Potential Top NFL Draft Pick Jalen Carter Charged in Fatal Crash
The first bombshell has dropped before the start of the 2023 NFL Combine (March 2-5) and it’s a serious one.
Per ESPN: “Former Georgia star Jalen Carter, one of the top prospects in next month's NFL draft, has been charged with reckless driving and racing in conjunction with a crash that killed a teammate and a recruiting staff member.
The Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Police Department has issued an arrest warrant, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, which alleges Carter was racing his 2021 Jeep Trackhawk against the 2021 Ford Expedition driven by the recruiting staffer, 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, which led to the Jan. 15 wreck.
The Georgia defensive lineman is wanted on a charge of reckless driving and racing – both misdemeanors – by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department after an investigation found that Carter was allegedly street racing with Chandler LeCroy on Jan. 15. Both LeCroy, a Georgia staffer, and Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock were killed when the Ford Expedition LeCroy was driving left the road at a high rate of speed and hit two telephone poles. Two other occupants of LeCroy’s vehicle were injured and police quickly determined that speed was a contributing factor in the crash.”
The report from Yahoo! Sports included this statement from the Athens-Clarke County Police:
“The investigation found that Chandler LeCroy, driver of the 2021 Ford Expedition, and Jalen Carter, driver of a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at about 2:30 a.m. The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists and drove at high rates of speed in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other. Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash the Expedition was traveling at about 104 miles per hour. The toxicology report indicated that LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the crash. Investigators determined that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carter was at the scene of the crash and left before emergency personnel arrived. Per the report, “he gave shifting accounts of the wreck as an Athens police officer questioned him about whether he had been racing the car that crashed” after he returned to the crash scene approximately 90 minutes after it happened.”
CNN reported Wednesday evening, “Carter responded to the allegations in a statement posted on his verified Twitter account Wednesday:
“This morning I received a telephone call from the Athens Georgia police department informing me that two misdemeanor warrants have been issued against me for reckless driving and racing,” Carter said.
“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.”
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., among other analysts, has Carter as the top prospect in this year’s class and some experts predicted him going No. 1 when the 2023 NFL begins April 27 in Kansas City, Mo.
That’s gone now. There’s not a chance a team risks a top pick, never mind the first one overall, on someone who appears to have shown such poor judgment and reckless behavior. Carter may tumble all the way out of the top 10.
Naturally, sportsbooks responded immediately following the breaking news.
Bryce Young’s odds of becoming the No. 1 pick were shortened even more going from between -120 to -150 to -170.
I wrote last week that you can bank on him being the top pick, it’s just a matter of … by which team. I’m even more convinced now after this recent development with Carter, whose odds are in free fall. He’s now anywhere from +1600 (DraftKings Sportsbook) to +2600 (FanDuel Sportsbook) to be the top pick.
FanDuel’s Odds to be the 1st Overall Pick in the 2023 NFL Draft
Bryce Young -170
CJ Stroud +325
Anthony Richardson +700
Will Levis +800
Will Anderson Jr. +1600
Jalen Carter +2600
As you can see Carter is now just the sixth betting favorite, but as I mentioned, there’s no way in hell that’s happening.
There could be movement among the current top five prospects if one of them has a jaw-dropping Combine performance.
In closing, here are the workout schedules for Thursday-Sunday:
TV: NFL Network and NFL+ | Stream: FuboTV (All times Eastern)
Thursday, March 2 (3 p.m.): DL/LB
Friday, March 3 (3 p.m.): DB/ST
Saturday, March 4 (1 p.m.): QB/WR/TE
Sunday, March 5 (1 p.m.): RB, OL