NFC East draft mega-preview

First, let’s look at what picks each team has. Please note that as the draft progresses, the plan is that I will be doing an individual post on each and every one of the below picks, so keep checking in with me. Thanks in advance 😉

Oh, and be sure to follow Blogging the bEast on Twitter for awesome draft-time tweetage.

GIANTS Overall Original owner of pick Comments
1 32 Giants
2 63 Giants
3 94 Giants
4 127 Giants
4 131 Compensatory
5 167 Giants Keith Rivers trade
6 201 Giants
7 239 Giants The Giants traded a 2011 5th round pick and a conditional pick in 2012 for backup QB Sage Rosenfels and KR Darius Reynaud. The conditional pick in 2012 was reportedly based on Rosenfels’ playing time. The Giants didn’t not have to surrender a 2012 pick at all in this deal.

EAGLES Overall Original owner of pick Comments
1 15 Eagles
2 46 Eagles
2 51 Cardinals The Eagles traded Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in 2012.
3 88 Texans In the 4th round of the 2011 draft, the Eagles traded back from 104 to 116 with Tampa, and picked up their 2012 4th round pick. They then traded that 4th round pick from the Buccaneers, along with a flip flop of picks in the 3rd round (the Eagles move back from 77th overall to 89th overall) for Texans LB DeMeco Ryans.
4 114 Eagles
5 153 Eagles
6 172 Colts The Eagles traded Winston Justice and their 6th round pick for the Colts’ 6th round pick. The Eagles move up from pick 17 in Round 6 to pick 2 in Round 6.
6 194 Broncos The Eagles traded LB Joe Mays for RB J.J. Arrington, on the condition that if Arrington did not make the Eagles’ 2010 53 man roster, the Eagles would instead receive the Broncos’ 2012 6th round pick.
6 200 Patriots The Patriots acquired LB Tracy White and the Eagles’ 2012 seventh-round draft choice in exchange for the Pats’ 2012 sixth-round draft choice.
7 229 Falcons Asante Samuel fleecing.
COWBOYS Overall Original owner of pick Comments
1 14 Cowboys
2 45 Cowboys
3 81 Cowboys
4 113 Cowboys
4 135 Compensatory
5 152 Cowboys
6 186 Cowboys
7 222 Cowboys
REDSKINS Overall Original owner of pick Comments
1 2 Rams The Redskins traded their 2012 1st and 2nd round picks, as well as their 2013 and 2014 1st round picks to the Rams for the 2nd overall pick in 2012.
3 69 Redskins
4 102 Redskins
4 109 Raiders Jason Campbell trade
5 141 Redskins
6 173 Vikings The Redskins traded Donovan McNabb for a 2012 6th round pick and a conditional 6th round pick in 2013. The Redskins don’t have their own 6th round pick because they traded it with Vonnie Holliday for Tim Hightower. Per Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic, it was actually a conditional 6th round pick that could have become a 5 based on playing time. It officially became a 6 when Hightower went on IR.
7 213 Redskins

POSITIONS THAT COULD BE ADDRESSED:

GIANTS:

Look for Martellus Bennett to be move of an extra OT than a receiving threat at TE. The Giants could look to add a guy to actually catch passes at TE.

Tight End: Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum likely aren’t going to be ready to go when the 2012 season begins.  The team signed Martellus Bennett, a move that I actually liked despite Bennett’s chronic underachieving, but only to a one-year deal.  The Giants could look to draft a player that can be a long-term answer, although it’s a weak TE class.

Right Tackle: Kareem McKenzie and Chris Snee, in my opinion, were the best tandem RG/RT in the NFL in 2010.  In 2011, the play of both players fell off dramatically, especially McKenzie’s.  The team told Kareem to find a new home (which he hasn’t done yet), and it appears that they plan on moving David Diehl over to RT.  Diehl was abysmal in 2011, and is in my opinion, a liability.  Major hole to fill here for the Giants.

Guard: I really like Kevin Boothe, but I like him in the exact role he played last season… a valuable backup at multiple positions along the line.  The Giants started the season will David Diehl at LG, and Diehl was a horror show.  When LT Will Beatty was lost for the season with an eye injury, Diehl kicked out from LG to LT, Boothe filled in at LG, and played far better than Diehl had.  At the time, I remember thinking “Hmmm… Diehl-Boothe-Baas is the trio protecting Eli’s blind side? The Giants are done.”  Oops.  I know a number of fans are high on Mitch Petrus, but I haven’t seen much to get fired up about when he has gotten opportunities.  I know I wouldn’t want to count on Petrus to start 16 games for me.  The Giants would be wise to find themselves a new LG and move Boothe back into the role where he’s the best fit.  Guard is a very deep position in this draft, and the Giants could have options in every round here.

