NFL Draft Review: NFC EAST

Dec 1, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) celebrates with teammates after throwing a touchdown pass against the Northwestern Wildcats in the first half in the Big Ten conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys:

First Pick: Round 2, Pick 58: IDL, Trysten Hill, UCF. Grade: B. This pick is a great talent pick for the Cowboys. Hill was by far the most talented defensive lineman at UCF this past year but barely played in a bowl game due to what was perceived to be a coaches decision. He’s a very disruptive run defender but lacks the tools to be a defined pass rusher. He’s a plug and play starter in the NFL so good value at pick 58.

Best pick: Round 5, Pick 165: Edge, Joe Jackson, Miami. Grade A-. This is my favorite Cowboy pick of the draft. I had Jackson at 89 on my big board. He defines production (35.5 TFL’s in 3 years) and he’s improved year over year. He plays most naturally as a 4-3 defensive end, but he’s a wrecking ball off the Edge. He’s solid against the run, and disruptive against the pass. This is by far the best value pick in round 5 on my grading scale.

Biggest Reach: Round 3, Pick 90: Guard, Connor McGovern, PSU. Grade: D+. The Cowboys reached a few times in this draft, but being a Penn State fan, this is going to be a rough evaluation. McGovern a 3 year starter at Penn State, was an average starter in the B1G Conference. He’s a much better athlete than he’s given credit for, but his hand placement and technique are horrible. If you watched Penn State play Michigan this year, you’ll watch a guy who looks like he should be playing in the XFL and not the NFL. If this pick is in round 5 or 6, based on athleticism I understand it, but the 90th pick in the draft? No thank you.

Overall Grade: C-. The Cowboys reached on almost every pick except for Hill and Jackson. They may have been able to draft 3 (probably 2) starters/key reserves. That’s not going to cut it. They have a few great players, and a lot of solid starters on both sides of the ball but they need some depth at a lot of positions. Not only did they not accomplish that, they reached and lost a lot of potential value in the middle rounds.

New York Giants:

First Pick: Round 1, 6th pick, QB Daniel Jones, Duke. B+. Now, before you jump of a cliff Giants fans, I had Jones as QB2 (see the article in the link here: https://nflnext.com/2019/03/11/josh-rosen-over-baker-mayfield-cant-relate/). He’s got a strong enough Arm to be a solid starter in this league. His touch and his football IQ go a long way in helping him make anticipatory throws. This year’s draft, Kyler Murray aside, didn’t have that consensus can’t miss QB. We were all split between Jones, Grier, and Haskins (Most believed Haskins was QB2) as to who should be the second QB selected. I had him at 18 on my big board so a bit of a reach, but the Giants felt he was the best QB on the board and i couldn’t argue with that. If he sits a year to develop behind Eli Manning, I think the Giants prove a lot of their haters wrong with this selection.

Best Pick: Round 4, 108 Pick: DB, Julian Love Notre Dame. Grade A. Julian Love had a second round grade from a lot of people (myself included). He’s instinctive and productive. He’s faster on tape than in his 40 (4.54) and he’s all over the tape making plays. He had 32 PBU’s over the last 2 seasons at Notre Dame to go along with 4 INT’s. His strength is cause for concern (14 reps at the combine) but I think the good outweighs the bad a lot with this player. Was Number 52 on my big board and the Giants get him at 108, by far the best value pick they had in this draft.

Biggest Reach: Round 5, 171 Pick: WR, Darius Slayton, Auburn. D. I had Slayton as a UDFA (WR35). The speed is there, but he doesn’t play to his 4.39 40 Speed. His strength is a question mark, and he had high drop rate his last 2 years. His route running is clumsy at best and he doesn’t separate. When corners pressed him or were physical with him (including his now teammate Deandre Baker) he struggled big time. You can blame his Quarterback on some of this but not all of it.

Draft Grade: B. When you have the 5th round pick be the biggest reach, you can tell Dave Gettleman had a pretty set board and stuck to that. Some will argue Jones was a reach, myself included at 6, had he gone at 17 I would have had less of a problem with it. They could have taken guys like Josh Allen, or Devin Bush at 6 and be patient to see if Jones fell to them (see the Redskins with Haskins). I really like Baker at pick 30, Ximines at pick 95, and Slayton at pick 245. Connelly was a solid pick at 143 as well. All around, an above average draft for the Giants. The 6th pick will be the pick that for most will determine whether this was a good draft or not. For me, it’s more than that. I think they drafted 4 players who can start and 2 solid special teamers/key reserves. You can’t ask for much more value in the later rounds.

Philadelphia Eagles:

First Pick: Round 1, Pick 22: OT, Andre Dillard, Washington State. Grade: B. I had Dillard as Tackle 4 in this class, that’s not a knock on him, the other 3 were in my top 20 overall. I had Dillard at 31. I think he’s a solid starter in the NFL. He’s a great pass protector a 4 year starter and has character off the charts. My main concern is the lack of a rushing attack in that offense. When you get into Winter and playoff games you need your offensive line to blow people off the ball in the run game, and that’s not something I saw a lot of on tape from Dillard. Still, a solid round 1 selection by an Eagles franchise who already has a good offensive line.

