Arrest warrant issued for potential No. 1 Pick Jalen Carter

By Adam Burke  ( 

March 1, 2023 12:15 PM

Carter charged with reckless driving and racing from crash that killed teammate, staffer

Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter was scheduled to speak with the media at the NFL Combine on Wednesday, but news of an arrest warrant stemming from the night that teammate Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy were killed in a car accident broke instead.

Carter was charged with two misdemeanors for reckless driving and racing by the Athens Police Department. The 21-year-old had reportedly also been issued a speeding ticket for going 89 in a 45 in Sept., which resulted in a fine in excess of $1,000.

Carter reportedly left the scene after the accident, but returned shortly thereafter. Findings from the Atlanta Journal Constitution show that Carter told police that he heard the accident from about a mile away, but then had inconsistencies in his story and admitted to being behind the vehicle that crashed.

Police on scene noted damage to the top of Carter’s vehicle consistent with the power lines that fell when the car driven by LeCroy hit utility poles during the accident.

Jalen Carter Draft Pick Odds

News of Carter’s arrest warrant dramatically shifted the NFL Draft odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. Carter was -105 to be the First Defensive Player drafted, but that market was taken down. Expect Will Anderson to be the favorite in that market when it reopens.

Carter is also now out to +1600 to be the No. 1 overall pick at DK. Prior to the reports about the crash, Carter was anywhere from +500 to +750 to be taken with the top pick in the April draft. He had already spoken with some teams that had high draft picks.

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay spoke of character concerns with Carter back in mid-December before the National Championship Game and before this tragic situation unfolded. It remains to be seen if Carter will face any additional legal ramifications beyond the two current misdemeanor charges. 

Carter released a statement early Wednesday afternoon on Twitter that read:

"This morning, I received a telephone call form the Athens Georgia [sic] police department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing. Numerous media reports also have circulated this morning containing inaccurate information concerning the tragic events of January 15, 2023. It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing."

Gill Alexander and Kelley Bydlon discussed the Carter news on Wednesday's edition of A Numbers Game:

2023 NFL Draft Order

There had been some talk of the Chicago Bears keeping the No. 1 overall pick and Justin Fields to draft Carter, but there had also been some strong whispers that they would trade it. Many of the teams picking early need a quarterback, but many also need impact defensive players like Carter.

No odds are out yet regarding over/under draft position, but Carter's is likely to be a higher number than it previously would have been. Here are the top 10 teams in the 2023 NFL Draft Order

  1. Chicago Bears
  2. Houston Texans
  3.  Arizona Cardinals
  4. Indianapolis Colts
  5. Seattle Seahawks
  6. Detroit Lions
  7. Las Vegas Raiders
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Carolina Panthers
  10. Philadelphia Eagles

Patrick Meagher and Amal Shah talked about what this means for Carter's draft positioning on Sharp Money:

We'll be keeping an eye out to see if there are any new updates or new betting markets based on this information and the latest that comes out in the lead-up to the NFL Draft on Apr. 27.

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