Tag Archives: NFC East

2018 NFL Draft Grades: NFC East

The NFC East is regularly one of the best divisions in the league and it is home to the reigning Super Bowl champion. The Eagles became world champions after a wild shoot out with the New England Patriots that left them victorious. Now, they have to prove it wasn’t a fluke.

The Eagles are getting back Carson Wentz from injury. The Redskins finally concluded the Kirk Cousins debacle by trading for Alex Smith. The Cowboys are now giving total control over Dak Prescott. The Giants are putting their full trust in Eli Manning and gearing up for one last Super Bowl push under new head coach Pat Shurmer.

There is a lot of exciting story lines in the division and that was all before the draft. So how did the NFC East fare in the draft? Did they manage to obtain the missing pieces to their puzzles or are the Super Bowl champs still king? Lets break it down…

Dallas Cowboys: B
1.) Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.
2.) Connor Williams, OG, Texas
3.) Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado St.
4.) Dorance Armstrong, DE, Kansas
4.) Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford
5.) Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky
6.) Chris Covington, LB, Indiana
6.) Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise St.
7.) Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama

The host team brought in a quality haul, but failed to address pressing needs. Before the draft the team cut Dez Bryant, then during the draft Jason Witten unofficially announced his retirement, and yet the Cowboys did not address those positions until Round 3 and Round 4. You can’t expect your quarterback to continue to grow if he doesn’t have a quality arsenal of weapons. That being said the team did take late flyers are a couple intriguing prospects in Cedrick Wilson and Bo Scarbrough. As for the early picks, they weren’t missed picks. The linebacking corps has been innjury plagued regularly and Vander Esch offers a wealth of potential. He’s a one year wonder, but if he’s a great fit. He just has to prove his one colossal season in college wasn’t a fluke. Williams, in the second round, fits a need at left guard. The offensive line is the strength of the team, it’s important to keep it that way. He should start Day One.

New York Giants: A
1.) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.
2.) Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
3.) Lorenzo Carter, OLB, Georgia
3.) BJ Hill, DT, NC State
4.) Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
5.) Rocky McIntosh, DT, Miami

What is better than going into your divisional rivals home and swiping a better a draft class? The G-Men’s draft haul is an impressive one. Some have problems with Barkley going second overall, but look, the best player is the best player and Barkley has the potential to be a generational player. The Giants then turned around and helped Barkley by giving him an absolute road grader in Hernandez. What a perfect union that is. New York is switching to a 3-4 defense and need the right personal to thrive. Carter as a rush linebacker is just what they needed and to get him in the third round is tremendous value. In a similar vein, adding Hill and McIntosh to really flesh out the nose and five-technique along the odd man front is smart. Lauletta, gives the team another quarterback to develop behind Manning.

Philadelphia Eagles: C
2.) Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.
4.) Avonte Maddox, CB, Pitt
4.) Josh Sweat, DE, Florida St.
6.) Matt Pryor, OT, TCU
7.) Jordan Mailata, OT, None

The team traded out of the first round to try and pick up some extra picks to help their cash strapped roster and then took those assets to move up and take Goedert. Yes, they have Zach Ertz, but Philly likes to run two tight end sets and Goedert can really work the seam and be a mismatch for defenses. Sweat, keeps the strength of the Eagles along their defensive line. He had 12.5 sacks over the last two years. Rounding out the draft with depth pieces at corner and tackle was wise. The most intriguing pick is Mailata, an professional rugby player from Australia who is trying his hand at American football.

Washington Redskins: B-
1.) Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
2.) Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
3.) Geron Christian, OT, Louisville
4.) Troy Apke, S, Penn St.
5.) Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
6.) Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama
7.) Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech
7.) Trey Quinn, WR, SMU

To be honest, after the past few years I don’t have a lot of trust that the Redskins front office will do the right thing. That being said, they actually brought in a quality haul. The team had the worst rush defense in the entire league last year and needed to sure that up. They did so with Payne and Settle. Settle, could develop into the starting nose tackle, while Payne plays the five-technique opposite last year’s first round pick and former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen. Guice, fell due to character concerns. Nonetheless, getting a first round target in the second round is always a plus. He could really help Alex Smith. Christian, is a developmental prospect with starter upside. Shaun Dion Hamilton, has serious injury concerns, but if he can beat them Hamilton has the ability to develop into a starter and a quality one at that on the inside of the Redskins 3-4 defense.


2017 NFL Draft Grades: NFC East

The news of the season seemed to center around NFC East and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Would the team trade him? Release him? Where does Romo go after? Ultimately, Romo decided to retire and enter the press booth for CBS.

