Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grading The 2012 NFL Draft: NFC East

By: Ray Beamesderfer

The NFC East brought in as much talent as any division in football over the weekend, with all four teams having very solid draft. We saw Washington bring in what they hope is their next franchise quarterback, and Dallas and Philadelphia counter that with defensive players. We also saw the world champion New York Giants continue to build on their success from last year.

New York Giants: Despite picking last in every round, the Giants found great value with basically all of their players. They upgrade the runningback position with David Wilson, just weeks after losing Brandon Jacobs to San Francisco. Then they come back the next night and upgrade their wide receiver position with Rueben Randle after losing Mario Manninham to the 49ers as well. Jayron Hosely is also considered very good value in the third. The Giants get my top grade in the division simply because they strong got stronger in 2012. Grade = A

Philadelphia: Not really a surprise that the Eagles are having a good offseason, Andy Reid usually nails that part of it. After whiffing on Brandon Graham in 2010, they once again trade up for a defensive lineman this time in Fletcher Cox. He immediately will start for Philly, and give them perhaps the best pass rushing defensive line in the NFL. On Friday they decided Demeco Ryans wasn't enough at linebacker so they added Cal speedster Mychael Kendricks. If you needed anymore proof they have given up on Graham, with their next 2nd round selection they took high motor sack artist Vinny Curry. I didn't completely agree with taking Nick Foles in the 3rd, but with their recent success of grooming quarterbacks and trading them for twice as much who am I to argue? Grade = A- 

Dallas Cowboys: Jerry Jones once again made his team noticed on draft night, and traded his 2nd round selection to move up for Morris Claiborne who many consider the top defensive player in the draft. I loved the move for Dallas, and hated it for St. Louis. The rest of their draft was fairly lack luster, but the fact that they were so willing to fill the hole that cost them a bunch of games last year gives them the third highest grade in the NFC West. Grade = B-

Washington Redskins: If you're a big RG3 fan you will probably disagree with this assessment. I do think he's the second best quarterback in the class, but I just don't see him as an all pro or Superbowl winning quarterback which is clearly what the Redskins had in mind when they traded three 1st round picks, and a 2nd this year. The draft got worse in my opinion when they took quarterback Kirk Cousins with their fourth round selection. Guard Josh LeRibeus will probably find himself starting early in his career, But I feel the Redskins walked away from the 2012 draft with just one useful player in Robert Griffin, and even he was overpaid for. Grade = C

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