Best Pick: Round 2, Pick 53: RB, Miles Sanders, Penn State. A. Had Miles Sanders come to Penn State last year, we’d all be raving about this freshman running back who is the second coming of Saquon Barkley. Unfortunately for Miles, he played with Saquon for a few years and I honestly think that hurt some scouts opinion on his explosiveness. His 4.49 40 yard dash at the combine did help though. What I really like about him is he’s got less miles on him than a lot of other running backs that have come out, to my earlier point about being on a team with Saquon. He’s got great hips, vision and footwork in traffic. The biggest knock I and everyone else have on him are fumbles. You can’t fumble the ball in the NFL or the coaches will stop giving it to you. His lack of an offensive line hurt him as well, but I can easily see him trotting out with Carson Wentz as the starter week 1 against Washington.

Biggest Reach: Round 4, Pick 138: Edge, Shareef Miller, Penn State. D-. Again, I hate to knock Penn State but here it goes. I’ve watched Miller play for a few years now. I felt that he had potential to be a late day 3 pick or a UDFA (229 overall). He lacks a lot of thing a quality Edge rusher needs. Doesn’t have elite get off, or hand placement. Also doesn’t do well when the ball is run toward him. He’s a long shot to make the roster, in my opinion, especially with the quality Philadelphia already has on their Defensive line and I don’t believe the Eagles should be taking guys who may be on the practice squad in round 4. They should be taking guys who can contribute on special teams and get on the field sooner rather than later.

Draft Grade: B-. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, they only had 5 picks and I think the reached big time on 2 of them (Miller and Arcega-Whiteside). The top 2 picks save this grade and keep it in the average score range, but if it weren’t for Sanders and Dillard this grade easily could have been a C- or D+. Again, I love what they did the first 2, hate the middle 2, and like the last one. Eagles were all over the map in Nashville. I upped this grade from a C because of how much I love they got T.J Edwards as a UDFA. That’s value.

Washington Redskins:

First Pick: Round 1, 15th Pick: QB, Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State. C+. Everyone knows, I’m not the biggest Haskins fan. I had him as QB5 in this class and 62 overall. I see the top end potential other scouts see, I just also see the holes. The Redskins need to surround him with weapons if he’s going to succeed, which they did attempt to do throughout the draft. The thing I also know though is Jay Gruden gets the most out of every QB he’s ever coached. Look at Andy Dalton’s stats with and without Jay, as well as Kirk Cousins. For God’s sake, the man won a football game last year with Josh Johnson at QB. Jay may be the most underrated QB coach in the league but he’s also not a great head coach and that’s where the disdain for him comes from in Washington. Again, I’m cautiously optimistic for this pick that’s why it gets a C+ but I can also see where this could end Jay Grudens’ time in Washington.

Best Pick: Round 6, 206th pick: WR Kelvin Harmon. A+++. I had him at WR9 (78th overall) Here at NFL Next, I saw him as high as WR5 and as low as WR 14. Most people had a day 2 grade on him or early day 3. For the Redskins to get him at 206? That’s the steal of the draft. Harmon is a possession receiver who doesn’t create a lot of separation early, but he uncovers well when the play breaks down and separates well at the end of routes. He runs routes with purpose and is a great target for his quarterback. He blocks well in the run game and competes hard. He’s got a chance to be a solid WR2/WR3 option and to get that in round 6 is great value. Well done here by Doug Williams and his scouting staff to double up at WR and get a guy who could be the biggest steal in this years class.

Biggest Reach: Round 4, 131st Pick: Guard, Wes Martin, Indiana. C. Martin is a brutal run blocker and fights down the line of scrimmage with a purpose. He reminds me of 75 in the burgundy and gold as we speak. He was a three year starter in the B1G conference and did 38 reps in the bench press at the combine. His feet and pass blocking is where he struggles. He tends to over set and open large gaps for linebackers to cut through and make TFL’s. What the Redskins got here was a guy who will help them run the ball with a young QB and a talent like Derrius Guice behind him. With Moses, Williams, Martin and Scherff this line will be tough to stop when they line up and try to pound the ball. I think the best thing you can say about Martin is he has the potential to start down the line, and he’s a dog. Not the most polished guard, but I understand the pick here.

Draft Grade: A. What are the Redskins doing the last 3 years? They’re no longer the guys who “win” free agency, and trade all their picks. They’re spending money in the correct places, and drafting well. With the additions of Sweat (who i didn’t even get to talk about how much I loved that pick in this article), Haskins, and Mclauren, the first 3 rounds the Redskins got guys who most believed fell right in their lap. They traded 2 2nd’s to go up and get Sweat, but if he pans out to double digit sacks across from Ryan Kerrigan who gets 10 sacks a year in his sleep, this defense will be top 5 in 2019. Very well done by Doug Williams, and his staff. The guy who probably made most of these picks though is Kyle Smith. He’s a real up and comer in the college scouting game and if the Redskins are smart they’ll promote him sooner rather than later. I can only hope we are out of the Snyder/Allen era and into the Williams/Smith era. #HTTR

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