Complete Draft Guide: NFC East

By John Harris
April 25, 2013

Photo: SBNation

New York Giants

Draft Selections:

  • Round 1 (19)
  • Round 2 (49)
  • Round 3 (81)
  • Round 4 (116)
  • Round 5 (152)
  • Round 6 (187)
  • Round 7 (225 and 253)

Key Additions:

  • TE Brandon Myers (OAK)
  • DT Cullen Jenkins (PHI)
  • WR Louis Murphy (CAR)

Key Losses:

  • RB Ahmad Bradshaw
  • S Kenny Phillips (PHI)
  • DE Chris Canty (BAL)

Offense

Rush Offense - 116.4 ypg (14th)
Pass Offense - 239.1 ypg (12th)
Total Offense - 355.4 ypg (14th)
Scoring Offense - 26.8 ppg (6th)

Most pressing offensive needs - Offensive line, athletic tight end and Victor Cruz

Quarterback

Eil Manning will be in Giants' blue for as long as he wants, so any draft flirtation will be to enhance the competition for the clipboard and head set behind him.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - Zac Dysert, Miami, OH (6-3, 231)
6th - Sean Renfree, Duke (6-3, 219)
7th - Tino Sunseri, Pitt (6-2, 215), Matt McGloin, Penn State (6-1, 207)

Dysert is more playmaker and gunslinger than he is true drop back quarterback, so he'll need some time to adapt to a pro style attack. Renfree is currently rehabbing an injury he suffered on his last play as a collegian. He's the consummate backup quarterback, reminiscent of former Peyton Manning backup Jim Sorgi. Sunseri is the son of a coach and quietly had a solid final campaign at Pitt.

Running Back

Ahmad Bradshaw was a 1,000 yard rusher for the Giants last year, leading all other rushers by over 600 yards. As a reward, so to speak, the Giants released him. The writing was on the wall for Bradshaw after the Giants selected David Wilson with the last pick of the first round last year.

Wilson made more of an impact on special teams, but showed what he could do when he has the ball in his hands. Andre Brown re-signed with the team so he and Wilson could make for a solid tag team, given their varied skill sets. As such, the Giants shouldn't be in the market for an impact ball carrier, but eyeing depth and special teams in the last couple of rounds is prudent.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th - Onterrio McCalebb, Auburn (5-10, 168), Dennis Johnson, Arkansas (5-8, 212), Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook (5-9, 209)

McCalebb confirmed what many believed going into the Combine that he's blazing fast. But, he's a seventh round project because he's not a true running back. He's more of a specialist that can be used on screens, jet sweeps, perimeter runs and in the return game. Johnson doesn't run like McCalebb, doesn't have size like Brown and doesn't have Wilson's burst, but he's the consummate reliable backup who does a little bit of everything well enough.

Wide Receiver

There's no question that signing Victor Cruz trumps anything concerning the receiver position this off-season. He's a restricted free agent and the Giants can't afford to let him leave. That said, expect Cruz to return, alongside Hakeem Nicks, Rueben Randle, last year's second round selection and recently signed Louis Murphy. Given that triumvirate, there's little chance that the Giants will draft a receiver until late on day three, if at all.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th - Emory Blake, Auburn (6-1, 196), Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington (6-5, 216), Ryan Spadola, Lehigh (6-1, 204)

Blake's production suffered due to quarterback inconsistencies at Auburn, but he's great value in the seventh round. Kaufman has great size and will catch the football going across the middle, while Spadola stood out at the Combine with his complete set of skills and tremendous hands. Either of the three would compete for the No. 4 wide receiver spot with Jerrel Jernigan and others.

Tight End

The Giants got great production out Martellus Bennett in his one year in New York, but he left for Chicago. As such, the Giants signed Brandon Myers, formerly of Oakland, as Bennett's replacement. Myers was Carson Palmer's go-to guy in the passing game last year and Eli Manning will find a similar comfort zone with Myers. That said, the Giants would love to have another versatile weapon at the tight end positon. Those options are definitely available in this draft class.

1st - Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (6-6, 252)
2nd - Zach Ertz, Stanford (6-5, 249)
3rd - Vance McDonald, Rice (6-4, 267)
4th - Gavin Escobar, San Diego State (6-5, 254)
5th - Matt Furstenburg, Maryland (6-3, 242)
6th -
7th -

The tight ends on the board are more hybrid TE/WR or move TE/H-Back types than traditional hand in the dirt tight ends. But, Manning will love all of them, especially a guy like Eifert who can line up anywhere on the field and has fly traps for hands.

Ertz is similar to Eifert, but he's not quite the all-around player that the former Irish star is. McDonald put on a show at the Combine in every way, but he had already opened eyes during the season when he ran jet sweeps as a 267 lb. H-back. Furstenburg didn't have a quarterback that could take advantage of his speed and athleticism, but it's evident how good he is with the ball in his hands.

Offensive line

As mentioned above, the Giants have more significant off-season priorities than signing a talented tight end. Priority No. 1 is the offensive line and that meant bringing back left tackle Will Beatty and guard Kevin Boothe. Well, the Giants put a check mark next to the first box by signing Beatty to a five year contract for nearly $39M. Then it checked off the second box by signing Booth too.

