NFL draft grades: Teams that did well, Tier 3

Chris Simms and Ahmed Fareed take a deep dive into the Bills, Bears, Bengals, Colts, Raiders, Giants, Buccaneers and Cardinals to evaluate each team's draft selections.

Video Transcript

AHMED FAREED: So, let's go to tier three.


AHMED FAREED: Because other teams improved. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in tier three. So we have encompassed all three to NFL-- no that's not true. Let's start with the Bills. Because you like what the Bills did. And we'll start with LaSkeazy that says, "Eagles is the chalk answer for best draft."


AHMED FAREED: "But as a member of Bills Mafia, we've got the best tight end of the draft and got a wildly projected first rounder, O'Cyrus Torrence, in late second round. That is a win." So Dalton Kincaid is the tight end he's talking about out of Utah. Everyone seemed to like him. You loved him.


AHMED FAREED: A little bit of a back issue--


AHMED FAREED: --Which is why he may have fallen.

CHRIS SIMMS: Exactly right.

AHMED FAREED: But the Bills' got a weapon, something you said they needed to do. And they got a guard. And Torrance out of Florida to help protect Josh Allen.

CHRIS SIMMS: Definitely. I think they're both instant contributors. That's the biggest thing. And they saw that run of receivers and they went, oh, shit, weapons are coming off the board. This is the last weapon to have in the first round. And they went and got the tight end.

AHMED FAREED: Is he more than a tight end in a pass catching sense, like slot situations?

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, he's, like, elite, top tier route runner. Again, he's Travis Kelce running routes. That's where he's special. I know teams-- there's teams that are top 10 pick that had him up. Before the medicals it was-- he's a top 10 player, right. He's definitely a top 15 player for me. There's no doubt about that. So yeah, that's where he is really special that way. So good job by them. A good job by them knowing that the Dallas Cowboys were probably going to take the tight end. And by all due accounts, listening to the Cowboys and some of their press conference, they were taking Dalton Kincaid and they got passed up.

AHMED FAREED: I mean, that look into the draft room.

CHRIS SIMMS: They didn't know what to do.

AHMED FAREED: They were scrambling.

CHRIS SIMMS: They were. I mean, we were sitting there going they're literally having a conversation about who we should draft the 26 live on TV right here. They were like, there must have been two or three guys, and they were having a conversation about it right there.

AHMED FAREED: Which, at that point, shouldn't you-- when you're one pick away, shouldn't you have two guys? Just in case.


AHMED FAREED: Just in case. You're like, we got two guys.

CHRIS SIMMS: --I think what happens sometimes as you start to go-- they probably did have two guys. And they probably at times-- again, this is where this draft was crazy, is they probably went, wait we got five guys here, we'll be fine.


CHRIS SIMMS: And then all of a sudden a run happens or something happens. And all of a sudden they go, holy shit, the draft changed. Or somebody traded and all of a sudden it's like, whoa, our guys that we just were like, we're OK if he's gone and he's gone, we're down to nobody. We've got to come up with the next group here. And that's what can happen with the draft sometimes.

And again, especially in a draft without big time, high end talent, to where you can't just sit there and go oh, OK, we missed him. There's six or seven other guys here that we have needs and that'll fit and whatever else. So yeah, that threw them a curve-ball. .


CHRIS SIMMS: O'Cyrus Torrence, I loved him at guard. And there was, what is it-- the Rams, I think, took the kid from TCU at the top of the second and guard. I thought that-- I was kind of surprised by that, because I would have taken O'Cyrus Torrence. But then the other aspect of this, too, that I like, is the third pick in Dorian Williams. Dorian Williams is ready to play middle linebacker right now.

And they, of course, need somebody because of Terrell Edmunds leaving town. So that was another guy I looked at. And that's why I put them in this tier, here. Just to go, wait, they've got three guys that can play right away and help their football team instantaneously.

AHMED FAREED: Spoiler alert. You do not have the Cowboys as one of your good drafts. Although--

CHRIS SIMMS: It wasn't bad, they just didn't kill it.

AHMED FAREED: --To continue that conversation on maybe getting scooped, they did take Mazi.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yes, they did.

