Did the Atlanta Falcons promise Jalen Carter they would select him?
Some weird news came out this week from Jalen Carter's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, as he said that Jalen Carter would not be doing any interviews with teams outside the top ten.
The logical reasoning for this decision is that he has been told by a team or teams that if he is available, they will take him, thus making any extra interviews pointless (although, I could argue that that is not true). This is what NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah thinks as he said Carter must have a proverbial "backstop" in the top ten; could that be the hometown Atlanta Falcons?
Did the Atlanta Falcons tell Jalen Carter that they will draft him?
First, let me say that I don't sit in on the draft meetings, obviously, and I am not going to act like I have insider information, but I can make an educated guess. I think the Atlanta Falcons could be the team or one of the teams who has assured Jalen Carter that they will draft him if he is available.
I know there have been rumors that the Falcons will pass on him due to the issues he has had, nevertheless, this is draft season, the time when you should take EVERYTHING you hear with a grain of salt. The Falcons could be putting 'lies' out there in an effort to keep teams from jumping them for Carter.
As I discussed, Daniel Jeremiah stated that he believes Carter has a backstop in the draft and he thinks it is the Philadelphia Eagles who hold the tenth-overall pick.
The Eagles would make a lot of sense, but if you are Drew Rosenhaus, are you going to decline interviews with those outside the top ten just because one team who owns the tenth pick says they will take you? I doubt that, why would you cut it so close?
I believe that the Eagles are one of the teams who have assured Rosenhaus and Carter that they would take him, however, I can't help but believe there is a team or teams higher who have said the same thing—the Falcons could definitely be an option.
Even though I do not agree with the strategy, Rosenhaus is a smart guy and I don't think he would risk keeping teams further down from meeting with him just because the Eagles, who are right at the cut-off, have shook his hand and said he would be the selection. It would likely take three teams saying that for him to be this confident.
One team giving their 'promise' should not be enough, what would happen if the Eagles were to get a massive trade offer from another team that they can't refuse? Then Carter would be outside the top ten and have to count on a team being comfortable enough to draft him despite not knowing him. With the concerns of his weight, work ethic, and legal issues (which have been resolved), it isn't hard to imagine many teams looking elsewhere. Teams aren't too eager to gamble their first-round pick.
Let's look at the teams in the top ten and see which teams might be candidates to be Carters' backstop:
I think we can immediately eliminate the Panthers, Texans, and possibly the Colts since they are likely to take quarterbacks. Then there have been rumors that the Raiders have taken him off the board due to his legal concerns and the team's recent issues with the same thing. I know I just talked about not taking rumors for fact but that does seem like a legit reason for them so let's just say they are unlikely to take Carter.
Then you have the Cardinals who could conceivably trade out which lowers the chance they are Carter's team. That leaves five teams—Seahawks, Lions, Falcons, Bears, Eagles—who are candidates, and honestly, I think it could be most of those team(s) that led Rosenhaus to take his stance.
So, all in all, I definitely think the Atlanta Falcons could have told Rosenhaus they will draft Jalen Carter—take that for what it is worth. It is also worth throwing in that the front office has a slight relationship with Rosenhaus since he represents Frank Darby and Rashaan Evans.