Football Outsiders’ NFC East report cards

Jerry dunceFootball Outsiders rounded up the grades given out by some of the more well-known draftniks, with links to their analyses, including:

Here were the cumulative grades for the NFC East:

NFC East report cards

I’m not a huge fan of letter grades for a draft, but if given an opportunity to MS Paint Jerry Jones in a dunce cap, well… you know that’s going to happen.


  1. WeGotLinemen says:

    As a Redskins fan, it was the Eagles draft that caused me the most worry. If the o-line stays healthy it will be formidable. My primary consolations: QB could be real problems and occasionally college coaches make truly horrible coaches in the pro’s.

    I thought the Giants had a typically “Gianty” draft, unspectacular but solid. The sort where at the time you think, “Meh, he isn’t going to cause us problems.”, but as you review it you realise they are going to contribute at some point. They even found time to address their back-up QB spot, which they’ve ignored for so many years.

    My consolation: so far they haven’t resigned Bradshaw and Eli’s arm looked pretty tired towards the end of 2012.

    I loved the Cowboys draft at the time. I actually think Frederick will help them improve an area that has been a complete disaster for years. Sure he was a reach, but he should fix a major problem. Still, I couldn’t help but love the fact that they moved out of position to draft good players at other major need positions, safey and DT.

    The second and third rounds also worked out for rival fans. Two good receivers, no doubt, any franchise would want those guys, but it looked a lot like a rival re-inforcing a strength, rather than addressing big needs.

    All that said, the Cowboys draft wasn’t a disaster. They got some nice players, and those receivers should eventually end up as quality starters but they chose a really odd area of the roster to start playing long-term games with.

    1. Regarding the reinforcing a strength thing, the Eagles are probably going to start 2 TEs. A FB will no longer be a part of their offense. So that’ll probably be Celek and Ertz, and they’ll mix in Casey. There may even be times where they go 3 TEs. Word is that they’re going to have 4 TEs active on Sundays. They want to run somewhere in the ballpark of 95 plays per game, so the deeper at each position they can be the better.

      1. WeGotLinemen says:

        For me there is a difference between the Eagles drafting another tight-end and the Cowboys doing the same thing.

        Jackson and Maclin are both dangerous receivers but they haven’t got much physical presence. Adding another tight-end who can serve as big, red-zone target provides a complement to your receivers’ quickness.

        Also, I like Celek. He is a decent player. However, he isn’t the sort of player that you think, “We can’t cut into his targets, we want the ball in his hands.”

        Conversely, the Cowboys’s starting receivers are physical freaks. Bryant has the athleticism to do everything and dominate. When Austin is healthy he isn’t far behind. If they stay healthy and Bryant get his act together it has the potential to be one of the best receiver pairings to ever play. If.

        Moreover, Witten is still one of the best tight-ends in the game. Sure, he might be in decline, a little, but he has Romo’s trust. He’s like a black hole, hovering up targets. I just don’t think Escobar is going to get many looks from Romo. Add in the addition of Williams and you’ve got two rookies who are going to split a limited number of targets.

        Sure, the guys that the Cowboys have drafted create options and provide injury cover, but they don’t provide a complementary skill set. Drafting a receiver or running back with blazing short area quickness and agility would at least have provided some sort of variation.

        More importantly, barring injury problems like last year, the Eagles have got their foundation in place. The Cowboys don’t. There were some decent interior linemen around in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Jerry Jones went with receivers instead.

        Again, I am not saying the Cowboys have drafted bad players. I’d love to have Escobar and Williams on the ‘Skins’s roster. They also fill a need. It’s just that is is a need that wont exist for a couple of years, and filling it now seems like a mistake.

        1. David_Does_Dallas says:

          “Drafting a receiver or running back with blazing short area quickness and agility would at least have provided some sort of variation.”

          In the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys select Felix Jones.

  2. WeGotLinemen says:

    Ignoring the glaring issue that none of these players have even been to OTA’s yet, let alone on the field, is that none of these guys could possibly understand the nuances of every roster.

    For me the only draft grades that really tend to make any sense are beat reporters grading their own team. Fan grades are also pretty useful, if you can get an average from a big sample size.

    I’m a Redskins fan, I thought we had a good draft, considering the lack of first rounder. I’m not a huge fan of the Amerson or Thompson picks. Both have tremendous upside but one could turn into gamechanger working for both teams and the other may never be healty enough to contribute.

    There was a gamblers mentality to this draft and to an extent we got lucky, Two huge need picks: Thomas and Rambo, dropping to us further down the draft than most of us thought possible. Safety has been big problem for a long time. This draft may not solve the problem completely, but we added two players with a skill-set that was completely missing from the roster.

  3. Brett says:

    Philly might have had a good draft according to the “experts” but let’s see what happens next year, Jimmy.

    1. mjoedgaard says:

      First off you linking to an article writing by Florio about the Eagles, it does not come more biased than that. Also Russell tweeted later that, it was just the usual coach recruiting a potential UDFA.

