NFL draft grades: Team that did well, Tier 1

Chris Simms breaks down his NFL draft tiers and explains that the Philadelphia Eagles are the "king" because they selected one of the best prospects in Jalen Carter and further bolstered their defense with Nolan Smith.

Video Transcript

AHMED FAREED: I'm going to start with the Eagles, who had four Simms guys. They had your number-one guy in the draft, Jalen Carter, edge, gone. Your number-- or defensive tackle, gone.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, number-one player, period.

AHMED FAREED: Number-one player, gone. Edge number three was Nolan Smith. They took him. Sydney Brown, your number-two safety out of Illinois, they took him. And Kelee Ringo got good value on him, your number-five corner. I see a lot of places out there, like, ooh, that's a sneaky good pick for the Eagles. He was your number-five corner. And, so, let's get into it, tier one. And I will give it away.


AHMED FAREED: You only have one team in tier one of good drafts in the 2023 season.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, it's like, there's a lot of teams that had good drafts. But we got to make one the king of the draft. And, like, the Eagles won the draft, in my opinion. So I'm going to put them in their own tier. I am. I know it's not a for sure thing. And we got to see how it all works here and all of that.

But, you know, like you said, number-one player in the draft. Nolan Smith, definitely a top-15 player in the draft for me on the big board, whatever. Really, out of the pass rushers, maybe the most second naturally gifted pass rusher behind Tyree Wilson, right? So, I mean, to get him at pick 30, that's insane.

There was only one guy in the draft that had Von Miller-esque type pass-rush moves off the edge. That was him. Then Tyler Steen, the guard-tackle combo from Alabama, I think, ultimately, he's going to be a guard in the NFL. But if there was, like, one spot on their team you looked at to go, ooh, maybe they could just use somebody there in case an injury, or help depth, or whatever else, right, so they got that.

Then they get my favorite strong safety nickel-type in Sydney Brown. And that's when I decided to tweet out to the public, like, the Eagles, stop. This is illegal. This is illegal team building.

AHMED FAREED: And people were like, he's just trying to make up for all the hate that he's thrown on the Eagles throughout his life.

CHRIS SIMMS: I know. It's so funny with the Eagles fans. I get so many Eagles fans, they're like, yeah, you love us, man. You give us respect. And then it's, they get the exact opposite, just because of the Jalen Hurts thing. I want to go, wait, do you ever hear anything else I say about the team? I only talk negatively about Jalen Hurts. And it's, really, I'm just trying to give a little food for thought.

But then, like you said too, to get Kelee Ringo, I mean, one of the bigger corners in the draft, who ran 4.39, to get him at the start of the fourth round, I mean, just, holy [BLEEP] shit, Philadelphia. That's all I could say.

AHMED FAREED: I think it was pretty certain that they had the best roster last year--


AHMED FAREED: --in football. And they have just added, perhaps, the best draft class to that best roster.

CHRIS SIMMS: I just saw something on TV that said the 49ers are the favorite in the NFC.

AHMED FAREED: All right, we'll get to that one. We'll get to that.

CHRIS SIMMS: And I was like, what?

AHMED FAREED: Pin that thought.

CHRIS SIMMS: OK, I'll pin it.

AHMED FAREED: Pin that thought because we got to--

CHRIS SIMMS: Zip it up.

AHMED FAREED: --we got to give Elliot Wilkinson his due. He said it was the Eagles' best draft.


AHMED FAREED: He goes, it's the obvious answer. And I understand that there are some off-the-field stuff with a few of them. But to add those kind of players to already the best roster I've seen since I've been watching-- and he's been watching since 2014-- is a joke. Just put the Eagles in the Super Bowl because it's over.

He mentioned the character issue. Obviously, Jalen Carter, we all know what happened off the field with him. But you made a point in talking to Dan Patrick today. I heard that. And you may have made it with Mike Florio earlier, that Jalen Carter, perhaps, went to the perfect spot for that.

CHRIS SIMMS: You know, like, we talked about how, like, the Seahawks at six or five, right, we were like, that would be a good spot for him. They know how to deal with personalities--

AHMED FAREED: Handle personalities, yes.

CHRIS SIMMS: --and those kind of guys, right? You know, I'm disappointed that I didn't say this team. Because this team really is set up the best. One, yeah, your buddies are there, right? You got Jordan Davis, who you went to school with. And he's already been in Philly. He could show you the ropes.

The quarterback of the Bulldogs' defense, Nakobe Dean, is going to be the new starting middle linebacker there, you know, in his second year. So, OK, wait, here's another great leader of the Georgia defense here to help Jalen Carter, steer him in the right direction. Let alone, he's got two guys in the same class with him that are coming in Kelee Ringo and Nolan Smith. So he's got that.

And then you got a guy like Fletcher Cox on the inside who's an ex-SEC badass mother [BLEEP] D-tackle, right, who can show you the ropes. He's been to the Hall of Fame. Show you how to work, how to prepare, do all that. So from that standpoint, it is the perfect, perfect setup for a guy like Jalen Carter. And he's not going to have the pressure of, like, hey, you have to come in here and take over right away. They're literally going to be like, you're third on the depth chart. He's going to be like, what? I've never been third on any depth chart. They're like, well, you're third here.

AHMED FAREED: Yeah, just relax.

CHRIS SIMMS: You got to earn your way.

AHMED FAREED: Settle in. Let me play devil's advocate for a second.


AHMED FAREED: Because I think there is some chatter out there that other GMs are not real happy with all the praise that the Eagles are getting here. And so let me be devil's advocate--

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, please do. I like it.

AHMED FAREED: --and speak for them. Because it wasn't like they didn't know about Jalen Carter and see the tape. It wasn't like they didn't know about Nolan Smith and see the tape and the good things. There were reasons they passed on them.