#3 Wide Receiver: Mario Manningham is gone.  Do you trust the next guy to step up (something the Giants have had some luck with), or do you bring in outside help?  This year, the “next guy up” is either Ramses Barden or Jerrel Jernigan.  Again, very deep class at WR.  Extremely deep.  I’d be very surprised if the Giants didn’t find themselves a nice WR in Day 2 or 3.

#2 Running back: Brandon Jacobs is gone (rightfully).  Ahmad Bradshaw has foot issues, so a backup is pretty essential to the Giants.  I don’t believe Danny Ware is that guy, and I’m not sure the team trusts Da’Rel Scott just yet.  Andre Brown will start the year sitting at home for 4 weeks since after being busted for using PED’s – He probably won’t make the team.

Linebacker: Does it make sense to move Mathias Kiwanuka back to the DL rotation after Osi Umenyiora is gone?  I wonder if that’s how the team is thinking.  If so, they’ll need someone to groom behind him.  Otherwise, I kinda like the Giants rotation at LB, depending on whether or not newly acquired LB Keith Rivers is healthy.

Safety: The Giants probably have the best safety in the NFCE in Kenny Phillips, but I’m not exactly Antrel Rolle’s biggest fan at the other safety spot.  Extremely weak safety class this year… probably not an option.

Cornerback depth: I still think the Giants need help at CB.  Terrell Thomas is no sure thing, and once you get past Prince Amukamara, you’re looking at average depth.  Since Jerry Reese took over in 2007, the Giants have drafted 5 CB’s.  Two of them were in the first round (Amukamara, Aaron Ross), and one was a 2 (Terrell Thomas).

Defensive tackle depth: Marvin Austin hasn’t played since 2009.  Is he a player or not?  I have no idea.  I doubt the Giants really know for sure either.  He’s their only legitimate depth at DT.  Need bodies.

Defensive end: OK, not a need, but I think we all know they’re going to draft at least one, just because that’s what they do.

EAGLES

Jamar Chaney's role in the Eagles' D is in serious jeopardy.

Wide Receiver – DeSean Jackson was locked up to a long-term deal, so the Eagles should be set for a while at 1-2-3 with Jackson-Maclin-Avant.  I’m not sure if Riley Cooper is the productive big-body receiver the Eagles thought he might be.  I also think they could very easily upgrade the #5 WR roster spot, currently occupied by Chad Hall.  Dreams of Arkansas’ Joe Adams in that role dance in my head.  This WR class is so deep and so talented, that I’d be surprised if they didn’t draft one at some point.

#2 Running Back – It’s a decent bet the Eagles will take a RB at some point during the draft.  If they don’t there are a few decent vets still on the market.  RB’s have come off the shelf slowly in free agency this year, so that possibility exists in the next couple weeks.  Do the Eagles see Dion Lewis as a legitimate #2?  As a compliment to LeSean McCoy, I think they might.  But if LeSean McCoy goes down for a few weeks, is Lewis ready to come in and be an every down back that can run, catch, and most importantly, block?  That’s the real question.

Quarterback – I still think the Eagles need to add a backup QB, and yet, I don’t think the Eagles should take one in the 2nd round or higher.  Plus, at this point, the vets out there (or at least the desirable ones) are gone.  So I guess I’m saying I don’t really have any answers here.

Swing tackle – When Jason Peters was lost for perhaps the season with a ruptured Achilles, the Eagles did a good job by immediately pouncing on Demetress Bell.  Behind Bell will be King Dunlap, who has made himself into a valuable reserve.  However, Dunlap is on a one-year deal, and while I believe Peters will eventually return to form, that’s certainly not a sure thing.

Interior OL depth – The Eagles were able to re-sign Evan Mathis, as expected, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring in a little extra depth here, especially with such a deep OG draft class.

Linebacker (across the board) – In Week 14 of 2010, Stewart Bradley was lost for the season in the 2nd quarter.  In came Jamar Chaney.  In 2 and a half quarters, he had 7 tackles.  In the next 3 games to close out the season, he had 33 tackles (4 TFLs) and 2 forced fumbles.  It looked like the Eagles had their MLB of the future.  Hell, Brian Baldinger had him going to Canton:

Jamar Chaney is already one of the best MLBs in the league after his first start. He was phenomenal in every phase of the game on Sunday against the Giants, in terms of recognition, physicality, getting off blocks, stopping the run downhill and sideline-to-sideline speed. It’s no knock on Stewart Bradley, but Chaney gives the Eagles their best play from the position in years. He was all over the field. When your MLB is fast and plays fast, it makes the entire defense look fast.

And then somewhere along the line, Chaney forgot how to tackle.

Meanwhile, Casey Matthews, despite the last name and great dinner conversations, wasn’t good enough to start from Day 1 and was benched after just 3 games.

Really, the only LB that showed any promise last season was Brian Rolle.