It seems fitting that Romo retired this offseason. The NFC East is one of the most up and coming divisions in the league with fellow Cowboys Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott leading the charge. Not to mention there is also the Eagles’ Carson Wentz and Giants’ receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.

One of the major stories in the division was the (once again) dysfunctional Washington Redskins front office. They poorly managed contract negotiations with Kirk Cousins and now he seems all, but gone following the 2017 season. Then there was team president Bruce Allen unceremoniously canning GM Scot McCloughan.

Needless to say it was interesting to see what new talent would join this burgeoning division. Here is how things shook out in the 2017 NFL Draft…

Dallas Cowboys: B-
1.) Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
2.) Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
3.) Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
4.) Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina
6.) Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech
6b.) Marquez White, CB, Florida St.
7.) Joey Ivie, DT, Florida
7b.) Noah Brown, WR, Ohio St.
7c.) Jordan Carrell, DT, Colorado

The Cowboys hit on Charlton and Awuzie to kickoff the draft. Charlton was moved around a lot at Michigan, but eventually settled in at end in their 4-3 where he churned out 9.5 sacks in his lone season as a starter. The defensive secondary was a big area of need and the Cowboys loaded up on depth with Lewis, Woods, and White. Woods, will be a force on special teams while he develops. Switzer and Brown provide much needed depth at wide receiver. Switzer, is a clone of current Cowboys’ slot receiver Cole Beasley — short and shifty.

Best pick: Chidobe Awuzie
Awuzie, in Round 2 was a perfect selection. Addressed a need and gives them a versatile player to deploy all over the field whether it’s out wide, in the slot, or even as safety. Awuzie has good size and could help the Cowboys on Day One.

New York Giants: B+
1.) Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
2.) Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
3.) Davis Webb, QB, Cal
4.) Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
5.) Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown St.
6.) Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh

This was a fantastic haul by the Giants. My only concern is they waited too long to address the offensive line. Granted, the player they did take, Bisnowaty, was a tremendous choice in Round 6. Bisnowaty, was a four year starter with the smarts and aggression to start, but a injuries pushed him down. Engram, gives Eli Manning another dynamic weapon in the arsenal. Tomlinson and Moss provide depth at their deepest positions on defense. Tomlinson could start Day One. Gallman, puts some thunder in the backfield, complementing current backs Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen well.

Best pick: Davis Webb
Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger and there isn’t much behind. Webb, created such buzz over the process some thought he could wind up in Round 1. To select him in Round 3 and allow him to mature to the NFL game could pay off in a big way.

Philadelphia Eagles: A
1.) Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
2.) Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
3.) Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
4.) Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina
4b.) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego St.
5.) Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia
5b.) Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska
6.) Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington

The Eagles selected four potential starters with their first four picks. That is a job well done. Especially in the case of Sidney Jones. Some had Jones as the best cornerback prospect in the draft, but he suffered an Achilles injury at his pro day. A smart, long term investment by Philly. Barnett, broke Reggie White’s career sack record at Tennessee. That says something. Hollins, is a quality target for Wentz. He rounds a suddenly impressive receiving corps. Pumphrey, had three straight seasons of rushing for over 1,500-yards. Qualls’ is a perfect prospect to mold under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Best pick: Rasul Douglas
A JUCO transfer to West Virginia, Douglas only started one year for the Mountaineers, but what a year it was with eight interceptions and eight passes broken up. Douglas, has tremendous size at 6’2″, if he continues to develop look out.

Washington Redskins: A
1.) Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
2.) Ryan Anderson,OLB, Alabama
3.) Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
4.) Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
4b.) Montae Nicholson, S, Michigan St.
5.) Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas
6.) Chase Roullier, C, Wyoming
6b.) Robert Davis, WR, Georgia St.
7.) Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville
7.) Joshua Holsey, CB, Auburn

Very similar to the Eagles, the Redskins hauled in four potential starters with their first four picks with a fallen star cornerback falling into their laps. Allen, is a Top 5 talent, but concerns over his shoulders pushed him down. Doctors say his shoulders won’t be a problem for Allen during his playing years. This a home run. Anderson, will provide some juice off the edge. The defensive secondary was a place of major concern. Moreau, was considered a first-round prospect before suffering a pectoral injury at his pro day. He could become a starter sooner than later. Harvey-Clemons, has a lot of talent, but some considerable off-field issues to overcome.

Best pick: Samaje Perine
How Perine, a man who rushed for over 4,000 yards and nearly 50 touchdowns in three years, fell to the fourth-round I will never know. He is not flashy, but he powers the ball between the tackles and is a smart runner with quality vision. This is a total steal.