David Diehl struggled last year, sharing time with unrestricted free agent Sean Locklear, while second year player James Brewer watched from the sidelines. If the Giants brass believes that neither Diehl, Locklear nor Brewer is the answer, expect the Giants to focus their draft efforts on offensive linemen that could compete early for that right tackle job or play both guard and tackle.

1st -
2nd - T Menelik Watson, Florida State (6-5, 310), T Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-5, 306), T Kyle Long, Oregon (6-6, 313)
3rd -
4th - T/G David Quessenberry, San Jose State (6-5, 302), G/T Brian Winters, Kent State (6-4, 310)
5th - G J.C Tretter, Cornell (6-4, 307), T Oday Aboushi, Virginia (6-5, 308)
6th -
7th -

Watson was a basketball player at Marist before he went to junior college and then on to Florida State. His feet are tremendous and he moves like the power forward that he used to be a scant few years ago.

Armstead has completely dominated the off-season, both on the track and on the field, and that has turned scouts heads. His athleticism is off the charts for a man of his size and as he learns the NFL game, he'll improve immensely. When he arrived in Mobile, many thought that he would struggle against better competition and it was the complete opposite as he excelled.

Defense

Rush Defense - 129.1 ypg (25th)
Pass Defense - 254.3 ypg (28th)
Total Defense - 383.4 ypg (31st)
Scoring Defense - 21.5 ppg (tied 12th)

Most pressing defensive needs - Inside linebacker, pass rusher depth and safety

Defensive line

Jason Pierre Paul and Justin Tuck have been mainstays in New York but neither had a great deal of success in 2012. The two combined for only 10.5 sacks as the team registered a pedestrian total of 33. Neither one is going anywhere, but they could use some company rushing the quarterback from the perimeter. Tuck has often bumped inside on pass rush downs when there has been a rusher that can pressure the edge.

WIth Osi Umenyiora gone to Atlanta, the Giants have to find an impact player on passing downs. DT Linval Joseph returns to the middle, but the biggest impact will be from former Philadelphia Eagle castoffs Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. However, the defense needs a boost from former second rounder Marvin Austin to provide additional impact from the middle.

1st -
2nd - DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M (6-5, 250), DE Sam Montgomery, LSU (6-3, 262), DE Cornelius Carradine, Florida State (6-4, 276)
3rd - DE John Simon, Ohio State (6-1, 257)
4th - DE Lavar Edwards, LSU (6-4, 277)
5th -
6th -
7th -

With the options on the board, I went for pure pass rush need and Moore fits that description perfectly. Sure, he had a horrid weekend at the Combine, but the one thing he does as well or better than any other edge player in this class is rush the quarterback. If Montgomery was available in the second round, it'd be difficult to not snatch up the productive, all-around 4-3 DE. Carradine's range in this draft is anywhere from top 15 to mid-to-late second round. He has top ten ability but his torn ACL could keep teams away.

Linebackers

The Giants have major questions at linebacker, currently. They began the off-season by cutting Michael Boley, opening one hole in the linebacking corps. Mathias Kiwanuka will move back to defensive end now that Osi Umenyiora, but leading tackler Chase Blackburn took the money and ran to Carolina.

As such, both MLB and WLB positions are wide open to competition. As great as the story would be, Mark Herzlich or Dan Connor may not be the answer at MLB. Herzlich, Connor and Jacquian Williams are better off as versatile fourth linebackers as opposed to starters. Suffice it to say, the Giants have a distinct need at linebacker, either inside or outside.

1st - ILB/OLB Alec Ogletree, Georgia (6-2, 246), ILB Kevin Minter, LSU (6-0, 246), ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (6-1, 241)
2nd - ILB/OLB Arthur Brown, Kansas State (6-0, 238)
3rd - ILB Kiko Alonso, Oregon (6-4, 238)
4th - ILB Jon Bostic, Florida (6-1, 245)
5th -
6th -
7th -

Ogletree's off the field issues have been well documented, but his speed, athleticism and versatility would fit extremely well in Perry Fewell's defense, either inside or outside.

Minter has the potential to be the Giants middle linebacker for the next eight to ten years. He can thump, reads and deciphers plays well and is a leader in the middle. No. 19 is perhaps a bit too high for Minter, but there are a number of teams below the Giants that have a need as well. Brown didn't enamor himself to scouts and GMs at the Combine by choosing not to compete/work out but he explodes to the football from sideline to sideline when he's on the field.

Secondary

The Giants have made a significant draft investment at the corner position throughout the Tom Coughlin reign. This could be a year in which the draft investment is made in the safety position, albeit more of a long term investment. Kenny Phillips is off to Philadelphia and Antrel Rolle will be 31 before the end of the year. The good news is that Stevie Brown had eight interceptions last year and Rolle still has some game left.

At corner, Terrell Thomas returns, but after missing two years with injuries, there's no telling what he has left in the tank. However, the team spent a first round pick on Prince Amukamara and a third round selection on Jayron Hosley over the past two years to hedge that particular risk. There's no question the cornerback group already on the roster must rise to the occasion so the team doesn't have to sink any additional investment into that position.