The Eagles linebacker situation in the Andy Reid era has been nothing short of comical.  The Eagles made a great trade by adding DeMeco Ryans to play MLB, but they should absolutely be looking to get better at SAM.

Safety – I like Kurt Coleman.  Plays hard, smart kid, just a football player through and through.  Unfortunately, he’s very limited athletically.  I like him more as a backup.  The wildcard here is Jaiquawn Jarrett, the Eagles’ 2nd round draft pick in 2011.  Jarrett couldn’t get onto the field for most of the season, and when he did, he struggled.  A full offseason should help, but Year 1 was not promising.  Nate Allen is firmly entrenched on the other side.

Defensive tackle – One spot that would make a lot of sense in the first round is UT position, or the “under tackle” position in the Eagles’ Wide 9.  The two DT positions in the Eagles defense, the UT and the NT, are different.  The Eagles like to line up the NT in the gap between the C and the G.  It’s his job to shoot that gap and try to command a double team.  The Eagles go three deep at NT: Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon, and Derek Landri.  The UT, meanwhile, typically lines up on the outside shoulder of the other G.  The idea is for the UT to get one-on-one matchups with that G, while also forcing one-on-one matchups with the DE on the OT.  You want your UT to have some good pass rushing ability.  That’s the position that Cullen Jenkins plays.  Behind Jenkins, the Eagles are thin at the UT spot, and they could use a long term answer there to develop before it’s too late and they have to send the 31 year old Jenkins to the glue factory.  You know how you keep seeing Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox’s name repeatedly linked with the Eagles. Well, he would be perfect in that role.

Defensive end – Not a big need here, but it’s worth noting that the Eagles were looking heavily at DE’s at the Senior Bowl, and they love them some pass rushers.

Cornerback – Asante Samuel is gone.  For a 7.  Barf.  Nnamdi Asomugha turns 31 in July, and while I believe he still has plenty left in the tank, I can’t help but recall the 2003 draft, when the Eagles spent first and second round picks on Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown when they already had Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor in place.  It’s also noteworthy that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be a free agent in 2013.  Not to mention, take a gander at the immediate depth behind Asomugha and DRC.  Curtis Marsh is a project that has some good upside, but in the present tense, the depth here is not ideal.

Meanwhile, last offseason, the Eagles cut Joselio Hanson and I threw a hissy fit.  Hanson had a great 2010 season, and I didn’t understand why the Eagles were dumping salary at the slot CB position, even with 3 uber-talented CB’s already in place.  They wound up re-signing him, and he wasn’t nearly as good as he was in 2010.  Hanson still probably sees the back of Wes Welker’s jersey in his nightmares.  Plus, he’s 30.  Expect the Eagles to have slot corner on the brain.

COWBOYS

If the Cowboys draft an OLB early, don't expect teams to line up to trade for Anthony Spencer.

OL across the board: In 2009 (the last Cowboys team to make the playoffs), the offensive line consisted of Flozell Adams, Kyle Kosier, Andre Gurode, Leonard Davis, and Marc Colombo.  All were over 30 years of age and their collective decline was fairly predictable.  The Cowboys did little in the way of adequately replacing that group, and in just two years, they went from the oldest OL in the league to one of the youngest.  All of those players are now gone, and the only remaining offensive lineman left from that team is Doug Free.

Drastic turnover doesn’t have to be a terrible thing, as long as the young guys that are stepping in are ready.  Rookie Tyron Smith was ready, and looks like he could be a stud LT for the next decade in Dallas.  Doug Free was ready in 2010 at LT, but his play fell off a cliff in 2011.  Free will flip to RT this year, with Smith taking over at LT.  Second year undrafted free agent center Phil Costa wasn’t ready, as he was regularly overmatched. Ditto that for rookie 7th round pick LG Bill Nagy, who played poorly before being lost for the season with a broken ankle.  Rookie 4th round pick David Arkin never saw the field.  Luckily, the Cowboys got surprisingly decent play out of Montrae Holland, but he’s now gone.

In free agency, the Cowboys brought in Mackenzy Bernadeau from Carolina and Nate Livings from Cincinnati.  At least it appears Bernadeau has some upside, but I don’t see much of an an upgrade in Livings.

Free should be better in 2012, especially when he moves over to RT, and even if he doesn’t improve, the Cowboys are kind of stuck with him there, due to his 4 year, $32 million contract.  But behind both Free and Tyron Smith at tackle is pretty much nobody.  Depth is essential here.

Wide receiver: Laurent Robinson had a breakout season last year, and then cashed in when the Jaguars handed him an absurdly dumb contract based off one year of good production.  The Cowboys have very weak depth behind the occasionally banged up Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.  Again, I’ll repeat what I said above twice.  This WR class is extremely deep and talented.  Expect the Cowboys to add one in the mid-rounds.  In fact, oddly enough, the Redskins, who have the worst pair of starting WR’s in the division, are probably the least likely to draft a WR this weekend.

