There’s no denying Jalen Carter’s raw talent level.. When motivated, he’s proven to be an absolute game-wrecker – which is precisely why the Philadelphia Eagles drafted him ninth overall in the recent NFL Draft.
Motivated is certainly the key word however.. After all, Carter has been buried in criticism in recent months. The most serious of matters was of course his alleged street racing incident which resulted in two deaths.
He’s also been known to struggle with his weight and allegedly isn’t the hardest of workers.. Those concerns were amplified when he showed up at Georgia’s Pro Day out-of-shape and struggled to physically get through drills.
Philadelphia has one of the strongest cultures and locker rooms in the league. It’s one of the main reasons why they won the NFC last season and it’s certainly one of the main reasons why they drafted Carter despite all of the concerns.
Carter knows that he needs to improve his conditioning if he’s to ultimately become a dominant force at the NFL level.
“I’ll make sure my condition level is higher,” Carter said at Eagles rookie minicamp.
For what it’s worth, Head Coach Nick Sirianni isn’t concerned (at least publicly) about Carter’s weight and conditioning going forward.
“These guys have been in hotels. They have been on 30 visits. They have been getting ready for pro days. And they have been getting ready for the Combine,” Sirianni said. “So, to say any of them are in really good football shape and they are ready to play a game tomorrow, I would say that’s inaccurate. None of those guys are.”
“Nobody out there is in the shape that they need to be in, but we are working in that direction. He (Carter) looks good. He looked good out there today, and so but like I said, today wasn’t about finding out who was ready conditioning-wise because to be quite frank, none of them are.”
However, Sirianni made it clear that everyone will need to step up their game conditioning-wise as the season gets closer.
“I told them (the rookies) straight up, we obviously went over our rules, our team rules,” he said. “And one of those team rules is be on time, and another one of those rules is be the weight you’re supposed to be and those are non-negotiable for me, and they know that and we’ll just keep that standard as we go.”
Last week, Carter became the first first-round draft pick to sign a contract when he agreed to a fully guaranteed four-year, $21.8 million deal.. It’s fair to wonder if becoming a very rich man will hurt his work-ethic further.
However, that is also of no concern for Sirianni who believes Carter has the inner-drive to be great.
“I sense that he wants to be the best pro he can be,” he said. “I have no doubt in my mind he’ll do whatever he needs to do to be the player he needs to be.”
Only time will tell.