1st -
2nd -
3rd - S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State (6-1, 208), S D.J Swearinger, South Carolina (5-11, 208)
4th - S T.J McDonald, USC (6-3, 219)
5th - S Zeke Motta, Notre Dame (6-2, 213)
6th - S Cody Davis, Texas Tech (6-2, 204)
7th -

Thomas is a rangy talent who can play near the line of scrimmage or deep in the middle of the field. Swearinger is a hammer that announces his presence with fearless striking and he'll make an immediate impact on special teams. McDonald was a bit of a disappointment last season and makes the majority of his plays closer to the line of scrimmage. Motta didn't test well at the Combine but he's a good tackler with anticipation skills that make up for average speed.

Dallas Cowboys

Draft Selections:

  • Round 1 (18)
  • Round 2 (47)
  • Round 3 (80)
  • Round 4 (114)
  • Round 5 (151)
  • Round 6 (185)

Key Additions:

  • OLB Justin Durant (DET)
  • S Will Allen (PIT)

Key Losses:

  • DE Marcus Spears (BAL)
  • CB Mike Jenkins (OAK)
  • LB Dan Connor (NYG)

Offense

Rush Offense - 79.1 ypg (31st)
Pass Offense - 295.6 ypg (3rd)
Total Offense - 374.6 ypg (6th)
Scoring Offense - 23.5 ppg (15th)

Most pressing offensive needs - Offensive line and offensive line

Quarterback

As long as Jerry Jones is calling the shots and Jason Garrett remains the head coach, Tony Romo will be entrenched as the starter in Dallas. As polarizing as Romo is, he's not this team's main issue, not to mention the fact that there are 20 other teams that would take him right now as their signal caller.

Kyle Orton is under contract as his back up, so the need just isn't there to draft a quarterback any sooner than the sixth round. The Cowboys don't have a seventh round pick, currently, so it might be the only round in which Jones and company flirt with a quarterback project.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th - Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah (6-4, 237),
7th - Marqueis Gray, Minnesota (6-3, 240), Seth Doege, Texas Tech (6-1, 200)

Neither will be starters within the next couple of years, but Sorensen has a strong arm and a gunslinger's mentality. Gray's future may ultimately be at wide receiver or even at running back as he struggled as a starting quarterback for most of his career at Minnesota. That said, he's a tremendous athlete that could eventually impact the offense in unique ways in the future.

Running Back

DeMarco Murray has the potential to be a consistent threat in this offense, but he needs to stay healthy running behind an upgraded offensive line. That said, Murray is the unquestioned starter but the Cowboys need to also find him some company this off season.

Felix Jones is an unrestricted free agent that has probably played his last game as a Cowboy. Consequently, he never lived up to enormous expectations during his days in Dallas. Expect the Cowboys to add exceptional value from this deep class of running backs in round two, three or four.

1st -
2nd - Eddie Lacy, Alabama (5-11, 231), Johnathan Franklin, UCLA (5-10, 205), Joe Randle, Oklahoma State (6-0, 204)
3rd - Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (5-8, 202)
4th - Mike Gillislee, Florida (5-11, 208)
5th - Michael Ford, LSU (5-9, 210)
6th -
7th -

One thing that could help out the Cowboys offensive line is a guy who can create his own space with power. That's Lacy. He's pure power, but he runs with patience and has more burst and quicker feet than a 231 lb. back is supposed to have. Randle didn't impress with his speed at the Combine, but it doesn't matter. There wasn't one time in recent memory that he was caught from behind and he's got the package of skills, whether it's carrying the ball, catching it or protecting the guy throwing it.

Wide Receiver

The Cowboys' receivers is as mercurial as it gets, led by star Dez Bryant. He finally flashed the talent that we have all raved about going back to his days at Lufkin High School. He finished the year with 92 receptions, nearly 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns, the best year of his career by far.

Now, Bryant can go off the deep end at any point, but he seems to have his act together for the time being. Miles Austin restructured his deal, keeping him around for another season. The only minor question is losing former No. 3 receiver Kevin Ogletree but the Cowboys passing game won't skip a beat. With that being the only issue of consequence, the Cowboys may only look at specialized slot receivers to bolster the receiving corps.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - Ace Sanders, South Carolina (5-7, 173), Denard Robinson, Michigan (5-11, 199)
6th - T.J. Moe, Missouri (6-0, 204)
7th -

Sanders is quick as a hiccup in space and could complement the offense well. Robinson has the ability to play slot receiver or even running back, but, more importantly, he can be on the field with Bryant, Austin and Jason Witten in a complementary role. Moe didn't have a great season last year, but he has solid slot receiver instincts with excellent hands.

Tight End

Jason Witten gets older and better at the same time. He must show all of us how that works because he just keeps catching the football more and more every year. Following Austin's lead, Witten reworked his deal to remain a Cowboy in 2013, but his backup John Phillips left Dallas for San Diego.