AHMED FAREED: --Mazi Smith, out of Michigan, the defensive tackle. And apparently, I read somewhere that was the guy that Micah Parsons texted Dan Quinn. I don't know if that's fake news, but that's a rumor out there that Micah Parsons was big on getting a guy like that, which would make sense.

CHRIS SIMMS: They do. They needed somebody at that position. They're in a division with the Eagles and the Giants and Washington, who all like to run the football. So you're never wrong going with the biggest [BLEEP] in the draft to lock down the middle of your defense. And that was fine there. It was a good pick.

AHMED FAREED: Yeah, Micah's like, can you occupy some of these guys around here?

CHRIS SIMMS: And then they got their tight end in the second round, Luke Schoonmaker from Michigan too. So they got two Michigan guys right off the bat followed by a Texas guy. It was our kind of draft for the Cowboys.

AHMED FAREED: We've got another team we got to add to the conversation of good drafts, tier 3, and that is the Chicago Bears. McGrady Dick says Bears have--

CHRIS SIMMS: McGrady Dick? Wow, that's a good name there.

AHMED FAREED: I was just going to keep going.

CHRIS SIMMS: Well, you know I wasn't.

AHMED FAREED: --be Richard. Bears had one of the best drafts and no one is talking about it. So you guys should be the first. They had the most one score games last year and they added an insane amount of pieces to every single aspect of their team. Ryan Poles has changed the franchise. So the first pick they took Darnell Wright, the tackle out of Tennessee who was your number one tackle.


AHMED FAREED: Their second pick they took Gervon Dexter, a defensive tackle out of Florida.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right. So, like, wasn't my favorite guy, but athletic, big D tackle. Who's like, again, this is where he's not my favorite, but he fits what they want to do, which is just shoot the gap, right? This is the little, the 4, 3 scheme Seattle rooted in the Seattle scheme.


CHRIS SIMMS: They just want gap shooters. Go through the gap. And that's what he's made for. And then you get into the third round with Tyrique Stephenson, the corner there.

AHMED FAREED: Corner out of Miami.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right. Long, physical, right? One of the issues was top end speed. Oh, OK, great. He's not great at man to man? Oh, you're the Bears. They like to play a lot of the press bail and the zone coverages. So he fits there. Zacch Pickens, a big five technique defensive tackle.

AHMED FAREED: You liked him.

CHRIS SIMMS: I did like him, right? He was one of my honorable mention interior guys, right?

AHMED FAREED: And you also liked the running back they got next.

CHRIS SIMMS: Then they got Roschon Johnson. Who, yes, I mean, he could be their starting running back. You know, he's 220. He can make people miss. He can run you over. I mean, he's really damn good. You know, so I like that. And then add to it. Get a little Tyler Scott out of Cincinnati. That'll round out their wide receiver room. Noah Sewell, take a shot at a guy that's got some instincts playing middle linebacker from Oregon.

And I like Tyrell Smith from Minnesota. I thought-- he is another guy. A corner, a lot like the guy we just talked to out of Miami, who I honestly think this kid had a little bit better man to man skills than the kid from Miami. But again, the same mold. Bigger, can run, will get back, ball skills, all that. So it made sense for how they want to play. That's where I like Chicago's draft.

AHMED FAREED: The NFC North has been a little bit of a laughing stock here lately with the Packers running away with the division. The Vikings kind of did it last year. I think it could be one of the toughest divisions in football this year.

CHRIS SIMMS: It's trending in that way.

AHMED FAREED: I mean Minnesota won 13 games last year--

CHRIS SIMMS: That's right. That's right.

AHMED FAREED: --The Lions are favored to win the division this year.

CHRIS SIMMS: The Packers are good.

AHMED FAREED: I don't think they're going to fall off a cliff.

CHRIS SIMMS: No, and the Lions--

AHMED FAREED: The Bears would be better.

CHRIS SIMMS: --I hear you. We have some good divisions out there right now.


