with reckless driving and racing back in March, a charge that he pleaded no contest to in the end.
He also skipped multiple drills during his Pro Day, yet cut the workout short because he was winded and experienced cramping. It was a total meltdown on Carter's part leading up to the draft, as all of this unfolded during the NFL combine.
The Bears, without delving into the specifics of their evaluation of Carter, clearly don't believe his talent is worth the risk of his character. And character is a big part of Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus' evaluation of talent.
Because of the infancy of the Bears' rebuild, they aren't in a position to take on Carter's risk.
"Other teams, like the Bears, who are trying to build something and need infrastructure, reliable, solid pieces, they choose not to go along that line of a high-risk and potentially high-reward option like Jalen Carter," Florio said.
With the Bears' passing of Carter, Poles and his cohort showed their true colors when it comes to what they value in players. They held true to their word, unwilling to sacrifice the risk of a locker room debacle for premier talent at a vital position in their defense.
That's a tough pill to swallow for the Bears. But their conservativeness shows their understanding and patience with the ongoing rebuild. They aren't willing to take shortcuts to bring the roster where they want at a faster pace.
And that's why the draft unfolded for the Bears how it did on Day 1.
"That's where it all gets screwed up," Florio said. "You've got these teams who've got very different mindsets and risk tolerances making these picks, which explains at the end of the day for the Bears."