As such, Witten will need some help and the Cowboys should target a tight end on day three of the draft. Considering Witten's pass catching prowess, the Cowboys should investigate tight ends that can be better in-line blockers to also assist the offensive line.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th - Dion Sims, Michigan State (6-5, 262)
5th - Nick Kasa, Colorado (6-6, 269)
6th - Lucas Reed, New Mexico (6-6, 247)
7th - Michael Williams, Alabama (6-6, 269), Justice Cunningham, South Carolina (6-3, 258)

Sims needs work on his blocking skills, but he's an old school, hand in the dirt tight end that played in a power offense at Michigan State. Kasa is a former defensive end who loves being physical, but he needs work on his feet and technique. That said, he's got excellent speed and could be a weapon down the seam against linebackers and safeties. Williams is perhaps the best blocker of this tight end class and will find his way on to an NFL roster for that particular reason.

Offensive line

If Tyron Smith weren't at left tackle, it's possible that the Cowboys could blow up the entire offensive line and start completely over. If the Cowboys offensive line was a hand in poker, you'd throw back the other four cards and keep the ace (Smith). Unfortunately, offensive line play isn't 100% analogous to a game of poker, but the risk is similar.

The saddest part is that the Cowboys have tried for years to just get away with five bodies that are just good enough to keep Romo upright. They've drafted just two linemen over the past four years that are still on the roster - Smith and backup guard David Arkin, both in 2011. The Cowboys may have to replicate that philosophy by drafting a pair of linemen in this draft and perhaps adding another in free agency.

1st - G Chance Warmack, Alabama (6-2, 317), G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (6-2, 311), RT D.J Fluker, Alabama (6-5, 339)
2nd - T/G Kyle Long, Oregon (6-6, 313), T Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-5, 306), RT Oday Aboushi, Virginia (6-5, 308), G Larry Warford, Kentucky (6-3, 332)
3rd - G/T Justin Pugh, Syracuse (6-5, 307)
4th - G Garrett Gilkey, Chadron State (6-6, 318)
5th -
6th - G Eric Herman, Ohio (6-4, 320), G Jeff Baca, UCLA (6-3, 302)
7th -

Warmack may have scared a few teams at the Combine with a below average physical performance, but don't misunderstand, this is one of the best run blocking interior linemen we've seen in quite some time. That said, David DeCastro was nearly dominant last year and lasted all the way until pick No. 24. Cooper is a bit better athlete and can fit into a zone blocking scheme or a power blocking scheme equally well. Keep an eye on Armstead, unquestionably the most athletic offensive lineman in this class.

Defense

Rush Defense - 125.2 ypg (22nd)
Pass Defense - 230.3 ypg (19th)
Total Defense - 355.4 ypg (19th)
Scoring Defense - 25.0 ppg (24th)

Most pressing defensive needs - Keep everyone healthy, defensive line and safety

Defensive line

The Cowboys will convert to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, but expect the Cowboys to mix odd and even fronts in his scheme. It'll be 4-3 in name only, so a complete and total overhaul isn't absolutely necessary. DE DeMarcus Ware restructured his contract to open some room under the salary cap and will return. He fits in any scheme the Cowboys run, whether he has to play with his hand up or down.

First thought was that DE Anthony Spencer was on his way out but the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him to bring him back. Inside, Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff have a ton of experience, but little depth after them or to spell them. The focus during the draft has to be to add explosive interior players and complete, all-around players on the edge.

1st - DT Star Lotulelei, Utah (6-3, 311), DE Bjoen Werner, Florida State (6-3, 266), DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (6-3, 323)
2nd - DE Margus Hunt, SMU (6-8, 277), DE Sam Montgomery, LSU (6-3, 262)
3rd - DT Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State (6-1, 335)
4th - DE Lavar Edwards, LSU (6-4, 277)
5th - DT Everett Dawkins, Florida State (6-2, 292)
6th - DT Josh Boyd, Mississippi State (6-3, 310)
7th - DT Chris Jones, Bowling Green (6-2, 302)

The offensive line is more of a priority in the first round, but if Warmack and Cooper are off the board, it probably means that one of the three options above could be available at No. 18. Lotulelei didn't work out at the Combine due to a heart issue, but he has rebounded in fine shape.

The question for the former Utah star is whether he's able to be a consistent dominant force or if he'll disappear for long stretches at a time. He's strong with his hands at the point of attack and could be the linchpin for this Kiffin-led defense for a while.

Linebackers

The only two questions with Dallas' linebackers are health and depth, which go hand in hand. Sean Lee was having a Pro Bowl year and then was lost for ten games. Bruce Carter stepped up after Lee went down and had a pair of double digit tackle games before missing the last five games of the year with an injury. Behind those two, and recently signed Justin Durant, there is little depth, so expect the Cowboys to investigate versatile linebackers late on day three.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th - OLB Gerald Hodges, Penn State (6-1, 240)
5th -
6th - ILB Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech (6-1, 234), ILB Vince Williams, Florida State (6-1, 247), ILB Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers (6-1, 240), ILB/OLB Michael Mauti, Penn State (6-2, 243)
7th - ILB Marvin Burdette, UAB (5-9, 240)

Taylor is a thumper, although he gets overaggressive at times. Williams underachieved at Florida State, but is worth the value in the sixth round, especially if he's able to contribute on special teams. Beuharnais was overshadowed by teammate Khaseem Greene, but is a solid all-around player who should fit this defense well. Mauti's two ACL tears will keep teams from taking the risk until the fifth or sixth round, but he's good value in the sixth to play behind former teammates Connor and Lee.

