NFC East 2020 Draft synopsis

April 29, 2020

Let’s take a quick look at what each NFC East team did, and/or didn’t, get done during the 3 days of the 2020 NFL Draft.

DALLAS COWBOYS     Ok, let’s put the brakes on the party wagon, or yacht, for a few minutes. Good Ole Boy JERRY was just beside himself with joy, maybe even giddy, when CEE DEE LAMB fell to the Cowboys at Pick 17. Yes, it puts them back in a position of having the deepest and most talented WR group in the NFC East, which should please DAK even tho a top end contract signing would really do the trick for PRESCOTT. However, the CB who was already gone, (HENDERSON), would have been a bigger help for the team overall. At least the team didn’t panic and reach for a need Pick like the Falcons did just before them. TREVON DIGGS in Round 2 was a decent consolation prize and kinda looks like a younger version of the departed BYRON JONES, both in his strengths and his weaknesses. REGGIE ROBINSON/CB was a fast rising player since his work at the Senior Bowl. Those two will bolster the Cowboys secondary group as the team seems to be rebuilding that area of their Defense again. I like the trade up to get Badgers OC TYLER BIADASZ to, in essence, replace former Badgers OC TRAVIS FREDERICK, who retired. LOONEY may be the current starter on the depth chart, but probably NFL (not for long). NEVILLE GALLIMORE from Oklahoma is an above average athlete, who is very active, but just doesn’t finish what he starts on most downs. BRADLEE ANAE gets added to the long list of defenders who are being looked at to replace ROBERT QUINN opposite of LAWRENCE, their true star edge-rusher. Who the heck is BEN DiNUCCI/QB/JAMES MADISON anyway? I’m pretty sure he is NOT the next TONY ROMO.

NEW YORK GIANTS    It’s not that DAVE GETTLEMAN didn’t add some nice pieces to the roster with his 10 Picks, but when you roll them into the depth chart and look carefully, you realize how far they still have to go from that motley crew that was in place when he took over two years ago.  They went for the OL and may have gotten 3/5 of their starting OL by 2021 in THOMAS/T, PEART/T and LEMIEUX/G. However, only THOMAS will be expected to start right away. Like the Cowboys, it feels like the G-Men have been shuffling the cards in their secondary forever. Expect XAVIER McKINNEY from ‘Bama to start right away. DARNAY HOLMES from UCLA could be in the running for the Nickel-CB job right away, as well. At least new HC JOE JUDGE will be counting on them to step up early. CHRIS WILLIAMSON from Minnesota should shine on Special Teams and could also push for CB playing time later in the season. I have been preaching for years that the team needed to get more talent out on the field in their LB group. GETTLEMAN tried this year, but his earliest LB selection (out of 4) was at Pick 183.  CAM BROWN, the rangy Penn Stater has the most starting potential, but may not be of immediate help. CARTER COUGHLIN, another FLECK guy, is a better athlete than many folks think and should find time out on the field in edge-rush situations. It’s a solid job overall by GETTLEMAN (again), but the Giants are likely to still battle with the Redskins to avoid the NFC East bottom spot.

PHILADELPHIA   EAGLES    HOWIE ROSEMAN, the Eagles personnel guru, may have outdone all of his East Division rivals in quantity and quality. His 10 Picks cover a lot of needs and feature some exceptional athletes in doing so. The most talked about Pick was probably JALEN HURTS in Round 2. Expect HURTS to be groomed as the No. 2 QB, but also the operator of a specialty package or two that utilize his athleticism and FBI. ROSEMAN also went to the well 3 times to bolster an aging and less than stellar receiving corps, with the riskiest Pick having been the first round selection of JALEN REAGOR. REAGOR has the skills and athleticism to play in the NFL, but he left a bit to be desired in his performances at TCU.  He’s raw, but let’s also be honest and say that the TCU QB play has left more than a bit to be desired in recent seasons. He also has lots of potential as a Return Specialist, which is a good thing now that security blanket DARREN SPROLES is officially retired. JOHN HIGHTOWER and QUEZ WATKINS are two talented wideouts from Rounds 5 & 6 respectively, who should make their roster. Not this year, but sometime fairly soon, the two OT’s that they drafted may be starters on their OL. JACK DRISCOLL and PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO are both from Auburn and need just a touch of pro coaching to likely shine. The JIM SCHWARTZ defensive scheme has never seemed to place great value on the LB position, and thus they turn that group over every season or two. Same story again this off-season, when they allowed BRADHAM and GUIGER-HILL to leave town. Philly fans should just luv having Temple Tough SHAUN BRADLEY to play LB and Special Teams for them. 3rd Round Pick DAVION TAYLOR is still developing as a football player, but his athleticism and speed cry out of starter potential. He impressed at the Senior Bowl venue. And finally, with their initial 4th Round Pick they took K’VON WALLACE, a hard hitting S from Clemson. Like most of their Picks, he has starter potential. However, in his case, maybe sooner than some others. Nice job again HOWIE. If their health holds up better as a team this season, I think they can hold off the Cowboys in the NFC East.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS    It seemed pretty clear during the Draft broadcast that new Head Coach RON RIVERA looks to be making the calls on player personnel right now in D.C.  That’s a good thing for this franchise, IMO. Instead of getting cute, the team took the best overall player in the Draft, and a local kid to boot, with CHASE YOUNG, who could play DE or LB, with his prime skill being as an elite edge-rusher. He provides that D with their biggest need, despite having some very good DL talent in place already. His last three were also for Defense and even more so, Special Teams. KHALEKE HUDSON and KAMREN CURL will find playing time right away on coverage units. JAMES SMITH-WILLIAMS from Round 7 is an athletic defender who rushes off the edge and might be able to do even more. SAAHDIQ CHARLES, from LSU, was available in Round 4 not because he lacks talent. He’s had some off-field issues and if any Coach can control that situation, it should be Riverboat RON. If RON can handle him, CHARLES could be starting soon, perhaps in place of the departed TRENT WILLIAMS. They also added two extreme offensive weapons that need some serious coaching up from RIVERA’s staff, mainly because they are raw talents. ANTONIO GANDY-GOLDEN WR/Liberty is a long, raw athlete that has tons of potential to progress, even beyond an impressive FBS turn as the Liberty football program bumped up to the highest level in 2018. Last season, he caught 79 balls for 1,396 yards and 10 TD’s. He should be a big boon for young Mr. HASKINS AT QB. The biggest new weapon should be 2nd Rounder ANTONIO GIBSON, who could be listed as a RB/WR/RS, and he may get to do all three this coming season. He is a solidly built athlete at 6’1/228, and blazes up and down the field at a 4.39/40 pace. During his Memphis career, after 2 years in the JC ranks, he only had 77 touches from scrimmage, yet he recorded 14 TD’s in those two years. He confirmed his ability on the football field during Senior Bowl week, working out with the RB group. If the coaching staff can get he and GANDY-GOLDEN up to the pro competition level mentally, the ‘Skins Offense could actually look explosive later in the season and avoid last place in the division.

In a nutshell, there is my take on how 2020 Draft efforts will affect the NFC East teams.