On the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft, Ryan Poles spent the early portion trading back to acquire more picks. The series of swaps included the Chicago Bears landing pick No. 226. With that seventh-round selection, the Bears selected Ja’Tyre Carter, making him the fourth offensive lineman of this year's Bears draft class.
Ja’Tyre Carter played his college ball at Southern University. He is the first player drafted from Southern in 18 years. Carter plays both guard and tackle, making him a versatile option for Ryan Poles and company.
Carter was a basketball star at White Castle High School in Louisiana, winning the state's Class 1A Outstanding Player of the Year award as a senior. Interestingly, he didn’t begin his football career until his junior year of high school. Once he made the jump from hoops to football, he spent time as a tight end. Carter's size and blocking ability in the run game led to in-state Southern University taking interest in him.
During his freshman season at Southern, Carter jumped onto the scene by starting five of the nine games he played in. He was a full-time starter for the remainder of his college career. In 2021, Carter garnered All Southwestern Athletic Conference honors. However, playing in the SWAC did not allow him to see top-tier competition.
Senior Bowl, Combine, and Pro Day
Carter really clawed his way into the draft during the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. In the Senior Bowl, he impressed scouts by holding his own against the toughest competition he had seen all year.
What stands out about Carter is his big and broad frame. At the combine, he turned heads with his athletic ability. "They were like, 'man, you 300-and-something pounds, you aren't supposed to jump on 30-foot vertical. Man that's crazy. You just crazy,' and I'd be like, 'you know, like, I just put in the work,'" Carter told WBRZ.
Carter’s Abilities and Bears Potential
Ja’Tyre Carter's 6-foot-3, 312 lbs build makes him a difficult obstacle for defenders to get by. Mind you, he recorded a 5.02-second 40-yard dash and a 34.5 vertical jump. His physical ability makes him a mauler on the line, primarily in the run game.
Carter's hands and lack of explosiveness off the snap have scouts chalking him up as a project to become a complete player. But Chicago Bears fans should feel he is in good hands with GM Ryan Poles being a former offensive lineman himself.
Considering the picks the Bears have gained through trades in the 2022 NFL Draft, this selection is a great gamble that has the potential to create a monster. At the bare minimum, Carter will be a solid depth piece for the Bears' offensive line.