Tight end: The Cowboys pulled the plug on the Marty B experience.  John Phillips is now the 2.  Phillips was looking like a breakout player during the 2010 preseason, when he tore an ACL.  He played in 2011, but wasn’t the player he looked like he might become before the injury.  He’ll be two years removed from the ACL this year.  Can he play or not?  That’s the question. Either way, the Cowboys like to carry 3 TE’s, and they currently only have 2.

Cornerback: Terence Newman was done.  He’s gone.  Brandon Carr is in.  Major upgrade.  The guy to watch this season is Mike Jenkins, who is on the last year of his rookie contract.  Jenkins wants a new deal, and the Cowboys are in no rush to give him one.  It’ll be interesting to see if/when they draft a CB.

Defensive end: I like Sean Lissemore and Jason Hatcher, especially since the Cowboys employ both players on the cheap, but they’re role players, in my opinion.  Marcus Spears is done, or at least he should be, and Kenyon Coleman is very much “just a guy.”  The Cowboys haven’t had an impact player at DE in ages.  The lasting image I have of the Cowboys DL is Jason Peters bullying them up and down the field.  Anyway, at some point the Cowboys have to address this spot a little more seriously, right?  Jerry Jones has said that he admired the Giants DL.  Maybe this is the year.

Outside linebacker: Anthony Spencer is an extremely expensive one year potential lame duck.  A pass rusher opposite DeMarcus Ware would make a lot of sense.  I’ve seen some chatter among Cowboys fans that the Cowboys can now trade him for a pick if they take an edge rusher early in the draft.  Well… Let’s think about that one for a second.  He’s an average player, he’s making $8.8 million in 2012, and he’ll be a free agent after this season.  Who’s lining up to take on that kind of situation, much less give up a pick to do so?

Safety: Abram Elam was a former Rob Ryan DB back in Cleveland, and his one-year run in Dallas is over.  The Cowboys will go back to the Cleveland well again this season with Brodney Pool.  Pool is a below average safety that nobody else had serious interest in.  This remains a pretty significant need.  Mark Barron has been heavily linked to Dallas.  They’ll have to trade up to get him.

REDSKINS

Quarterback: There’s a guy from Baylor that everyone seems to like. Maybe the Redskins will draft him.

OL (almost across the board): I felt that Trent Williams improved quite a bit from Year 1 to Year 2, and can still be a really good LT in the NFL.  He’s only 23 years old, although an immature 23.  There isn’t much of a need at LT, in my opinion, at least for now.  The other Skins’ offensive lineman that I like as a player is Kory Lichtensteiger.  Unfortunately, he tore both his ACL and MCL in a loss to the Eagles in Week 6 last season.  Otherwise, Will Montgomery is “just a guy,” as is Chris Chester (although a highly paid one), and Jammal Brown is somehow still currently the projected RT in D.C.  The Skins could use help almost across the board here.

Secondary (across the board): I’ve been killing the Skins’ secondary for the last few weeks.  No need to pile on any further.

Inside linebacker: The Skins were able to re-sign London Fletcher.  He’ll pair with Perry Riley.  That;s a nice combo, in my opinion.  However, they have nothing in the way of depth here.

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  25. […] this section, we’ll look back to what I wrong about each team in the mega-preview from Thursday, and see if each team addressed each […]

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  27. […] It kinda makes sense.  As luck would have it, I happened to write about the Giants’ depth at defensive tackle this morning: […]

  28. Free Plax says:

    I just wanted to pop over here and wish everybody a happy draft day, Thank god for guys like Jimmy who give us junkies a place to come during the offseason!

    1. Thanks bud. Best of luck.

  29. Immynimmy says:

    Lol, for the Eagles position’s that could be addressed, you almost hit every possible NFL position haha.

    1. Ha, yep, and the odd thing is that SAM aside, they don’t really have any major holes.

  30. BBI says:

    Saved me a lot of time opening up multiple BtB tabs. Thank ye.

    Never got to show my appreciation by the way. You are the first non-Giants fan that appreciates what Kevin Boothe brings to the table. Dude is supremely underrated as a super sub.

    1. Ha, yeah, only about 400-500 words here are new material, if that. I’d like to believe that my readers read everything that I write, but I’m operating under the more realistic assumption that they don’t… so the majority of the above should be new to most.

      1. brisulph says:

        The Petrus excitement is partially real… but some of it is because he is 9/10ths insane. Guy just seems to be a madman, and that appeals for some reason.

        1. Free Plax says:

          Hey Petrus’s band is pretty good too!

  31. giantsfan says:

    Thanks for this, Jimmy. Enjoy the draft tonight!

    1. Back at ya. You’ll have to wait until about midnight for your pick, but somehow I think you’re OK with that.

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