  4. Stan says:

    Cowboys draft 2010-2011 (1st 3 rounds)
    Dez Bryant
    Sean Lee
    Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
    Tyron Smith
    Bruce Carter
    DeMarco Murray

    Giants draft 2010-2011 (1st 3 rounds)
    Jason Pierre-Paul
    Linval Joseph
    Chad Jones
    Prince Amukamara
    Marvin Austin
    Jerrel Jernigan

    Eagles draft 2010-2011 (1st 3 rounds)
    Brandon Graham
    Nate Allen
    Daniel Teo-Neishem
    Danny Watkins
    Jaqwaun Jarrett
    Curtis Marsh

    Redskins draft 2010-2011 (1st 3 rounds)
    Trent Williams
    Ryan Kerrigan
    Jarvis Jenkins

    The Eagles draft for those two years in comparison to the rest of the NFC East is pretty poor. In fact from the 2009-2006 drafts the only decent players the Eagles had were Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and Jason Avant. From the 2003-2005 drafts it would be Herremans, Trent Cole, Mike Patterson, and Shawn Andrews. Basically the only decent defensive player that the Eagles have drafted since 2002 (minus 2012) was Trent Cole.

    1. HOPE says:

      Nice. Redskins also drafted Leonard Hankerson in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft. He has showed some promise.

    2. Jeff says:

      AOA was a 4th round pick in 2010. So the Cowboys haul looks even better in your analysis.

  5. Greg says:

    Hey, the Dallas Cowboys matched my college GPA!

  6. Super bowl report card ; Cowboys 5 Giants 4 Skins 3 Eagles0

    1. Greg says:

      How many Cowboys fans does it take to change a lightbulb?

      None, they just talk about how good the old one was.

      1. Jimmy Kempski says:


      2. horatius says:

        Damn, I’m stealing that one.

    2. If you gave the Eagles 1 ring on your Quiz come to my office 4 Detention!

      1. horatius says:

        You should add “haha” at the end.

        So we all know when to laugh.

  7. Brandon says:

    You conviently leave out the fact that had every player the Cowboys drafted graded a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Way to cherry pick to make a point once more.

      1. Brandon says:

        I’ll add it’s silly to try and grade a draft before they even play. I think a lot of people hated the Seahawks draft last year. Worked out pretty well for them.

      2. Tim says:

        Yeah, I usually jump on you for anti-Cowboys stuff, but this is what it is. It’s a foolish exercise to grade drafts right away (FO has a more logical process in which they revisit drafts from 3 seasons ago each year), but this is just rounding up the consensus out there, nothing to really argue with.

        I will say that I feel these grades typically put a massive amount of weight on the first round pick, partly because of laziness on the part of the graders– first round picks should be disproportionately important, but shouldn’t carry the entire grade.

        1. mjoedgaard says:

          Actually you can grade a draft, based on the knowledge you had at the time. Grading a draft 3 years down the road is actually a futile thing because it have been proven that no team is more likely to hit on a stud than another one.

          What you can do is grade how well did the Cowboys use their resources. In general elite players comes from the first round and in general the impact positions are QB, OT (both sides), pass rusher, WR and CB. The NFL in general agrees with that as all these positions carry the largest cap hits. Thats why using a 1st round pick on a center is waste of resources because you used a premium resource on the least impactful position sans kicker and punter.
          The Cowboys choice to for the first trade back and get less than what they most likely could have gotten in that trade and also gave up the chance to pick an impact player who was rated higher on their board in Floyd for a center who most likely would have been their 1 round later.

          1. poolboy87 says:

            I’m not sure what’s more ridiculous…

            Suggesting that you can get a better assessment of a draft immediately afterwards as opposed to after seeing the players on the field for a few years, or suggesting that the grade should largely depend on whether or not a team picks a QB or a C, regardless of the quality of the player or any other context.

            Seriously…that makes Jerry Jones’s draft philosophy seem genius.

          2. Tim says:

            I’m not going to get into “they passed up a player who was rated higher on their board” argument about Floyd, it’s been debated exhaustively on these boards already. Suffice to say, I am skeptical about the omniscience presumed by such a statement, and overall don’t agree with you.

            On your first few points, though:

            -I don’t agree that those positions are universally more valuable to teams– scheme and existing personnel play a significant role in determining value. The Saints, for instance, have run an excellent offense for years by prioritizing the interior OL over exterior OTs.

            -Additionally, and I would think this would be obvious– a center is going to be more valuable to the Cowboys right now than a QB. Same with a team like the Packers. The Browns, as another example, would not benefit from drafting a LT as much as most teams right now, because they have an excellent LT in house. So the idea that teams should solely embrace a philosophy of not just “best player available,” but the even more divorced-from-reality “best player available across only 5 premium positions,” seems daft.

          3. Brett says:

            Lol what? I hate defending Cowboy fans but Seattle’s draft last year was universally mocked but they had a lot of productive players this year. I’m sure Philly would love to have Bruce Irvin in their new 3-4 over a safe pick Danny “The Fireman” Watkins two years ago.

    1. SteveH says:

      Jimmy wasn’t the one handing out the grades, he was rounding up and averaging grades that other people did, he even listed where he got them from! So there’s that.

      1. Actually, I didn’t even round up the guys who graded them. Football Outsiders did.

        1. horatius says:

          Funny, that football outsiders would round up grades from football insiders, average them and pass it off as their own.

          The irony in this is killing me.

        2. SteveH says:

          Apologies Kempski, it seems I was giving you too much credit!

  8. RogerPodacter says:

    i wonder if there is a way to scale the rankings based on the draft order.
    i’m thinking that the teams picking first are more likely to get a higher grade.

    1. Stan says:

      like a weighted GPA?

  9. Bob Bobson says:

    No way did the Redskins have the 27th worst draft in the NFL

    1. Joe D says:

      Meh, it’s just draft grades..They mean…….nothin’!

    2. Saief Abbassi says:

      The 27th worst draft would be the 6th best, so I will have to agree.

%d bloggers like this: