authored by Colin McDonnell
The year has come to an end for all 4 NFC East teams and only the
Senior Bowl, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl games remain before the 2018
season has its final chapter written. If that leaves a sad feeling in your
stomach and a wanting for more, do not fear, we are here all off-season
and there is plenty to talk about, analyse and get stuck in to.
But for now I wanted to jump forward a few months to try and use what information we have right now and project the NFC East’s first round picks in a mock draft.
Many thought the NFC East was a poor division in the first half of the 2018
season and yet 50% of it went to the Playoffs, the Redskins were leading
the way for most of the year but injury ruined their season and the Giants
were adjusting to a culture shock.
We will dive in to Free Agency another time because it will really change
the landscape of the NFC East and much of what happens in off-season
signings will dictate what is likely to happen in the draft.
I just think after a long hard season it’s nice to slow the pace down and have some fun with the possible draft picks, so here we go.
6th Overall Pick
The New York Giants picked up in the second half of the season but their 1-7 start puts them in 6th place in the 2019 draft. There is much talk up
in New York about what is a priority need and the 3 areas of concern are
quarterback, offensive line and defensive line.
What happens around them with other teams could dictate the outcome of the 6th overall pick. Currently the Buccaneers have the 5th pick but the Jags need the best QB out there and it is likely that the Bucs trade back and swap with the Jags who would jump in front of the Giants to snag Dwayne Haskins. If this happens then they should take Jonah Williams OT.
Williams has a 5* recruit rating with no red flags, the only minor is his wingspan isn’t prototype but makes up for that in hand placement and technique. The 6’5, 301lb Alabama offensive tackle is ready to go, hand technique, football I.Q, power at the point of attack, balance, flexibility and toughness, he has it all and would be a welcome addition on the Giants O-line.
If the 5th pick remains as the Buccaneers’ then you could see Eli Manning’s
replacement drafted. But I’d pump the breaks on that for this season – in my opinion there isn’t a QB ready to rock and roll straight away, sure if you
think about buying in to a QB and having him sit for a year then either
Haskin or Lock could work as both need to improve in different areas.
Take the OT, he is a difference maker and with the improvements the
offensive line made in the second half of the season, Barkley and Manning
will both benefit.
15th Overall Pick
The Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith has been seen out and
about recently but spent a whole month in hospital after a devastating lower leg injury and I hate to say it but, at 34 ,his NFL career is in the balance. I feel that the Redskins priority has to be a quarter back.
The draft is so intricate and the ripple effect of what happens before you is
out of your control but you have to react and be aggressive. The QB class
of 2019 isn’t too rich and if the Giants do take a QB then I would imagine
both Haskins and Lock would be off of the board leaving Kyler Murray
providing he does enter the draft the next best QB for selection. The trouble
here is that the Miami Dolphins could also be into Murray which could
mean the Redskins having to jump up to 12th to secure him.
So Murray has declared himself for the 2019 NFL draft as his deadline was
approaching but he hasn’t closed the door on baseball just yet, and he
doesn’t have to right now. The tape on Murray is very impressive, he is
slick and moves very well, a pass first quarterback with a big arm, speed
and is very instinctive on the field. He stands at just over 5ft 9″ and carries
a slight build, he is very “Mahomes” like, and having the baseball
background he too can make all the throws.
Having said all of this and to throw a spanner in the works they could look
to take a wide receiver. Since DeSean Jackson left they have not been able to replace him as an off the top guy as Richardson couldn’t stay healthy last year. Keep your eye on Marquise Brown of Oklahoma.
25th Overall Pick
Philadelphia Eagles GM Roseman has a lot of work cut out for
him this off-season and he needs to work his wizardry skill in free agency
re-signings. Plus, the Eagles secondary was shot to bits this season and this
made it difficult to know what their need was going to be in this draft.
I finally settled on a safety that can transition from safety to cornerback; which would give the Eagles the versatility they need back there.
Nasir Adderley – The 200lb 5’11 Delaware safety gets me very excitedas he
can do it all – he is great in coverage, he is very physical and versatile. I’d
love to break this guy down and give a full scouting report but this is not the time. What you need to know is he is great when defending the run and the pass and can block too. I saw him destroy a tight end on a blocking
assignment, he has speed for days and can high point a ball – I watched a
game of his from 2017 where he secured an Doug Baldwin style one
handed catch (2015 NFC Championship game against the Vikings). He is
an awesome athlete, you will be able to see him at the senior bowl, keep
your eye out for him.
27th Overall Pick
Dallas Cowboys traded their 1st round to Oakland Raiders for Amari
Cooper. On October 22nd The Cowboys traded their 2019 first round pick to The Raiders in exchange for Amari Cooper, I personally do not know anyone who’s first reaction was “that’s a great move” and I still hear people that are unsure it was worth a first round pick.
It was in fact a fantastic move, the answers are easy with hindsight and the proof is there for all to see now but one thing that could have helped make this an easy choice for the Cowboys is the facts about the draft’s 1st round wide outs.
THE FACTS ABOUT WIDE RECEIVERS
In college football, receivers are often the fastest and strongest in their match ups against cornerbacks. Rarely do they face a cornerback that is 6ft plus who is fast, smarter and stronger than they are.
With this in mind I wanted to look back over the years to see what history shows.
Since 2010 there have been 252 Wide Receivers drafted in to the NFL.
Only 49 of them had 60 receptions and 1000 yards in a single season.
Only 31 of the 49 had a 60 receptions and 1000 yards season in their first 2
years in the NFL.
Only 13 of the 31 were 1st round picks, 4 were 2nd round picks and 3 were
3rd round picks.
Taking these stats in to consideration it’s an obvious trade, The Cowboys
needed a wide receiver as a priority pick and they got one in Amari
Cooper, and at 24 he still has his best years to come. A great trade in my
So look, it’s a bit of fun at this stage to play with draft picks but I have
addressed needs and highlighted one or two players to keep an eye on as
the next few month develop. One thing is for sure, I feel the NFC East will
be a competitive division. The Eagles and Cowboys, who had playoff runs
this year, have big name players heading into free agency this off-season
which will change their landscapes hugely. The Redskins potentially with a
newly drafted QB, a strong defense and the return of Derrius Guice will be a tough team to beat. Also he Giants are a dark horse next year with another set of high draft picks – they will have a winning season next year.
Article authored by Colin McDonnell
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger (USA Today)