ESPN draft guru Todd McShay under fire for questioning Georgia star's 'character'

By , Audacy Sports

College football's regular season is over, which means it's not too soon to begin looking ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft.

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Of course, no draft cycle is complete without a controversy or two about prospect hounds citing unnamed sources to float vague concerns about "character issues" or "off-field behavior."

This year, that scenario has started early, with ESPN's Todd McShay the first prominent voice to malign an NFL hopeful's integrity.

On Wednesday morning, McShay said Georgia Bulldogs star defensive tackle Jalen Carter would be a "hot-button name" in the draft because of questionable "intangibles."

"It's interesting with Carter," McShay said, "because we all agree -- it doesn't take a super-scout to figure out he's a phenomenal player in the interior. With Carter, there's some character issues. Does he get along with everybody? What's he like to deal with in the locker room? There's sort of issues. I know it's early in the process, but I'm forewarning everybody out there."

Despite these concerns, McShay projected Carter to be drafted No. 2 overall by the Seattle Seahawks in his latest mock draft.

Still, he says Carter's "character" as the "big discussion" around his draft position.

"That will be the big discussion. It's not about his talent. It's not about his size. It's not about his explosive takeoff, or finishing as a pass-rusher. It's about the character. 'Do we want to bring that guy into the building?'"

It's unclear exactly what McShay or his sources are alluding to regarding Carter's character. The Unanimous All-American is not known to have had any disciplinary issues on or off the field. To the contrary, he has been active in several charitable endeavors in Athens, Georgia, as well as his hometown of Apopka, Florida.

McShay's analysis didn't go over very well on social media, where several of Carter's Georgia teammates, former and active NFL players, and journalists took exception to McShay's framing of Carter's draft candidacy.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today