CHRIS SIMMS: They couldn't risk it.

AHMED FAREED: Is that what it was, you think?

CHRIS SIMMS: I think they couldn't risk it. The Eagles can risk it.

AHMED FAREED: Of they just didn't think they were as good as we think they are.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, I think they do. You know me, Ahmed. I talked to a lot of people. Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith are in everybody's top 15. I didn't know anybody that didn't have Jalen Carter as the top player in the draft. I didn't know anybody, not one guy.

AHMED FAREED: They just couldn't risk it? Teams couldn't risk that potential problem.

CHRIS SIMMS: I think it just became a little bit, right, the potential problem in a draft, like we talked about last Monday, where there's not a lot of high-end players. And some teams, I think, just went, we're going to go for-sure high-floor guaranteed type of thing, right? And that's between, yeah, the injuries, and Jalen Carter off the field.

So, yeah, but, one, still, to pull it off, yeah, they were able to pull it off because he's already put the team in a spot that it allows them to go, whoa, wait, we don't have to take like a for-sure type of thing. We can kind of take a big cut here and try to hit a home run to right center and go 500 yards-- 500 feet over the fence, right? I think that's kind of how they looked at it.

So you're right. I mean, again, we all got to see how it plays out. But these are more than just, like-- these aren't, like, devastating injuries. And really, really, Jalen Carter is the only guy we're talking about here. I think Nolan Smith was a little bit of--


CHRIS SIMMS: --size, injury, right, and then got caught in the shuffle of, like, it just wasn't the right year for the teams for him in the middle 15, 18, like, there were teams that would look at him and go, oh, he's our cup of tea. So I think there's a little bit of all of that. So I'm going to continue to praise Howie Roseman.


CHRIS SIMMS: But I understand the people pushing back a little bit.

AHMED FAREED: Swinging for the fences, but that also means you could strike out.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, yeah. That's right.

AHMED FAREED: And so maybe this will be a strikeout on a couple of players. Pete notes-- Giants fan Pete-- I'm old enough to remember the last time the Eagles had a dream team. And so that is the Giants.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, but that dream team didn't just come off a Super Bowl, and then, like, was already on a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. That's right, yeah, Vince Young ain't going to be here to save you. Like I said on Twitter, I think, on Friday, I wrote, this is-- they have the '90s Eagles defense right now, which my dad would tell you, is the best defense he ever played against in his life, you know, that late '80s, early '90s Eagles. And they have the '92 Cowboys offense. Like, it's kind of a good-- kind of a good team. Just the '90s defense and the '92 Cowboys, that's just those two teams right there.

AHMED FAREED: Well, if that's the case, then they will be, hands down, the favorite to get to the Super Bowl once again. BetMGM is here for that. And the Eagles are the favorite right now.

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, they are the favorites?

AHMED FAREED: But the 49ers are not far behind.

CHRIS SIMMS: I saw a flipped one of this on another sportsbook on the TV.

AHMED FAREED: Well, check back tomorrow because who knows? Eagles are plus-300. 49ers are plus-350. So they are very close. Cowboys, the third choice, at plus-650. And then my Detroit Lions-- oh, no-- at plus-850.

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, you're not under the radar anymore there, Ahmed.

AHMED FAREED: I don't like that. I don't like that.

CHRIS SIMMS: You guys are all out there.

AHMED FAREED: I don't like that at all.

CHRIS SIMMS: The Lions, yeah, your own dream team out there. Well, one-- I think, one, the 49ers are awesome. We know that. I guess I would probably have the Eagles as even a little bit more of a favorite than the 49ers at this point, but not by much, you know?

AHMED FAREED: And it just goes to show you, the 49ers' quarterback situation is so up in the air right now.


AHMED FAREED: And I guess Vegas doesn't care.

CHRIS SIMMS: They don't even care. Well, yeah, because the 49ers have showed us, like, quarterback doesn't matter. They have pretty much shown they can win and do it a lot of different ways. But I think the biggest thing about this graphic here of what we got from BetMGM and the NFC odds is just that, clearly, there's two teams, and then there's a fall off.

I mean, their odds are twice as good as the Cowboys, who's the third team on the list. And then even the Cowboys are significantly up on the Lions. That's where it's a crazy thing right now. You just-- I said this today on Florio. The AFC is as good as we've ever seen it. It's as good as the 1970s. And, you know, and then you go in the NFC, and you go, OK, Eagles, Niners, and, you know, OK, Cowboys. We know that. But who else is going to be there?

We think your Lions are going to be there. But I'd like to see it. I think the Seahawks are going to be there. But I'd like to see a little bit more. So there's-- there's clearly a gap in the NFC.

AHMED FAREED: Maybe some teams will surprise us in tier two. But, first, we want to say, the action never stops it BetMGM. Sign up now, using the bonus code SIMMS. Your first wager, risk-free up to $1,000.

CHRIS SIMMS: So say you bet $100 on Ahmed's Lions to win the NFC, if you win, you get $850. But if you lose, you still get $100 worth of free bets.

AHMED FAREED: Simply download the BetMGM app today, or go to and enter the bonus code SIMMS to make your first wager, risk-free, up to $1,000. I think Lions fans understand, you don't want to get your hopes up, right? You'd just rather go in with low expectations.

CHRIS SIMMS: You've been burned for a lot of years. But I think that this is the year. Here we go.


CHRIS SIMMS: I think that this is the year where--

AHMED FAREED: I think it is too.

CHRIS SIMMS: --you guys are legitimately real.


CHRIS SIMMS: And you have real culture and things going on in a positive direction.

AHMED FAREED: That's too much. No, that's too much. Now, I'm getting uncomfortable.