5 questions that will determine the Bears 2023 NFL Draft approach

Chicago Bears, Jalen Carter
Chicago Bears, Jalen Carter / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Jalen Carter
Chicago Bears, Jalen Carter / Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Chicago Bears Question No. 2: How much do Jalen Carter’s character concerns hurt his stock?

There was a point in time when many fans wouldn’t have opposed the Bears drafting Georgia standout Jalen Carter with the No. 1 overall pick. Carter was one of the highest-rated defensive tackles in recent memory and was a catalyst of the Bulldogs’ legendary defense.

But recent weeks have seen Carter’s stock plummet. An arrest warrant combined with an abysmal pro day showing have, and the once sure-fire top-five pick’s fate is largely unknown. 

Assessing a player’s character concerns is among the harder tasks of anyone on the outside looking in. While fans and scouts can agree to disagree on certain aspects of a particular player’s film, the character can’t be debated the same way. Only people who have interacted with Carter firsthand can attest to the type of person, and teammate he is, and the rest of us are stuck going off reports and rumors.

Teams throughout the league appear to have various approaches when dealing with players with off-the-field issues. Some, such as the Dallas Cowboys, are notorious for taking flyers on highly talented players with character concerns. Others take a more cautious approach and drop these players considerably on their draft boards and may even remove them entirely.

There is no right or wrong way to go about this, but since Ryan Poles is still fairly new to the general manager position, it’s unclear of how he would operate if Carter fell to nine. On paper, he is an undeniable talent with the potential to be the best defensive tackle since Aaron Donald, but his recent off-field issues stop him from being the slam dunk he was a couple of months ago. How much Chicago is swayed by this will determine if they take him at the ninth spot.