May 05, 2016 - Greg Gabriel
The NFC East Draft Review
Philadelphia Eagles When Andy Reid was Head Coach in Philadelphia, he thought it was both necessary and good business to draft a young quarterback if not every year at least every other year. With Howie Roseman back in charge of football operations, the Eagles are going back to that same philosophy. With that thought in mind, the Eagles traded up from the 8 slot to number 2 overall to draft one of the two top quarterbacks in this draft. It’s my opinion that Roseman and the Eagles wanted North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz all along. Regardless ofJared Goff going first overall, Wentz has more upside than any other quarterback in the draft. He is big, strong, athletic and has played in an NFL style system while at NDSU. Will there be a learning curve? Of course and it would serve him better if he can sit and learn for a year, but in the end, the Eagles got themselves a potentially great player. Isaac Seumalo has size, strength and versatility. He has experience at guard, center and tackle. That versatility will let him be one of 7 linemen that dress on Sunday’s a rookie. While Seumalo may not be ready to start as a rookie, he will be a starter by year two and has very good upside. At 5’10 – 208, Wendall Smallwood does not have ideal size but he has exceptional speed (4.41). In today’s NFL, more and more teams are going to a rotational back scheme and Smallwood will fit very well into that type of roll. He is quick to the hole, has power, can make people miss and is a very reliable receiver. Auburn’s Blake Countess will be a slot corner and can be very good matching up against the smaller quicker slot receivers in the league. Jalen Mills can be a 7th round steal. While he had some off field issues that caused him to drop, his talent level is more of a mid-round type of prospect. New York Giants Word out of New York was that the Giants were looking at Michigan State’s Jack Conklin as their top choice. After the draft day slide of Laremy Tunsil, Conklin went at number 8 to the Tennessee Titans after they traded up to get him. That left the Giants looking at Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, but the Chicago Bears sensing that moved ahead of the Giants to draft him. The Giants then chose Ohio State corner Eli Apple. Apple with his size and length has the talent to be outstanding. He still had two years of college eligibility left so he is raw, but there is no mistaking the upside. In my opinion, Oklahoma receiver Sterling Shepard was the best slot receiver in the draft. He is an exceptional athlete with very good ability to get in and out of cuts. His hands and run after skills are excellent also. Boise State free safety Darian Thompson is an interception waiting to happen. He has great awareness and anticipation playing the backend to go along with great ball skills. B.J. Goodson is a throwback type of Mike linebacker. He has strength and power at the point of attack and can stuff the run. There is no way UCLA running back Paul Perkins should have lasted until the 5th round, but except for Zeke Elliott, all the backs fell in this draft. Dallas Cowboys Around the league it was believed that Cowboy Head Coach Jason Garrett was pushing hard for the selection of Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. He felt that after the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray in free agency the run game went downhill quickly. Elliott is similar to Murray in that he is very physical but he is also an improvement in the pass game over Murray. No one knows when or if Jaylon Smith will ever step onto the football field again, but with the Cowboys orthopedic surgeon having done the surgery on Smith, they know better that anyone else as to the prognosis. If the Cowboys guessed right, Dallas got two picks with top 5 value. Maliek Collins can play on the nose or the 3-technique in Rod Marinelli’s defense, but I believe he will be better off at nose. Charles Tapper gives Dallas a pure edge rusher who very well could have gone much higher in the Draft. Quarterback Dak Prescott showed much improvement from 2014 to 2015. That said, he is still a work in progress and it will take time for him to adjust to playing in a pro-style offense. The Cowboys have to hope that Tony Romo is around at least a couple of years to help Prescott with the transition. Anthony Brown is a developmental press corner with size and length. He may need a year on the practice squad. Washington Redskins I felt that Josh Docson was the best receiver in this draft. While he may not have the natural physical traits of Corey Coleman, he is a better route runner and can be effective both short and deep. Washington lists Su’a Cravens as a safety, but I feel he is more of the nickel linebacker type who many teams covet right now. He has experience at both safety and linebacker and has coverage skills as well as defend the run type traits. A very solid pick! Corner Kendall Fuller is coming off a knee injury but when he is ready to go he will fit nicely into the Redskins scheme. He may start out as the team’s third corner as upside to becoming a very good second corner. Matt Ioannidis is a tough physical inside defensive lineman who will most likely play on the nose. Nate Sudfeld is a developmental quarterback.