LAKE FOREST – Now that the Bears have settled the question of what to do with their No. 1 overall pick, they now have to consider who to select with the ninth pick they acquired in that trade with the Panthers.
That could include a player who has run into legal trouble since the end of his final college season.
On Thursday at a news conference at Halas Hall, Bears general manager Ryan Pace confirmed that the team will bring former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter to Halas Hall for a visit ahead of April’s NFL Draft.
He has just pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing in Georgia related to an incident in Athens on January 15 where two members of the Bulldogs’ football program died: Offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy.
Poles along with head coach Matt Ebeflus traveled to Georgia’s pro day to watch Carter workout out this week.
“Like the combine, it’s a collection of information. We got some there, we got more at the (Georgia) pro day,” said Poles when asked about carter. “We’ll bring him and talk to him and get to know him even better. At some point in mid-April, sit down and put it we’ll put it all on the table.”
Poles’ statement comes after Carter entered that plea in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Municipal Court, per a statement from his attorney to the Associated Press. He was given 12 months probation, a $1,000 fine, community service, and can’t drive for 120 days.
Carter would be a fit for the Bears since they are in need of help in the interior of their defensive line. Had he not been charged, it’s likely he would have been taken in the Top 5, but teams could be hesitant after the incident.
That would leave an opportunity for the Bears to select the 2022 All-American and two-time National Champion, who became one of the nation’s best defensive tackles at Georgia.