Eagles’ Jason Kelce gives some impressions of Jalen Carter from OTAs

Kelce gives some impressions of Carter from OTAs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Jason Kelce won’t really know what Jalen Carter is all about until the pads come on during training camp.

But just being around Carter this spring has piqued Kelce’s interest.

As a guest on the Green Light podcast, Kelce and his former teammate Chris Long talked about a myriad of topics, including the Eagles’ No. 9 overall selection in the draft.

“I saw him on his top 30 visit and shook his hand,” Kelce said. “It was like shaking a big meat paw bear hand. He’s a very muscle bound, mature physically looking guy, who looks like physically he’s ready to play right away. We haven’t done a lot of football yet.”

The Eagles are going through their spring workouts now and haven’t even technically begun their OTAs. And in the current NFL, OTAs won’t truly give anyone a full appreciation for a defensive tackle. We won’t see that until training camp.

There are some little things, though, that Kelce has picked up on with Carter just being around him in the building.

“I’ve never liked comps but I think sometimes when you see a guy and it reminds you of another guy, there’s something to that,” Kelce said. “When you anatomically move the way somebody else who was a good player moves and you bend the same way. I think that’s one thing.”

So that begs the question: Who does Carter remind you of?

“I have not seen him enough to say that,” Kelce said. “We just lost a really, really good D-tackle in (Javon) Hargrave and we still have Fletch (Cox). He kind of reminds me on some elements of a little bit of both of those guys. He’s thick in the lower body the way Hargrave was but I’m going to be interested to see what his hands feel like. I’ve only noticed two players’ grip strengths in my career. One is Fletcher Cox, the other one oddly enough is Clay Matthews.”

The Eagles lost Hargrave in free agency to the 49ers but brought Cox back on a one-year deal for his 12th season in 2023.

After Kelce and Long took a brief detour to talk about Matthews’ surprising grip strength, Kelce offered up one more name of a guy Carter reminds him of a bit.

“He’s kind of got some (Commanders Pro Bowl DT) Daron Payne to him too, just body stature,” Kelce said. “He bends really well. Daron also sits with his ass kind of down, kind of in a 2-gap stance even when he’s playing a one-gap, 2 technique. That’s kind of how he looks a little bit in his stance. I haven’t seen enough of him to say yet but just walking around. You just see somebody lift weights. …

“Everything just looks like it moves right. He kind of, in some ways, one of the things I learned after watching Jason Peters over and over again, it never looks like he’s not in control or in the right body position. In his prime especially. It was just like he was always in balance. Kind of feels like that.”

Kelce also had some high praise for a few other rookies like offensive lineman Tyler Steen and edge rusher Nolan Smith.

The whole interview is worth checking out. Kelce and Long hit a bunch of different topics and it’s a fun listen/watch.