CHRIS SIMMS: So I'm not ready to say they'll be-- but I'm with you in the fact that people think this is just like some bull crap division. I start to go no, it's changing here right in front of our eyes. And you know, like you said, the Vikings are really good. And there's a part of me that could sit here and argue and go, the Packers and the Lions actually have better rosters than they do. So that's where it's intriguing.

AHMED FAREED: Yeah. To your point, there are a lot of good divisions out there. The AFC North is another good division. The Bengals won it last year with 12 wins. You think they had a tier three good draft.

CHRIS SIMMS: That's a compliment.

AHMED FAREED: That's a compliment. Not everyone gets that. Nathan Baverman says Bengals. You've got young, fast on defense. It allows them to put money towards retaining offense. I think majority of the guys they got could have gone a little higher. My favorite pick was Jordan Battle. So Jordan Battle, a safety out of Alabama was the third round pick. Second round pick, they took your guy DJ Turner, who was your number two corner out of Michigan--

CHRIS SIMMS: Yes, sir. That's right.

AHMED FAREED: --And with their first pick they took Myles Murphy out of Clemson, who you weren't super high on, but still a piece they needed.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, a piece they needed they need. They need more defensive linemen. You know, a little bit of defensive linemen for the future there. Myles Murphy, again, yes, he wasn't one of my top edge guys. But I clearly saw that he was an end to the first round. First round type of choice there.

But, yeah, and also a guy-- D end, has enough strength on third downs or passing situations. He plays the tackle too. So that's where I love that. Like, you're getting a guy that's going to play and be a good player right away. He's got a high floor. I never loved the ceiling, I think, with Myles Murphy. That was probably part of my reason of not having him as a top five guy.

DJ Turner, come on. Come on. I mean, they're secondary. Him, Dax Hill, Cam Taylor Britt. Cam Taylor Britt was one of the fastest corners in last year's draft. Now you got the fastest corner in this draft to go along with Chidobe Awuzie, who's coming back. You've still got Eli Apple there, Mike Hilton there, right? The safeties. And Jordan Battle's are good all around free safety type, and do that. So that's where I love that.

And then Charlie Jones. Good receiver to go along with it. Not special but a good guy, that 4th, 5th type of receiver. But they've got Chase Brown too. They needed a running back. Chase Brown can play and help them out right now. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the number two guy behind Joe Mixon come week two or three in the NFL.

AHMED FAREED: And that was a very key part of the team last year, the number two guy behind Joe Mixon. It was Samaje Perine last year. Yeah, Chase Brown out of Illinois. Charlie Jones out of Purdue, that wide receiver. Had a big year for Purdue.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yes, he did.

AHMED FAREED: Aiden O'Connell was up quite a bit.

CHRIS SIMMS: Throwing the ball all over the place with Jeff Brohm as the head coach.

AHMED FAREED: How is he going to be with the Indianapolis Colts and Anthony Richardson? Who's his favorite target going to be? Oh, we just start speculatating--

CHRIS SIMMS: Speculatating? You're hanging out with me too much, man.

AHMED FAREED: DJ Mo stash says Colts, exclamation point, as the best team in the draft or had a great draft. What have they lacked? Freaks with crazy upside at key positions. Addressed that everyone, and hopefully I have the coaching staff to maximize their talents. I think I may have butchered his thing there too. I'm going down a spiral of--

CHRIS SIMMS: You're on fire. You're on fire here.

AHMED FAREED: --I'm falling off a cliff here. So I'll have to stop talking.

CHRIS SIMMS: You've got a long weekend.

AHMED FAREED: It's been a long weekend. I was in Miami just literally 12 hours ago.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yes, I know. You were stuck in the airport it sounds like.

AHMED FAREED: It's like the airline--

CHRIS SIMMS: You're cursed!

AHMED FAREED: --It's not getting any better--

CHRIS SIMMS: You're cursed.

AHMED FAREED: --What's happening? Although it was raining here in New York.

CHRIS SIMMS: It was pouring for 24-- like 48 hours straight it rained here.

AHMED FAREED: I'll give--

CHRIS SIMMS: There's a new lake in my backyard. It wasn't there but it's there now.

AHMED FAREED: --I'll give the airlines a pass on this one. All right, Anthony Richardson, Colts, go.