Secondary

After signing CB Brandon Carr as a free agent last year and drafting Morris Claiborne, the Cowboys seemed to solve any cornerback issues for the foreseeable future. But, Claiborne was underwhelming as a rookie, while Carr had an average season with only three interceptions. That said, the Cowboys made their bed with these two and we'll see this pairing for years. At safety, Barry Church returns after a season-ending injury, but there's no telling what he's got left in the tank.

If the Cowboys examine secondary options in the draft, they'll look long and hard at playmaking defensive backs or safeties. The Cowboys picked off only seven passes last year, so any additions must have playmaking skills.

1st -
2nd -
3rd - S Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse (5-9, 213), S T.J McDonald, USC (6-3, 219)
4th - S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia (6-1, 211), CB/S Tyrann Mathieu, LSU (5-9, 178),
5th -
6th - S Cody Davis, Texas Tech (6-2, 204)
7th -

McDonald played for Kiffin the last three years at USC, but the son of former 49er Tim had a less than average senior campaign. Rambo's off the field issues are well documented, but he's perhaps the best physical, playmaking combo safety in this safety class. Mathieu is an all day playmaker, but his drug related issues will keep him off some teams' draft boards. Jerry's not scared to take a risk, though, so the former LSU star would be a versatile chess piece for Kiffin this season.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Round 1 (4)
  • Round 2 (35)
  • Round 3 (67)
  • Round 4 (101)
  • Round 5 (136)
  • Round 7 (210, 212, 218 and 239)

Key Additions:

  • NT Isaac Sopoaga (SF)
  • OLB Connor Barwin (HOU)
  • CB Cary Williams (BAL)

Key Losses:

  • CB Nnamdi Asomugha (SF)
  • DT Mike Patterson (NYG)
  • DT/DE Cullen Jenkins (NYG)

Offense

Rush Offense - 117.1 ypg (13th)
Pass Offense - 236.9 ypg (13th)
Total Offense - 354.1 ypg (15th)
Scoring Offense - 17.5 ppg (29th)

Most pressing offensive needs - Health, depth and best OL available

Quarterback

The Eagles have four quarterbacks under contract currently: Mike Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and newly signed G.J. Kinne. The four are loaded with questions and it remains a mystery whether any of the four will fit what Chip Kelly wants to do offensively. That said, Vick is under contract for only one year, while Foles is cheap labor as he's playing under his rookie deal.

Furthermore, Dixon's contract was for two years, but the Eagles brass didn't break the bank signing him. So, there's little risk in trying to find The Man from this group this year. If Vick takes to Chip Kelly's offense like a duck to water, then perfect, everyone wins. If he doesn't, the one year expires and Kelly finds his quarterback for the future in the 2014 draft where there are more spread offense candidates than in this year's class. If the Eagles target quarterbacks, it'll only be two.

1st -
2nd - E.J. Manuel, Florida State (6-5, 237)
3rd -
4th - Matt Scott, Arizona (6-2, 212)
5th -
6th -
7th -

I'd say absolutely no way on quarterback at all, but Chip Kelly wants to at least attempt his NFL experiment with a mobile quarterback. No. 35 seems like the right fit for Manuel, but if he's gone by that point, which is completely possible, Scott is an excellent value pick in the fourth round.

Running Back

The Eagles have an abundance of running backs on the roster currently. LeSean McCoy, when healthy, could be a 1,500 yard rusher in this offense, no question. Bryce Brown can be maddening for a coaching staff at times, but in this scheme, he's an excellent fit. Even No. 3 running back Dion Lewis could excel in this offense given his ability to make people miss in space.

That all said, Kelly always liked having a change of pace back, which in his case is a power back that gives the offense a different dimension. Ultimately, the Eagles won't be drafting a running back on the first two days, but there are some interesting power backs in the later rounds to examine.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - FB/TB Lonnie Pryor, Florida State (5-11, 227)
6th - FB/TB Zach Line, SMU (6-0, 232)
7th - TB/FB George Winn, Cincinnati (5-10, 218)

Pryor is the best of the dual threat power backs. He was MVP of last year's Orange Bowl based largely on five carries. Of course, with those five he registered 134 yards. Line was a two time 1,200+ yard rusher and reminds many of Mike Alstott. Now, an Alstott type doesn't appear to be what Kelly desires, but each year at Oregon, he had a power back to complement his team's speed. Winn is more tailback than fullback but he's a bull in a china shop with the ball in his hands.

Wide Receiver

As a duo, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, when healthy, should scare defensive coordinators more than any other two receivers in the league. Both have such explosive qualities, but neither has been able to stay healthy or focused for a full 16 games. That said, both can be rejuvenated in this attack and can change the game for the Eagles in a multitude of ways. The depth behind these two is adequate, but on day three, don't be surprised if the Eagles look at a multi-dimensional threat who can win in space or a big possession receiver.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - Ace Sanders, South Carolina (5-7, 173), Denard Robinson, Michigan (5-11, 193), Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech (6-2, 204)
6th - Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech (6-3, 233)
7th - Darius Johnson, SMU (5-9, 179), Kenbrell Thompkins, Cincinnati (6-1, 193)

Sanders can stop on a dime, give you change and beat you to the edge all at the same time. He's quicker than he is fast, but Kelly can use him on jet sweeps and in a variety of other scheme possibilities. Johnson is similar, but is probably a better complete receiver with a great pair of hands. Kelly will like the fact that Robinson was a former quarterback so he should be able to read defenses as Kelly wants, not to mention the electricity Denard can generate with the ball in his hands.

