How the Bears will evaluate the Jalen Carter ‘puzzle’

Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter looks on during the NFL Scouting Combine.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

PHOENIX — Bears general manager Ryan Poles said Monday he’ll sit down with chairman George McCaskey and incoming president/CEO Kevin Warren as he tries to decide whether the Bears have interest in drafting Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. He did the same with his bosses last year when considering players with character concerns.

Carter, considered one of the most talented players in the draft, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors as a result of racing his car in January. The car he was racing against crashed, killing a former Georgia teammate and a football staffer.

“Each prospect is a big puzzle,” Poles said. “You usually take it all the way back to high school, how they were recruited, how they handled that and now you kind of play it through their career. Sometimes there’s red flags that pop up and you’ve got to sit down and have discussions with different parts of your organization and say, ‘Does this guy fit what we’re trying to do?’”

To try to get answers, the Bears will bring Carter to Halas Hall for an interview in the next few weeks.

“You look at the risk,” Poles said. “You’ve got to balance that. And again, for us, especially being so young, we want to make sure we’re keeping a good culture and maintaining this as we go. When we get back [to Halas Hall], we’ll put it all back on the table and figure that out.”

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