As we get closer to the 2015 NFL Draft, teams have different strategies as to how they decide on their draft picks. Some take best player available, no matter what. Some take the best play out of their team needs. Some take the highest valued player on their board. However, when the entire draft is over and you haven’t filled the open holes on your team, it’s usually considered a failed draft. So with that being said, let’s get to the NFC East Team Needs.
Dallas Cowboys – I honestly tried, but I couldn’t find a weakness on the entire Dallas Cowboys offense. I feel that other than picking possible depth, all their picks should be on defense. When you look at their defense, they don’t have too many holes either. All in all, the Cowboys could have all their team needs easily filled by the 2nd day in the draft, which means they would be able to just go after best player available the rest of the way. They are in good shape. These are their remaining needs:
Defensive Tackle – The Cowboys need a big run stuffing DT. Some people confuse Nose Tackles with big Defensive tackles. It’s all about technique. This draft is filled with good DTs, so they should be able to easily fill this need.
Cornerback – Orlando Scandrick played some top notch ball last year, but there is a big hole on the other side. This year has a lot of depth at CB, but only Trae Waynes stands out and he’ll be gone before the Cowboys pick. However, others have talent and would be an upgrade over what they have there.
Safety – This maybe where the Cowboys go for their 1st round pick. There isn’t too much depth in the draft with pretty much it being Landon Collins and then everyone else. They actually could use two new safeties, but one must be taken within the 1st three rounds.
New York Giants – Whether it was the players that stopped listening or the system not fitting the personnel, the Giants took a real step back last year. The decided to go with the West Coast offense, and they had players that weren’t the right players for that type of passing attack. They changed that a little bit with the addition of Shane Vereen. On the other side of the ball, they need to change a few things, starting with the secondary. All their team needs are:
Safety – With Nate Berhe and Cooper Taylor currently atop the depth chart, the Giants desperately need to get a Safety, likely within the 1st two rounds of the draft. There is no doubt that this is their biggest whole on the entire team.
Right Tackle – I will assume that Pugh will move inside at guard. That is his better position and it would solidify 1/4th of the line. I think this position will also be addressed within the 1st three rounds of the draft. Protecting Eli Manning is a priority.
Defensive End – One thing you have to know about Giants GM Jerry Reese is he loves pass rushers. That way of thinking is what got him his Superbowls. The Giants, because of free agency and age, have lost a lot of their depth here. That is something he will be sure to target in a deep pass rusher draft.
Philadelphia Eagles – It’s hard to even begin to explain the offseason for Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. Their top WR left for Kansas City, they traded away their al world RB LeSean McCoy in what looked like a money saving move, just to pay DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews more than McCoy will be making. They also overpaid for a CB they desperately needed in Byron Maxwell. Finally to top it off, they traded their starting QB Nick Foles to obtain the injury-prone Sam Bradford from the Rams. You definitely can’t say they were boring this offseason, but these are still the holes left to fill:
Safety – Malcolm Jenkins is fine at the Strong Safety, but they need a ballhawk to play Free Safety. This could and should be addressed in the 1st two days of the draft.
Cornerback – They overpaid for Maxwell, but at least he is a legitimate starter, Nolan Carroll is not. That is something that must also be addressed early and is the favorite to be their 1st round pick.
Wide Receiver – The last two offseasons the Eagles have lost DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Jordan Matthews is not ready in my opinion. He fits better in the slot right now and now he’s the current #1.
Guard – Todd Herremans left and he wasn’t doing a great job last year anyway. Guard isn’t usually a high draft pick, so I expect them to wait until round four to take one.
Defensive End – Cedric Thornton is a good run stuffing DE, but offers nothing in terms of pass rush, so they may decide to take a DE with more pass rushing ability.
Washington Redskins – The drama of the last year between Coach Jay Gruden and QB Robert Griffin III could fill up a year on HBOs “Hard Knocks” alone. Two years ago, everyone would have called you crazy if you said one of the Redskin’s team needs would be QB, but as we stand here today, rumors have said that if Marcus Mariota fell to 5th, the Redskins maybe very inclined to pick him. Even if they don’t decide to go that direction, there are numerous other areas that the Redskins can upgrade:
Quarterback – As mentioned above, rumors are swirling that Coach Jay Gruden can’t stand QB RG3 anymore and a QB selection is very possible if Mariota slipped to the 5th pick.
Outside Linebacker – With the loss of Brian Orakpo, the Redskins can now officially begin the search for a new starting OLB. Ryan Kerrigan is good, but they need someone else to start opposite side of him.
Safety – They signed Jeron Johnson, but they were so bad at Safety play last year, they need another one. Is the 5th pick too early for Landon Collins, yes, but they may reach anyway.
Right Tackle – This has been a swinging gate for the Skins. They could use a 2nd day pick on finally solidifying this spot.
Inside Linebacker – Keenan Robinson played well last year, but Perry Riley did not. They could use a true #1 ILB so Robinson can say as the co-star instead of the star on the inside.
The NFC East was once known as the best division in football not too long ago. All four teams have made the playoffs in recent years and all four could end up at the top of the division by season’s end. The NFL draft will help to determine who will finish as the division winner this year. Defense will be the key to this defense as all four teams can fill up the scoreboard. Safety seems to be the position of choice as everyone seems to need one. Now the question is who gets the best one?
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