CHRIS SIMMS: I mean, one, the Colts-- like what are they going to do at quarterback, right? What was their vision. So now we know. And we know they're going to go the Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles type of offense here. I love that. Sure. And to me, what I also love, is Anthony Richardson with this team. That head coach and Shane Steichen, yeah, they're going to be able to do things the right way around him. And, as we said on the live podcast Thursday night, he has to play this second, right now.

And this is one team he can go in and they go, here you go. Here's OTAs. You're the starter. Just go. Quarterback power, right? Quarterback power. Hey, max it up. Throw a 70 yard bomb down the middle. Here's a screen, hand it to Jonathan Taylor. Quarterback power right, throw an 80 yard bomb, here's a screen. That's all they got to do. So that's where I like it. And it's the perfect spot for him to grow. It's like we talked about with Trey Lance in other years. This is-- the biggest issue with him is lack of reps. So to fix that is not by sitting him on the bench to get more lack of reps. We've got to get him playing.

AHMED FAREED: The cool thing about that is it makes the Indianapolis Colts, one of the more boring teams to watch from last year--

CHRIS SIMMS: Like kind of must see now, right?


CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, you're like, oh, I've got to see this big freak. Micah Parsons playing quarterback with a shotgun for a right arm. Holy crap, we've got to see this.

AHMED FAREED: All right, so what about what else they did?

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, Julius Brents. Again, not one of my favorite corners here. But this is where I always keep open mind. Again, this is Gus Bradley. He invented Seattle 3. The Julius Brents, that's who he is. My pro comparison was Richard Sherman. He is a really long, tall, big strider type of corner. That's what they like there. That's what he likes as far as Gus Bradley.

Josh Downs, they need a slot receiver, now they got that. Downs is your jitterbug type to work the middle of the football field. Also that weapon type to go accompany the Anthony Richardson offense. Speed sweeps, reverses, all that, right? So that works. Blake Frelund was one of my under-the-radar favorite tackles in the draft. He's a guy, to me, reminded me a lot of like, Brayden Smith. A tall, longer type of tackle-- or offensive tackle where you go, oh, can he really anchor down against power rushers? Yes, he can. And then they got one of the freaks of the combine?

AHMED FAREED: What's his name?

CHRIS SIMMS: Adetomiwa Adebawore.

AHMED FAREED: Adetomiwa Adebawore.

CHRIS SIMMS: All right, it was a good try by me.

AHMED FAREED: I just copied Pete. Yeah, Pete's got it down.

CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, he does.

AHMED FAREED: We'll just call Pete out of the back room whenever we have to talk about him.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, that guy.

AHMED FAREED: The defensive tackle, edge guy out of Northwestern.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right, exactly, and he fits them. Again, this is a team that we talked about. It's one gap. It's fight off the edge or hey, we've got you, d tackle this play, just shoot through there. Cause chaos. So he's perfect for that. Let alone, again, they had a lot of picks in the draft and can add to some depth on their football team. But those first five picks, yeah, I'm a big fan of what Chris Ballard and the Colt did.

AHMED FAREED: Hal Bundy wants to give some love to the Raiders.


AHMED FAREED: Hal Bundy. Elite names. Elite names today from the homies. Raiders only because they were so conservative that they won't have-- they won't have their usual bust. So I guess he thinks they got value--

CHRIS SIMMS: He's hating on them by loving them at the same time.

AHMED FAREED: --Yeah. It was low ceiling, high floor guys, I guess, according to Hal Bundy. But they got a guy in Tyree Wilson with their first pick, who fell more than I thought he was going to fall out of Texas Tech who you love.

CHRIS SIMMS: This is-- they wanted this. Trust me. This is the best-- this is the top pass rusher on their board, definitely. So it's amazing. If you read Peter King's, Football Morning in America, their whole thing leading up to the draft was we want three quarterbacks to go off the board in the top 5. Because then they knew one of the defensive players they wanted were going to be-- one of them was going to be on the board for them. So there they go.

AHMED FAREED: Weatherspoon, Carter, or Wilson?

