Jalen Carter is the NFL's next Warren Sapp. I told y'all this when he was coming out of my alma mater of Georgia this past offseason, but so many dumb front office guys and NFL Draft experts once again refused to listen to me. Carter fell to No. 9 last spring, a spot where the Philadelphia Eagles traded up from No. 10 steal the Chicago Bears' lunch money right before stuffing Ryan Poles into a gym locker.
In what looks to be a very talented draft class, Jalen possessed the most coming out of Georgia. He was the best player on last year's national championship team. Yes, he did have several off-the-field concerns, but all things equal, he should have gone No. 1 to the Bears, who should have stayed put and picked the best player, not trade down twice to take a f*****g right tackle out of Tennessee at 10.
Were there other teams picking ahead of the Eagles at No. 9 who could have used Carter in their front-seven? Oh, absolutely. But optics and other more pressing needs resulted in guys like Anthony Richardson, Tyree Wilson and Bijan Robinson going ahead of him. All three of these guys were blue-chippers coming out of their respective Power Five schools, but Carter was the only game-changer.
So for people to say that the NFL is rigged and allowed for the juggernaut Eagles to land Carter on their quest to become the Philadelphia Eagles, you are all idiots. Do not be a dummy. Learn the facts.
The NFL did not rig it so Jalen Carter would go to the Philadelphia Eagles
Whether it was his reckless driving issues in Athens, his involvement in the tragic car crash the night after the national championship parade that took the lives of Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy, or his perceived questionable motor in the trenches, all of these issues and then some combined to allow the most talented player in the entire 2023 NFL Draft to fall to the Eagles just inside the top 10.
If you want to look at the teams who passed on Carter, let's start with the Bears. Y'all are so dumb. Moving back with the Indianapolis Colts picking at No. 4 would have made things far less clunky and far less embarrassing for the Bears. Indianapolis could have taken Bryce Young out of Alabama first, potentially allowing Carter to fall to Chicago at No. 4 with additional compensation coming their way.
Instead, the Bears moved back to initially No. 9 in a blockbuster deal with the Carolina Panthers before eventually making a draft-day trade with the Eagles to go back an additional spot at No. 10. As simple as I can say it, the Bears are horrifically run, as you definitely do a better job of managing that one fantasy football team you have that you forgot about. Do not mistake malice for incompetence...
As for the Houston Texans, they came out of the first round exceptionally well, without even having to take Carter. They took the second-best quarterback in the draft in C.J. Stroud out of Ohio State. He might be a dude. To make things even more interesting, they traded up from No. 12 to take the other superstar defensive prospect in this draft in Will Anderson Jr. at No. 3 out of Alabama. Good job, y'all!
So blaming the Texans here is not going to fly. Nick Caserio and DeMeco Ryans crushed their first draft working together in Houston. Since Indianapolis still needed a quarterback, going with the boom-or-bust candidate like Richardson made good enough sense. It is still very early, but that selection might work out wonderfully for Chris Ballard, Shane Steichen and the rest of the franchise.
The Seattle Seahawks picking at No. 5 felt the like first team who could have realistically taken Carter in the draft once the board had been reshuffled a bit. Pete Carroll loves him some defensive backs, so it was no surprise that Seattle went with former Illinois standout Devon Witherspoon at No. 5. Keep in mind this was originally the Denver Broncos' pick, who really dealt for Russell Wilson's rotting corpse.
The Arizona Cardinals traded back up from No. 12 after the Texans deal in a move with the Detroit Lions at No. 6. Arizona got a book-end tackle in Paris Johnson Jr. out of Ohio State, who was the best tackle prospect in this draft. Detroit felt comfortable moving down from No. 6 to 12 because this pick did not originally belong to them. It was the Los Angeles Rams prior to the Matthew Stafford trade.
And then we get to the next two teams who could have picked him: The Las Vegas Raiders picking at No. 7 and the Atlanta Falcons picking at No. 8. Both franchises could have definitely used Carter's services, but his perceived baggage was not something either middling team could afford to take on. Las Vegas is trying to shed the Jon Gruden disaster, while Atlanta is far too close to Athens, Georgia.
So the Silver and Black went with the pass-rushing superstar Wilson out of Texas Tech and the Dirty Birds opted to take Texas' former star running back Robinson, a guy who has been electrifying and could conceivably win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Now that I have gone through all of the picks made before Carter at No. 9, I think you should be able to understand why he did fall to Philadelphia.
Overall, these sort of draft slides happen every year. Maybe not to this degree or with a player of this caliber, but it was not all that long ago when former Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil fell into the teens to the Miami Dolphins for gas mask reasons. Dumb teams are usually picking at the top of the draft, and what do dumb teams do? They panic! Teams like the Tennessee Titans panicked regarding Tunsil.
Ultimately, Carter landed in the perfect place for him. He gets to play alongside so many college teammates of his in Philadelphia, whether that be second-year players Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, or fellow rookies like Kelee Ringo and Nolan Smith. Add in fellow Dawg D'Andre Swift getting traded over from Detroit during the draft and Florida Gator Howie Roseman has so many Dawgs now.
Yes, a lot went into Carter falling to the Eagles at No. 9, but no, the NFL did not rig it for this to happen.