2013 NFL Draft Grades: NFC East
The NFC East is probably the most high profile division in all of the NFL. When it comes to air time on sports talk radio and other media outlets the teams of the NFC East garner the lion’s share of attention.
Because of this, these teams are keenly aware of how much their success matters on a national scale. When it comes to the NFL draft that means all of these teams make their picks peeking over their shoulder at what the rest of the division wants to do. So, let’s take a look at how each of the teams did with their picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Dallas Cowboys–The Cowboys have had some bad drafts. They even had some drafts where none of their picks have panned out as they had hoped. While 2013 doesn’t appear to hold a bounty of All-Pros, getting a starting center in Travis Frederick, a potential starting wide receiver in Terrence Williams, and starting safety in JJ Wilcox is a win. The tight end pick of Gavin Escobar is a bit of a reach and may not pan out, but overall this draft was less about risk and more about building a foundation.
Sleeper Pick-Joseph Randle, running back-There’s no reason Randle should have fallen to the fifth round. I have no doubt he will be in the running back rotation early. If this team wants more balance on offense, Randle will be a solid weapon.
New York Giants-The Giants are a blue collar, lunch pail type of team, and you can see with the picks of offensive tackle Justin Pugh, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and defensive end Damontre Moore with their first three picks, they are sticking with that mentality. As versatile players who work hard and are productive in multiple roles, I expect all of these players to have a part in the Giants’ plans right away.
Sleeper Pick-Michael Cox, running back-Cox is a fascinating sleeper because he has excellent size and quickness, runs with good power and instincts, and has very little mileage on the tires. Don’t be shocked if he isn’t worked into the run game at some point.
Philadelphia Eagles-The Eagles are making some serious changes on both sides of the football, and with that comes a specific need for specific players. An athletic left tackle like Lane Johnson, a great pass catching tight end like Zach Ertz, and safety Earl Wolff all fit that category. Johnson and Ertz especially look like early starters. A fascinating pick later on was quarterback Matt Barkley because I’m not sure where he fits.
Sleeper Pick-Jordan Poyer, cornerback-Poyer slid for reasons unknown, but I have no doubt he’s a starting caliber player. The Eagles need help at cornerback so expect Poyer to be involved right away.
Washington Redskins-The Redskins didn’t select until the second round, but they made the most of it with cornerback David Amerson. Amerson could start at corner or safety and should do well in their scheme. The Redskins went deeper into the secondary with fourth round pick safety Phillip Thomas who will also be in the mix to start. But other than that, I am not terribly excited about the rest of the Redskins’ picks.
Sleeper Pick-Brandon Jenkins, defensive end-Jenkins is a risky pick because there’s always a chance he is never the pass rusher that he was in college. But if he can get healthy, getting a player of his caliber this late in the draft would be a huge steal.
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