CHRIS SIMMS: Or Wilson. And yeah, I think that's it. Yes, I think. They didn't say the top four, but I'm assuming that's what it is.


CHRIS SIMMS: So to get Tyree Wilson there, that's awesome. And again, I think he's high floor, high ceiling. I mean, this ain't Clelin Ferrell, OK? Hal Bundy, this guy can lead the NFL in sacks. You could have the best pass rushing duo in football with him and Maxx Crosby. Let alone it doesn't have to happen right now. He can learn from Chandler Jones. That's where it's great. Michael Mayer in the second round?

I mean, again, this is where I like the draft. Like, Tyree Wilson comes in, he's going to be a difference maker for the football team. Michael Mayer is going to start at tight end right away from them. And then we know they know how to use a tight end there. Josh McDaniels coming from New England. And to make that move to get them like we talked about a few minutes ago. Those tight ends, they were going to start going on a run here.

AHMED FAREED: Yeah, LaPorta just went off the board to the Lions.

CHRIS SIMMS: Right, so they knew they had to get up there. Because there were some teams there, I think, in the mid 30s and low 40s that they knew were going to take Michael Mayer. Byron Young, big D tackle in the middle. Got some value as a rusher inside. Can improve in some of the run game stuff, but he's an Alabama D tackle. He's big and he's athletic. So you get that to get one of the faster corners in the draft. And Jakorian Bennett, who I really liked out of Maryland. I liked Aidan O'Connell as a good backup, prototypical pocket passing quarterback. And then one of my sneaky under the radar man crushes in Christopher Smith at a Georgia. Christopher Smith out of Georgia.


CHRIS SIMMS: Safety. A little bit crazy the way I like them. Comes downhill, flies, no regard for his body as he had free safety as a nickel. The only issue with the guy was his top end speed wasn't like, crazy good. But everything else was like, oh, man, this guy is a hell of a football player. So I love that pick too. And that's where I give the Raiders a tier three grade.

AHMED FAREED: Tier three grade for the Raiders. Which is a compliment because your favorite team of all time, the New York Giants, also in tier three.


AHMED FAREED: They are one of the teams that you think had a good draft. Maybe not the best draft. And Phil Moore chimes in with this. First three picks matched up with three of their biggest needs, corner, center, wide receiver, solid running back.

CHRIS SIMMS: That's right.

AHMED FAREED: Pass catching ability in the fifth. Sixth round athletic DB with speed. Hard hitter who can make an impact on special teams and or transition to safety. Seventh round defensive line with size and strength. Well done, Phil Moore. And you don't need to talk about it at this point.

CHRIS SIMMS: Way to go, Phil Moore.

AHMED FAREED: But Deonte Banks, the corner out of Maryland, their first pick.


AHMED FAREED: And then the center out of Minnesota, John Michael Schmitz. And then a wide receiver you liked as well, with their third round pick, Jalen Hyatt out of Tennessee.

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, and a good running back in Eric gray in the fifth round. Yeah, so it was good all around. But yeah, I look at those top three again, and that's where you can tell I'm a little bit into the value of this draft a little. It's just because I go a little bit off of guys that can contribute right now too. Banks is really damn good. Like Banks-- I'm going to say, I'm one of those guys that, like, you know, I didn't reorder any of my rankings really this year.

I think I said this to you on Thursday night. If I had to reorder my DB rankings the more I went on, I probably would have put Banks in front of Christian Gonzales. I liked him more than Gonzales the more I kept going. And even when I read back my notes preparing for the draft, I was like, my notes read that I like Deonte Banks better. He's an Island, bring it on type of corner. Just what Wink Martindale wants. Just like we talked about. So that's awesome.

John Michael Schmitz was my favorite center in the draft. I think he starts with him right away. I mean, he's athletic, stout. He has everything. And then for a team that got some good receivers, we needed that somebody that could bring a wow or a big play. That's where Jalen Hyatt will come in. Yeah, you're worried about Darren Waller. You're worried about the run game with Saquon.

