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NFC East Draft Primer

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Dallas Cowboys

Picks: 1st R-27th, 2nd R-27th, 3th R-26th, 4th R-27th, 6th R-27th, 7th R-27th

Needs: OT, S, WR

By beating Philadelphia in Week 17 to clinch the NFC East and then again in the playoffs the Cowboys finally shed the late-season choker label.  The question now is can Dallas become a Super Bowl team?  Earlier this year the Cowboys released tackle Flozell Adams and that position is now a priority for the Cowboys.  A solid offensive line should help the Cowboys maintain a top 10 offense.

Another position of concern is in the secondary as the downfall for Dallas was a pass defense that ranked 20th.  This was on full display in a 34-3 playoff drubbing by the Vikings in which Sydney Rice torched the Dallas defense.  Up front the Cowboys are solid with a physical front seven that is stout against the run and stellar at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

A handful of decent offensive tackles like Charles Brown and Bruce Campbell might still be on the board for that 27th pick.  A real steal would be safety Taylor Mays, who would fill the best available/need pick but he won't likely be there.  Look for the Cowboys to address the wide receiver position on day two.

 

New York Giants

Picks: 1st R-15th, 2th R-14th, 3rd R-12th, 4th R-17th, 5th R-16th, 6th R-15th, 7th R-14th

Needs: LB, OT, DT

The memory of the Super Bowl XLII upset is rapidly disappearing the rear view mirror as the Giants missed the playoffs in 2009 with a disappointing 8-8 record.  In the early part of 2009 the Giants looked unstoppable after blowing up five straight opponents to open the season.  But as the year wore on Eli Manning regressed and running back Brandon Jacobs was never able to get the running game going.

After the 5-0 start the Giants were picked apart by New Orleans in Week 6 and never recovered.  By the time the dust settled the Giants finished a putrid 30th in the NFL in points allowed as teams threw on the Giants all day.  New York addressed the secondary with the free agent pickups of Deon Grant and Antrel Rolle.  Now the Giants must turn their attention to a front seven that is nowhere near the level they were at during that championship 2007 season.

In an ideal situation either linebacker Rolando McClain or defensive tackle Dan Williams will fall to the Giants but both will likely be off the board by the middle of the 1st round.  At that spot it might be a reach to take an offensive tackle so the Giants may have to settle for a best available player type like defensive end Derrick Morgan.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Picks: 1st R-24th, 2nd R-5th & 23rd, 3rd R-6th & 23rd, 4th R-7th & 23rd, 6th R-31st, 7th R-36th & 37th

Needs: OL, LB, DE

After years of speculating when the Donovan McNabb Era would end in Philly, the Eagles shipped the veteran to Washington and now Kevin Kolb takes over.  Kolb started twice last year in place of an injured McNabb so the transition should be smooth.  The Eagles said good bye to veteran Brian Westbrook thus LaSean McCoy becomes the feature back but he'll need to show improvement in 2010. The Eagles averaged a little more than 100 rushing yards per game.

Philadelphia chalked up an impressive turnover margin of +15 as the presence of cornerback Asante Samuel paid immediate dividends.  As usual, the Eagles were able to generate plenty of pressure and sacked opposing quarterbacks 44 times.  So it's rather perplexing to see the Eagles finish 19th in scoring.  In the final two games, both against Dallas, the Eagles could not stop the Cowboys offense.

With the signing of Marlin Jackson the secondary is secure so the Eagles need to beef up the depth at linebacker and on the end.  Philadelphia should also address some depth and get younger on the interior of the offensive line.  Top rated guard Mike Iupati would be able to make contributions right away,  The Eagles can also hope a hybrid DE/OLB like Sergio Kindle or Jerry Hughes falls to 24.

 

Washington Redskins

Picks: 1st R-4th, 4th R-5th, 5th R-32nd, 7th R-1st

Needs: OT, G, S, CB

Mike Shanahan is beginning to put his thumbprint on the Redskins.  Washington traded for reliable veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb and signed running back Larry Johnson to add depth to the backfield.  But the signature of a Shanahan coached team is the zone blocking offensive line scheme.  Washington needs help at o line and will address it right away.

Despite making a huge splash on defense with Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall the Redskins weren't overly impressive defensively in 2009.  The Redskins gave up 21 points per game, good for 18th in the NFL.  As the NFC East features plenty of arms the Redskins need to upgrade their secondary.

There is little doubt the Redskins will take offensive tackle Russell Okung with the fourth overall pick.  Okung will play left tackle and fits into the zone scheme.  After that the Redskins can rest easy until Saturday but will certainly need to address the defensive backfield.

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