Grades for the NFC East football draft, the most hyped division in the NFL. This division always get some mentioned of a Superbowl contender, be it the Giants, now the Redskins and some how always those guy from the lone star state, the Cowboys. What I do know is that each of these teams fell short the past few seasons, with the exception of the Giants 2 championship runs, of looking anything like a Superbowl team due in part to some missing pieces. Well, let me dive into if those missing pieces have been addressed. Here are my draft grades.
Considering this is not college and Chip Kelly can not recruit players to play for him any longer like he did at Oregon, he did an excellent job in the football draft. Kelly used his background and knowledge from college (Pac 12) to the Eagles advantage. Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz are ideal choices for what Kelly wants to do, and he used a fourth round pick to bring in USC’s Matt Barkley into the QB competition. On the other side of the ball the Eagles are switching to a 3-4 scheme, which is all the rage of the league right now, and they got important pieces to that puzzle in taking LSU’s nose tackle Bennie Logan, Utah’s edge rusher Joe Kruger and Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer at corner back who could start from day 1. Earl Wolf, safety from North Carolina State is a hard-hitting player but his coverage skills out in space may leave him open to getting burned by tight ends, he will compete for playing time this season. Oklahoma’s defensive tackle David King was a bit of a head scratcher to me. This is a guy that has all the measurables but lacked the production at the college, if he pans out to just being a productive player then Kelly will look like a genius. I thought the Eagles stayed true to their board and lined up Best Player Available (BPA) and value with needs very well. Grade: A
New York Giants:
Here is a team with one of the better GM’s in the business right now with Jerry Reese at the helm. The Giants tend to draft for the future as opposed to immediate need and they ended up with three strong, athletic linemen who can man an immediate impact. Syracuse Justin Pugh who they took in the first round, is too smooth and good not to win a starting job at guard this season. On the defense they always seem to love taking linemen and they did it again with Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins, who will fill a void as a run stuffer and pass rushing end to help replace the departure of Umenyiora, in Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore. Keep an eye on Richmond’s Cooper Taylor who could play safety or even bulk up to linebacker. Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse was an interesting pick seeing Eli is only 32, maybe this will give Nassib time to learn, a-la Aaron Rogers. Eric Herman, lineman out of Ohio University may add depth to the line and Michael Cox running back from UMass may be nothing more than a practice squad player with the giants having young talented players at that position taken in the previous years draft. Grade: B
Let’s see….. they didn’t get either an offensive tackle or a defensive lineman, and didn’t get in on the run of top safeties. Jerry Jones is all I will say about that. Wisconsin center Travis Frederick could have been had after the first round, and although San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar and Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams have bright futures, it was a case of the Cowboys adding to what they already have. William & Mary cornerback B.W. Webb might end up helping and playing more than any of the picks in this draft. Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox may compete for playing time as well but being from a small school will he be up to the task of competing at this level? The Cowboys 2 most intriguing picks in the football draft in my opinion were running back Joseph Randle from Oklahoma State, who is another Felix Jones, and linebacker DeVonte Holloman from South Carolina, who plays at a loaded position for the Cowboys. It will be interesting to see how these 2 guys work out. Grade: C-
Redskin fans, you had to know this was coming after the blockbuster deal to get RGIII last year, a weak class with no first round pick. North Carolina State’s David Amerson is a huge risk in round 2, Florida tight end Jordan Reed had a BIG lack of production for a round 3 pick. It may all hang on Fresno State’s Phillip Thomas becoming their starting safety to make this draft not look like a F+. Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison, who are both running backs from Florida State and Rutgers may have a hard time finding a place with the production of Alfred Morris last season and the other backs returning from injuries. Brandon Jenkins a linebacker from Florida State and safety Bacarri Rambo from Georgia seem like nothing more than depth at these positions as they are not upgrades on what the Redskins currently have at those positions. Because I like RGIII, I hope they can begin to bring in some talent to surround him with. Grade: D
These are my grades, how would you grade them? Oh yeah fans, please put your heart aside and grade your teams football draft honestly.