Eagles are ‘stacked’ after drafting Carter, Smith

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine how Jalen Carter slipped to No. 9 in the 2023 NFL Draft and map out how the Eagles' defense will be next level.

Video Transcript

- What was going through your mind as the seventh pick was coming along? And what was going through your mind as you crossed that stage?

JALEN CARTER: It was a lot. My mind was changing every second. But you know I was just thinking about how my family felt. I had been grinding all my life for this moment right here. And just to see the smile on their face and the tears coming out their eyes, it made me tear up. My general expectations were whoever drafts me is going to get the best player in the draft. I just had high hopes for Philly because I had a good visit with them. I felt like that was a good team go to the play for.

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MIKE FLORIO: Jalen Carter knew. He knew the Eagles were going to take him at 10. And we all knew so clearly the Eagles had to trade up the number nine just to make sure they didn't get jumped. I mean, there is a certain point where the stuff you're saying to Drew Rosenhaus about, yes, we're going to take him at 10 if he's here, it puts you in a spot where you have to worry about who is going to cut the line in front of you. So they actually had to give draft assets to the Bears to move up a spot because somebody from Chicago made Howie Roseman think if you don't do it, somebody else will.


MIKE FLORIO: You better secure your spot for Jalen Carter because we got somebody else below you that wants to come up to number nine and take this guy. And that's what the Eagles had to do to ultimately cement it. But it shows you how much they liked him that they were willing to move up that spot to get him.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, definitely. Who that team was, I don't know. I'd be really interested to know. The Steelers were a team that we know was very interested in making that type of move. I wonder if they had made some calls. Whatever. But Holy crapola is what I can say. I mean unfreaking believable that the Eagles got Jalen Carter. He's the number one player on everybody's board. He's phenomenal like you talked about. He's definitely the best interior d-lineman I've evaluated since I've been on this part of business. Mike, I mean, damn. Getting him along with Jordan Davis, fellow big like award winner on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. I mean, you got him.


Jordan Davis, Fletcher Cox, Jalen Carter, Haason Reddick, Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Josh Sweat. I mean, it's just unbelievable what they got. Their backup defensive line starts for a few teams in football. They're just set up. In this draft they got-- they just got maybe Warren Sapp. And then the guy they picked at 30, they might have got Von Miller. And that's what's crazy. I mean, you're talking about the best roster in football. And now they just made their defense, the '90s Eagles. And they already got the '92 Cowboys offense. And you just go, Holy shit Batman, the Eagles are stacked.

MIKE FLORIO: Well, it just occurred to me with all these big butts--


MIKE FLORIO: Does that make him sir picks a lot?


CHRIS SIMMS: Sir picks a lot of you something. I don't know what it makes. But I mean, it's unbelievable what they got right now working in Philadelphia. Good job by Howie Roseman.

MIKE FLORIO: But something about Jalen Carter. And Ian Rapoport hinted at this last night. And this was something that I was not going to breathe a word of until after Jalen Carter was picked. I've heard reliably-- and again Rappaport tiptoed around it last night. I've heard that the Georgia coaches kill Jalen Carter when asked about him. Don't like him. And that is the reddest of red flags. Now the Eagles and others surely believed they're going to find a way to get more out of him. And they surely hope that having Nolan Smith there too, his college teammate, is going to help get the most out of him.

But the Georgia coaches, not happy with Jalen Carter. And not afraid to say so. And that is not a typical dynamic because usually you're effusive in your praise of the guys who played for you. But your own credibility is important. Before you were on the show years ago, and in the run up to the draft, we had a bunch of different college coaches on. And that was a question that I asked several of them because your own credibility is on the line.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, right.


MIKE FLORIO: If you start being overly flowery with guys who go to a team and end up stinking, and end up being bad guys, or whatever the case may be. And we don't know what Jalen Carter's going to do. But what Rapoport suggested is something I've heard. The Georgia coaches were not saying nice things about Jalen Carter in the run up to the draft. And that was also contributing to this idea that he slipped. And he did slip. If he's the best player in the draft, and he falls at number nine, that's a hell of a slide.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah. It is. It's a huge slide. It really is. And I think the Eagles are one of those few teams that we kind of pointed out in the top 10 that makes sense for Jalen Carter. And I think maybe the best right here as far as the support system. Wait, you got to buddy in Jordan Davis. Wait, you got an older role model at your position who's just the ultimate pro in Fletcher Cox. You got Brandon Graham on the outside, who's also the ultimate pro. Right. He's going to look at those guys and go, whoa, they're freaks. I better get on my game here. I'm not going to be playing. I'm going to be on the bench.

So I think there's a lot of things that are good for Jalen Carter in the Philadelphia Eagles situation there. That's where it's good. And you know, he's not the first player to have that kind of talk about him. There was a lot of rumors of Lamar Jackson and coaches in Louisville talking about him when he was coming out in the draft. And hey, sometimes guys like Jalen Carter-- I've been around a few in my career. And my dad has. And everybody has played football. They're so good that yeah, they're not worried about, hey, when we're running sprints after practice, I don't go 100%.

That's sometimes what coaches are holding. He doesn't show up for meetings five minutes early. He doesn't run the wind sprints great after practice. He doesn't hustle just absolutely pedal to the metal on pie 50 of ones versus ones in training camp. And that could be true. That's right. But he's also like hey, damn, I'm that good. And I know when I need to turn it on. And I'm not going to worry about you yelling at me, and wind sprints, and whatever. That goes on a little bit with high end ballers like Jalen Carter.