NFC East Draft Outlook

Over the next few weeks in the run up to the NFL Draft on April 22-24, we will be previewing the draft needs of all 32 teams. We continue today with the NFC East. Check out the NFC West, NFC South, and NFC North previews as well.

NFC East Draft Outlook
2009 Record: 11-5
NFC East Champions, Lost 34-3 to Minnesota in NFC Divisional game
Draft Picks: 27 (1-27), 59 (2-27), 90 (3-26), (4-27), (6-27), (7-27)
Is it odd to say a teams biggest need is a kicker? This very well might be the case with Dallas. They need some help along both lines and in the secondary, but their most glaring need is a kicker that can routinely make short field goals and extra points. Chances are, the Giants won’t take a kicker until the 6th round, but they are one of the leading contenders in that market.
The Cowboys have a definite need to get younger along their O-line, and many believe that LT Flozell Adams is now more of a liability than an asset. If the Cowboys want a top-tier offensive lineman, they may have to trade up in the draft to grab one.
NFC East Draft Outlook
2009 Record: 11-5
Wild Card, Lost 34-14 to Dallas in NFC Wild Card game
Draft Picks: 24 (1-24), 55 (2-23), 70 (3-6), 87 (3-23), (4-23), (6-31)
At the beginning of last season, everyone was crowning the Eagles as NFC Champs. They didn’t even win their division after an utter flop against Dallas at the end of the season. To make matters worse, they came out and flopped again in the playoffs. Philly let RB Brian Westbrook go, and is still searching for a back to complement Shady McCoy. They also need some help on defense – particularly at safety. We really don’t like Taylor Mays, so we’re hoping that Philly is dumb enough to draft him. Chances are he’ll continue failing in coverage at the NFL level. Philly may draft him with the notion of moving him to linebacker.
Our Take:
NFC East Draft Outlook
NFC East Draft Outlook
2009 Record: 8-8
Draft Picks: 15 (1-15), 46 (2-14), 76 (3-12), (4-17), (5-16), (6-15), (7-14)
The Giants came out of the gate strong last year, but their once-strong defense got torn apart, both on the ground and through the air down the stretch. The Giants need some serious help on defense, particularly in the secondary. That being said, the only place the Giants really don’t need an upgrade is at DE. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are great bookend rushers.
The Giants are in play to take any defensive player on the board, regardless of position. They made a big splash in free agency by signing Safety Antrel Rolle from Arizona. With the departure of MLB Antonio Pierce, the Giants will look for a leader who can step in in the middle of the defense. This puts Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon clearly in play for New York. While 15 might be a little high for Spoon, he is also a possibility for the Steelers and Falcons, so the Giants would likely lose out if they traded back. The Giants have been active in draft-day trades before, so don’t be surprised if they make a move to move up or down.
NFC East Draft Outlook
2009 Record: 4-12
Draft Picks: 4 (1-4), 37 (2-5), (4-5), (5-4), (7-4)
Washington is a prime candidate for a team to be picking at the top of the 2011 draft. Surprisingly, they haven’t thrown money around in Free Agency like many expected they would. Their biggest signings have been QB Rex Grossman and RB Larry Johnson. Jason Campbell will likely be the starter again, and with the retirement of All-Pro tackle Chris Samuels, the ‘Skins offensive line needs help this offseason. Campbell can be an effective quarterback, but he needs a running game to support him. When the Redskins started the 2008 season 6-2, their offense ran through Clinton Portis. During their collapse, they had poor offensive line play, which led to more sacks and an inability to run the ball. Last year, well, the team was a disaster.
Kevin from HogsHaven dropped some knowledge on us about the Redskins situation. The Hogs Haven folks are on Twitter as well.
1. What do you see as the biggest need(s) for your team to address this offseason?
Without question the OLine. Jason Campbell got consistently creamed and the running game was non-existent. The Redskins didn’t have a RT last year, started 8 different right guards last year, and lost their book-end LT, Chris Samuels, to retirement. The problem cannot be ultimately fixed in one off-season, but the Left Tackle MUST be addressed.
2. Have they addressed any of these so far in Free Agency? Which do you think are better addressed in the Draft?
They have not. They signed Artis Hicks, but he is not a bookend LT or RT, two empty positions right now in Washington
3. Who is on your draft wish list?
Russell Okung.
Our Take:
Mike Shanahan was brought in in the offseason to turn things around. It starts with the draft. He needs to land 2 NFL-ready players with his first two picks, because the Redskins don’t have many picks in the draft and have a ton of holes. Popular opinion says they need to take either a QB or OT with the #4 overall pick. If Russell Okung is taken in the top 3, Washington might be better off to trade down to try to acquire some more picks. Or draft Bradford or Clausen and groom them as the heir apparent to Campbell. If they do land Okung at #4, they will be in great position to take Colt McCoy at the top of the 2nd round.
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