You're worried about Daniel Jones and quarterback read option and quarterback designed runs. Oh no, wait, we're all creeped up at the line of scrimmage. There goes Jalen Hyatt over the top on a 50 yard bomb. So they needed that element of their football team. That's where he's going to fit great. And then Eric Gray is really damn good. He's going to be a nice complement to Saquon Barkley. So yeah, overall I like the Giants' draft.

AHMED FAREED: Yeah, in that division were the Philly, the Cowboys, and Washington, in case you forgot who's in the NFC East out there. Have they done anything this off-season to put them ahead of Dallas? We know they're behind Philly.

CHRIS SIMMS: I'm not going to-- I don't think they're there as far as Dallas territory yet, you know? Yeah, of course they're behind Philly. They've closed, I think, the gap a little bit between Dallas. But I still think s a total I'd probably still give Dallas' roster the advantage there.


CHRIS SIMMS: But, you know, again, I think everything in New York with the Giants is going up and up and in the right direction.

AHMED FAREED: It wasn't long ago that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were competing for Super Bowls--

CHRIS SIMMS: (SINGING) Yo ho, yo ho.

AHMED FAREED: --And Tom Brady. Got a bunch of toothless guys on that roster. And so that's going to put them in tier three on that alone.

CHRIS SIMMS: I love it.

AHMED FAREED: Locked down corner says, for best draft, he goes, Eagles for obvious reasons. But going to go with Bucs otherwise. Sneakily address positions. They needed to retool and be ready to take that real leap the year after next. So the long term plan for them. They got Colijah Kancey. The Aaron Donald clone is what they're hoping for at a Pittsburgh. Either first round pick Cody Mauch, or their second round pick, Yahya Diaby out of Louisville who went to the combine. The edge guy and just was--

CHRIS SIMMS: A freak show.

AHMED FAREED: --Great testing numbers.


AHMED FAREED: And so they got some interesting players at the top.

CHRIS SIMMS: They did. They really did. You've got Payne Durham who is a good blocking tight end in the fifth round. But yeah, the Colijah Kancey, I love that pairing. You know, and again, they've kind of gone the route of bigger people on the inside the last few years. Like last year it was Vita Vea and Akiem Hicks on the inside. This is where it was a little surprising to me that they went this route. Because I didn't know if the smaller, Tasmanian devil type would be their kind of guy.

But, you know, I think they probably looked like hey, we need a guy that can then, like what you just said, can cause some disruption. Be Aaron Donald. We can't always just be like oh, we're holding our line here and not letting you move us and the double team. So that's where I love it. And man, you put him with Vita Vea and Shaq Barrett and Tryon Shoyinka, that's a pretty damn good front four.

Cody Mock is one of my favorite interior linemen. I think he's going to be a guard in the NFL. And then yes, his lack of front teeth with Jensen at center is going to be a sight to see there. Yaya Diaby is, again, that kind of guy you take in the third round if you're going, wait we need an outside linebacker. A lot of the good ones are off the board.

Who's the one that we think can really become something? He's got some of the tools that go-- like a Shaq Barrett did. He got drafted in the mid rounds. Well he's one of the better pass rushers in football. That's why you take a chance on Diaby, right? So, yeah, overall, I did like those first three picks. And even the Sirvocea Dennis-- I don't know if I'm saying his first name. Either way.

AHMED FAREED: "Ser-vo-chea".

CHRIS SIMMS: "Ser-vo-chea", is that how you say it? I'm not sure either. He's really small. Almost like a safety. He's almost like Keanu Neal. And I think that's probably what they're going to use him as. Like that big safety, small linebacker type of guy. I could see them using them like that. But yeah, good job by the Bucs.

AHMED FAREED: "Ser-vasi-yay".

CHRIS SIMMS: "Ser-vasi-yay"?

AHMED FAREED: Isn't that an alcohol?

CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, isn't that a drink?

AHMED FAREED: Courvosier. Ooh, what a great name.

CHRIS SIMMS: That is. Sirvocea Dennis.

AHMED FAREED: Sirvocea Dennis out of Pittsburgh.


AHMED FAREED: Linebacker going to the Bucs. Does he have all his teeth?

CHRIS SIMMS: I hope not.

AHMED FAREED: If he wants to fit in.


AHMED FAREED: Locker room culture.