Tight End

The Eagles duo of Brent Celek and Clay Harbor is adequate, not overly impressive, not a liability. Celek caught 57 passes last year, including ten touchdowns, while backup Clay Harbor nabbed 25 balls. The Eagles added the consummate X factor in James Casey, a guy who can do just about everything on the football field. He can line up anywhere, but probably more so at h-back and in the slot. With Celek, Harbor and Casey, the team doesn't hurt for much more at the tight end/h-back position.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th -

Offensive line

How will this offensive line look from tackle to tackle in 2013? After the quarterback question, this is the only other true issue on the offensive side of the ball. That's not to say there isn't a good crop of linemen on the roster, quite the contrary. It's just a matter of how the puzzle pieces fit together; that's the issue, along with their return from injury.

If Jason Peters is fully recovered from his injury, would it make some sense to bump him inside or over to right tackle and move Todd Herremans inside? Should Peters stay at left tackle and Herremans moves inside after drafting a tackle? Should both stay on the edge and the Eagles focus on the interior portion of the line in the draft? Regardless, the draft should provide one more piece to this mix, at a minimum.

1st - T Eric Fisher, Central Michigan (6-7, 306), T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (6-6, 306), T Lane Johnson, Oklahoma (6-7, 303)
2nd - G/T Kyle Long, Oregon (6-6, 313), T Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-5, 306)
3rd - G/T Justin Pugh, Syracuse (6-4, 307), T Menelik Watson, Florida State (6-5, 310)
4th - G/T David Quessenberry, San Jose State (6-5, 302)
5th -
6th -
7th -

If the Eagles determine that Peters or Herremans should (and can) move inside then tackle is a need. As such, Fisher, Joeckel or Johnson make sense with the No. 4 pick. That's a tad high for Johnson, but then again, if the Eagles like Fisher they'll like Johnson. Long played guard for Kelly at Oregon, even though he could transition out to tackle with his feet and size.

Armstead is intriguing as can be given his physical gifts, but he can play. He plays with decent technique already and won't lose many physical street fights at the line of scrimmage.

Defense

Rush Defense - 126.3 ypg (23rd)
Pass Defense - 216.9 ypg (9th)
Total Defense - 343.3 ypg (15th)
Scoring Defense - 27.8 ppg (tied 29th)

Most pressing defensive needs - Best defensive player available

Defensive line

The Eagles will transition to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Billy Davis, but expect them to use both odd and even fronts. Regardless of the scheme up front, the Eagles don't have players, literally bodies, to fill out a defensive line meeting room. This will be a focus for the Eagles after having cut Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Jason Babin over the last three months. This will be a small point of concern for the team in the draft, even after signing NT Isaac Sopoaga.

1st - DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida (6-3, 297)
2nd - DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (6-3, 323), DE Margus Hunt, SMU (6-8, 277), DT/DE Kawann Short, Purdue (6-3, 299)
3rd - DT Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State (6-1, 355), DE/DT Akeem Spence, Illinois (6-1, 307)
4th - DE Malliciah Goodman, Clemson (6-4, 276), DE William Gholston, Michigan State (6-6, 281)
5th - DT Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin (6-4, 329)
6th -
7th - DT T.J Barnes, Georgia Tech (6-6, 369)

Floyd has made the biggest jump on draft boards this past month, but he's had the attention of NFL scouts for a while. It finally came together for the Philadelphia native over the second half of the 2012 season. He is a prototype 3-technique, but his fit here may ultimately depend on how Davis orchestrates the scheme. Jesse Williams would take a ton of heat off the linebackers with his strength over the nose, while Hunt is the most freakish physical specimen in this class of defensive linemen.

Linebackers

The Eagles linebacker corps is rife with players but whether they'll all ultimately fit in this defense remains a question. Can Brandon Graham and Trent Cole play outside linebacker (and stay healthy) in a 3-4? The Eagles hedged that risk, so to speak, by signing former Houston OLB Connor Barwin during free agency.

At inside linebacker, can DeMeco Ryans play better in Philly's 3-4 as opposed to how he performed in Houston's 3-4 in 2011? If he does, he and Mychal Kendricks should be a fantastic duo in the middle of the defense. The defense isn't perfect, by any means, but it lacks more true stand up edge players like Barwin. Expect the Eagles to find an explosive, edge athlete in this draft.

1st - Dion Jordan, Oregon (6-6, 248)
2nd -
3rd - OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss (6-4, 250)
4th - OLB Chase Thomas, Stanford (6-3, 244)
5th - OLB Lerentee McCray, Florida (6-2. 250)
6th -
7th -

Kelly certainly knows Jordan well, having coached him throughout his career in Eugene. That said, he also knows how disruptive his speed can be in this defense. Collins may be the best overall athlete in the outside linebacker class, but his performance this season was lost behind an 0-12 campaign.

