Ted Sundquist's NFC East Draft Needs

The NFC East, a division which at times defies the laws of logic, common sense, gravity, and, well, you get the point. The Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, and Redskins can be about as a formidable foursome as there is in our League. The talent level is good from top to bottom, but it’s how they all four go about collecting it that’s separates them like four angry brothers in a dysfunctional family. Each is unique in its process and cast of characters and one thing’s always for certain, nothing the NFC East does should ever surprise you.
Dallas Cowboys
Primary need: Safety
Shake ups and losses on the defensive side of the ball have left holes in a number of areas for the Cowboys. Without a first round selection, Dallas doesn’t pick until the 2nd (#51) and some of the premier players at positions of need could quite possibly be long gone by then. The departure of Roy Williams at safety affords the Cowboys the opportunity to direct their attention to the back end of the secondary. Jerry and Stephen Jones will be making their first pick in territory that traditionally can yield an impact player at safety. In fact no other position has produced (by percentage of starters) at a higher rate between picks 51 – 80 (as per NFL Draft Scout’s study). Careful consideration could very well add an early starter to the defense and the Cowboys could use the help. Ranked 26th in stopping the run at 10+ yards (Football Outsiders) is a severe indicator of linebacker and secondary deficiencies and with the #1 rated pass rush (59 sacks & 9.8% rate) Dallas should be more effective in shutting down 3rd & medium/long passing situations than they were in ’08.
Possible targets: Safety Darcel McBath (Texas Tech), safety Rashad Johnson (Alabama), safety Patrick Chung (Oregon).
New York Giants
Primary need: Wide Receiver
The Giants have been able to stay relatively balanced on offense over the past few seasons behind a three-pronged running attack, passing accuracy of Eli Manning and a stable of targets to throw to. But with the release of Plaxico Burress and questions surrounding the re-signing of veteran Amani Toomer, G.M. Jerry Reese may turn to the strong depth at WR in this year’s draft to supplement the rest of his young corps. Dominik Hixon emerged as the Giants most productive wideout in ’08 and the New York passing game ranked 6th overall, but that was with the additions of Buress (37th) and Toomer (44th). Steve Smith and Sinorice Moss provided the remainder of the firepower at the position, though Moss was rarely utilized. The absence of the two veteran receivers also significantly transforms the group from one of size and physicality, to one more of movement & quickness. The Giants could use a “big banger” to go downfield.
Potential targets: Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland), receiver Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina), receiver Percy Harvin (Florida).
Philadelphia Eagles
Primary need: Running Back
The Eagles recently took care of their number one need with the trade acquisition of OT Jason Peters from the Buffalo Bills. Peters solidifies the left side (with Pro Bowl credentials) after the loss of Tra Thomas and teams up with UFA Stacy Andrews on the right . This move not only strengthens their offensive front (and then some) but allows GM Tom Heckert and Head Coach Andy Reid to shift their draft day emphasis in another direction. “Behold the power & leverage of two number one picks.” The Eagles gave up #28 to the Bills in the Peters deal and yet still have #21 with a shot at a young running back. Correll Buckhalter left for Denver and Brian Westbrook (one of the steadier backs in the League) could use some help in the rotation. Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno has ascended rapidly over the past few weeks and will probably be gone by Philly’s pick but three other RB’s could very well be in striking distance of the Eagles to add to an offense that finished just out of the top 10 in rushing off F.O.’s statistics.
Possible targets: running back Beanie Wells (Ohio State), running back Donald Brown (Connecticut), running back LeSean McCoy (Pitt).
Washington Redskins
Primary need: Defensive End
The Redskins had appeared to have backed off their quest for improvement through free agency over the course of the past couple seasons, but all that changed with the mega-contracts of DeAngelo Hall and Albert Haynesworth. In a study done between 2002 through 2007, the Redskins outspent (on seasonal average) all of the remaining 31 clubs (just ahead of Dallas) and yet yielded a .438 win percentage (24th) and two playoff appearances. Washington improved in 2008 but has sunk a significant amount of resources into Hall and Haynesworth. If the emphasis remains on defense then focus should be on replacing DE Jason Taylor. The Redskins were 29th in adjusted sack rate at 4.6% and got to the opposition just 24 times all last season. There are a number of athletic rush specialists that are being targeted by the growing number of 3-4 teams as OLB’s. Washington is in position to grab some of this speed & quickness to supplement its front four and take some of the pressure off the secondary and a pass defense ranked 15th.
Possible targets: defensive end Everette Brown (Florida State); defensive Larry English (Northern Illinois); defensive end Robert Ayers (Tennessee).

10 responses to “Ted Sundquist's NFC East Draft Needs

  1. I wonder of the Eagles will try to move up to get Moreno.
    If he is gone, expect them to try to get Pettigrew, or trade down into the high 2nd round for McCoy.

  2. Wasn’t Roy Williams supposed to be signed by now? That says something about his abilities. He is fairly young. Bhut he hits like a little boy and covers like an old granma.

  3. tanman took my post. “Wrong. Redskins primary need is new owner.”
    this owner/front office/team agent/vinny impressor/college dropout is killing both true fans and the team, all while making the Bidwells look like they know football.
    Snyder was satisfied with having a “better” 2008 than Jones’ traveling circus. with an owner my age, the future looks bleak for my rest of my fall and winter Sundays.
    very sad. thanks Snyder.

  4. Watch the cowboys select the wide receiver out of ohio state, whose father is the wide receiver coach for the Atlanta Falcons.

  5. Wydoc, Moreno and Pettigrew will be gone and they will trade down… They will get a RB (McCoy) and a DB in the second round. And, I have a bad feeling that the Giants are going to end up with Boldin…

  6. One miss on the Eagles … no way they take Beanie Wells. He doesn’t fit what they use a running back for. If they don’t get Knowshon (they may try to trade up to get him) they’ll most likely either go defense at 21 and then grab best RB available in the 2nd round or they’ll trade back a couple slots, pick up some extra picks, and then take McCoy either late in the 1st or early in the 2nd.
    I’ve seen some reputable sources say they actually have McCoy rated as highly as Brown and Moreno.

  7. dallas1966:
    The receiver you are talking about is Brian Robiskie, and he probably wont be there by the 51st pick. His stock is rising and hes most likely looking at being one of the first few picks in the second round.

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