Steelers rumors: Pittsburgh is 'the most perfect fit' for Jalen Carter

Steelers, Jalen Carter
Steelers, Jalen Carter / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The player many consider to be the top talent in the 2023 NFL Draft just so happens to be the one who comes with a laundry list of off-the-field concerns. Georgia defensive tackle, Jalen Carter, has undeniable talent. Somehow, his name has still been in connection with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round.

Recently, Peter King of NBC Sports shared his NFL Draft leads. King noted that, despite multiple visits from teams picking inside the top 10, he believes there is no better fit in the entire draft than Carter to the Steelers.

"Jalen Carter has two visits to top-10 teams left before Wednesday’s deadline for players to make pre-draft visits to teams. That’s what agent Drew Rosenhaus told me Saturday. I’ll tell you the team that is the most perfect fit for Carter in the NFL: the Pittsburgh Steelers, who’d have to trade up from 17 to get him."

Peter King, NBC Sports

For some, the scenario of landing a talent like Jalen Carter in the NFL Draft is a pipedream. For others, they want nothing to do with the talented interior defender. Before the pre-draft process, Carter had a run-in with the law where he was charged in a reckless driving incident. Concerns lingered as he showed up overweight to his own Georgia Pro Day and wasn't able to finish his on-field drills.

With the right coaching staff, Carter could prove to be one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL at the next level. However, how do you weigh the risk versus the potential reward in a case like this?

Steelers should not trade up for Jalen Carter

Peter King noted that Pittsburgh would indeed have to trade up in order to acquire Cater (who many consider being the top overall talent in the draft). However, this simply wouldn't be worth the potential risk involved.

Carter's extremely poor decision-making during the pre-draft process was more than a little concerning. With millions of dollars on the line, the talented Georgia star made some decisions that really have teams questioning his character -- and for good reason.

Still, the talent is a notch above nearly every other player in this class. If it wasn't for the off-field issues, Carter would almost assuredly be a top-5 selection this year. However, he is expected to slip in the draft because of these issues.

Personally, I don't think the Steelers should draft him. Trading up would be too costly for a player with some pretty serious character red flags. At the same time, if he does fall all the way to pick 17, you have to wonder just how bad the off-field concerns really are if 16 other teams passed on him.

Next. NFL Mock Draft: Predicting Round 1 surprises for Steelers. dark

Jalen Carter to Pittsburgh makes for a fun Steelers rumor, but I don't think there is much substance here. Outside of being present at Georgia's Pro Day (which could have been for players like OT Broderick Jones, CB Kelee Ringo, or EDGE Nolan Smith), I don't see any other way this player and this organization have been connected throughout the pre-draft process.