Thomas is the prototype OLB who can rush, drop and play the run, plus Kelly has coached against him for the past four years. McCray is a day three gem that didn't make much of a dent for the Florida defense until his senior year, but he rushes the quarterback well, if nothing else.

Secondary

Back in March, I wrote that the Eagles secondary looked to be primed for a complete tear down and rebuild. And, that's exactly what happened. The only starter or part time starter that'll return to the team is safety Kurt Coleman. The Eagles have added, potentially, two new cornerback starters (Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams) and two new safety starters (Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips).

As mentioned, potentially four new starters and it was necessary. With all the money spent in the secondary, the team must still add some youth in the secondary on day three.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th - CB Leon McFadden, San Diego State (5-10, 193), CB/S Tyrann Mathieu, LSU (5-9, 178)
5th - CB Terry Hawthorne, Illinois (6-0, 195), S Robert Lester, Alabama (6-1, 220)
6th - CB Micah Hyde, Iowa (6-0, 197)
7th - S John Boyett, Oregon (5-10, 204)

McFadden is one of my most underrated players in this draft. He's tough, aggressive and has quick feet that never stop. Furthermore, he doesn't back down from anyone. If Kelly and the Eagles brass have, well, some brass ones, Mathieu will be an Eagle. His issues are well documented, but it's also well documented the type of player he is when he's right and healthy. Boyett's injury was a killer for the Ducks last year and he's a player who does nothing but make plays.

Washington Redskins

Draft Selections:

  • Round 2 (51)
  • Round 3 (85)
  • Round 4 (119)
  • Round 5 (154 and 162)
  • Round 6 (191)
  • Round 7 (228)

Key Additions:

  • None

Key Losses:

  • OLB Lorenzo Alexander (ARZ)

Offense

Rush Offense - 169.3 ypg (1st)
Pass Offense - 213.9 ypg (20th)
Total Offense - 383.2 ypg (5th)
Scoring Offense - 27.3 ppg (4th)

Most pressing offensive needs - Robert Griffin III's knee and right tackle

Quarterback

The only issue at quarterback is THE question for this entire franchise. When can he return and will he ever be the same? The he in that pair of questions is, of course, Robert Griffin III. After initially injuring his knee against the Baltimore Ravens and then going down for good in the playoffs against Seattle, there is legitimate concern that Griffin won't be ready to open the season and that he may not be the player that earned the Rookie of the Year award in 2012. Kirk Cousins will start under center until Griffin returns. The team re-signed Rex Grossman to back up RGIII and Cousins. The draft won't be the answer it was last year, nor does it need to be in 2013.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th -

Running Back

Anyone that claims that they envisioned Alfred Morris having a 1,600+ yard season after being a sixth round draft pick is a con artist. Mike Shanahan did it before with Terrell Davis many years ago, but no one had any expectation whatsoever that Morris would be the bellcow of this offense as a rookie.

Consequently, with Morris back and a boat load of depth behind him, the Redskins probably won't add an every down back early in the draft. But, they may look for versatile options that can meld with this dynamic offense later on day three.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - Denard Robinson, Michigan (5-11, 193)
6th - Theo Riddick, Notre Dame (5-10, 201)
7th - Onterrio McCalebb, Auburn (5-10, 168)

Either at running back or wide receiver, Robinson could have a diverse role in this offense that already has a number of different layers. He's getting more comfortable catching the football, which was evident in Indianapolis at the Combine. However, over the last two or three games of his career, he not only lined up at running back but he excelled. Riddick is quicker than he is fast, but he also plays both slot receiver and running back.

Wide Receiver

Four Redskin receivers caught 38 passes or more last season and all four are set to come back in 2013. So, there would appear to be little reason to consider receiver in this draft. If the Redskins do look at receivers, perhaps investigating true slot receivers late on day three makes sense. As such, there are a few at the back end of the draft that could assist on special teams too.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - Ace Sanders, South Carolina (5-7, 173)
6th - T.J Moe, Missouri (6-0, 204)
7th - Russell Shepard, LSU (6-1, 199), Sam McGuffie, Rice (5-10, 200)

Sanders is a lot like Santana Moss, although the former South Carolina star is quicker than he is fast, whereas Moss was a speed merchant. But, Sanders could also be used on punt and kick returns, which is more vital given the fact that Brandon Banks is a restricted free agent. Moe is a physical slot type, much bigger than most slot receivers, but he has glue for hands, catching anything thrown his way.

Tight End

Even though longtime beloved Redskin TE Chris Cooley hung up his cleats, the Redskins tight end position is in good shape heading into the 2013 season. Well, with one if. If Fred Davis is truly healthy and 100% after tearing his achilles last year, the Redskins will be quite effective at the tight end position. Logan Paulsen re-signed and he'll back up Davis, while Niles Paul returns as the No. 3 tight end on the roster. That all said, the Redskins may look at best athlete available at tight end late on day three

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th - Matt Furstenburg, Maryland (6-3, 242)
6th - Levine Toilolo, Stanford (6-8, 260), Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State (6-3, 252),
7th - Michael Williams, Alabama (6-6, 279), Chris Pantale, Boston College (6-5, 254)

Furstenburg could be one of the best value selections on the board if selected in the fifth round. He never had a competent quarterback to get him the football, but when he did catch it, he became a speedy weapon out in space. Stoneburner never really got in a groove with either of his quarterbacks at Ohio State, but he was also his worst enemy by getting in trouble off the field. Williams is a better receiver than advertised and a solid point of attack run blocker.

Offensive line

The Redskins need to determine what to do with their right tackle position. Jammal Brown, projected 2012 right tackle, and Tyler Polumbus, actual 2012 right tackle, were both unrestricted free agents in the off-season.

Consequently, the Redskins cast their lot with Polumbus re-signing him, but also signing former Tampa Bay Buc Jeremy Trueblood. That said, if the Redskins can get more athletic at that position through the draft, it'll make perfect sense to do plenty of due diligence on this group of tackles. At worst, the team will kick the tires on tackles and then investigate other positions for depth in later rounds on the weekend.

1st -
2nd - RT Kyle Long, Oregon (6-6, 313), RT Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff (6-5, 306)
3rd - G/T Justin Pugh, Syracuse (6-4, 307), C/G Brian Schwenke, Cal (6-3, 314)
4th - T David Quessenberry, San Jose State (6-5, 302), T Jordan Mills, La. Tech (6-5, 316)
5th - G Alvin Bailey, Arkansas (6-3, 312)
6th - G Garrett Gilkey, Chadron State (6-6, 318)
7th - G/T Jordan Devey, Memphis (6-7, 317)

Long's off the field issues may be a problem for some teams, but he's shown that he's move beyond that time in his life. He's got every attribute necessary to be a right tackle - feet, nasty streak and lateral quickness. Armstead is a physical specimen that could eventually develop into a left tackle. Although center isn't a top priority, Schwenke could be the future with his quickness and zone blocking abilities and in the third round, he's a tremendous value selection.

Defense

Rush Defense - 95.8 ypg (5th)
Pass Defense - 281.9 ypg (30th)
Total Defense - 377.1 ypg (28th)
Scoring Defense - 24.3 ppg (22nd)

Most pressing defensive needs - Secondary and inside linebacker depth

Defensive line

The Redskins defensive line was stout last year and that was without Adam Carriker who missed most of the season with an injury. Although this group doesn't have a bona fide Pro Bowler, it has good talent and depth, which should allow the Redskins to focus their draft efforts elsewhere on draft weekend.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th -
5th -
6th -
7th -

Linebackers

Brian Orakpo's return is a huge boost to the linebacking corps. OLB Rob Jackson, a restricted free agent, was adequate, but he's not Orakpo. On the opposite side, Ryan Kerrigan continues to adapt to playing from a two point stance, but he led the team in sacks by a wide margin in 2012.

The only real question at linebacker is how long London Fletcher can play. He racked up 139 tackles last year, but also missed his share of stops along the way. That said, he'll be 38 in May and could use an exit plan, so to speak.

1st -
2nd -
3rd -
4th - ILB Jon Bostic, Florida (6-1, 245), ILB A.J Klein, Iowa State (6-2, 243)
5th - ILB Nico Johnson, Alabama (6-2, 248)
6th -
7th - ILB Jonathan Stewart, Texas A&M (6-4, 242)

If a player got selected based purely on his Combine performance, Bostic would be a top five pick. But, throughout his career at Florida, he didn't always utilize his immense physical skills. He's a little slow to read and decipher blocking schemes and play design, but he's the perfect sit-and-learn young linebacker. Johnson can thump, but he'll end up only being a two down linebacker in the future. Klein has the football instincts that teams crave in their young players and will be great value in the fifth round.

Secondary

Since the unfortunate passing of Sean Taylor and the departure of LaRon Landry, the Redskins safety play has been average at best. This is an area of definite need as the Redskins must find a starter at free safety, while Brandon Meriweather transitions over to strong safety.

Reed Doughty is not that guy. At cornerback, DeAngelo Hall has more left in the tank and is still making plays, while Josh Wilson is decent on the other side. But, there isn't much in the way of depth behind them. Both positions could use some polishing in the form of some young secondary players.

1st -
2nd - CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State (5-11, 192), S Eric Reid, LSU (6-0, 213)
3rd - S D.J Swearinger, South Carolina (5-11, 208), CB Robert Alford, SELA (5-10, 188), S T.J McDonald, USC (6-3, 219), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, U Conn (6-1, 195)
4th - S Bacarri Rambo, Georgia (6-1, 211), S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma (5-11, 213)
5th - S Zeke Motta, Notre Dame (6-2, 213)
6th - S Bradley McDougald, Kansas (6-0, 215)
7th - S Rashard Hall, Clemson (6-2, 210), S Earl Wolff, NC State (5-11, 209)

Reid has been productive for three years in the best conference in the country, but lacks top end speed to play a lot of man coverage. That said, he can play the middle of the field with the best of them and will form a great duo with Meriweather. Swearinger is the X-factor in this group because of his hitting ability and physical presence. At cornerback, Alford has the ability to play off man, press man and even zone, not to mention he has kickoff return ability.

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