Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Draft Nuggets

Draft Nuggets 2013: Entry #12

By Jeff Bowers of

Twitter: @sportsnarrative


Where the Cowboys stand:

With the frenzy of free agency subsiding and a month until the NFL Draft, this is a good time to take stock of the offseason thus far. As has been chronicled in previous blog posts, the Cowboys have a number of needs and are approaching a draft that is critical to the future of this franchise. But instead of looking at the local team, let’s examine the other NFC East members and where they stand to this point. Because, for all the holes we know the Cowboys have, the other divisional teams also have weaknesses. And at the end of the day, if the Cowboys can just win their division then they can get in the playoffs and have a chance at the Super Bowl. Besides, given the past 17 years of Cowboys futility, just making the playoffs at this point is an accomplishment. Starting from the bottom up, here’s a brief snapshot of the Cowboys NFC bunkmates.


Philadelphia Eagles (Last Year 4-12):

Offseason Overview:

Just two seasons removed from an offseason spending spree and the moniker of “Dream Team,” Andy Reid’s 13 year tenure as the Eagles head coach has come to an end. Also gone are many of the free agents signed in the offseason of 2011, mostly due to a lack of performance. Injuries really derailed the 2012 season leading to the 4-12 record, mostly along the offensive line where 4 of the 5 starters went down for the season. Into this void steps Chip Kelly, straight from the college ranks and armed with his fast-paced Oregon offense. Also new is defensive coordinator Bill Davis from the Browns organization to install a 3-4 scheme. With Michael Vick retained as the starter, the Eagles look to rebound back into contention, fortifying with a number of free agent additions, players returning from injury and fresh faces along the sideline.


Free Agency Moves:

·         Eagles sign DE/OLB Connor Barwin

·         Eagles sign S Kenny Phillips

·         Eagles acquire WR Arrelious Benn and 2013 7th-rounder from Buccaneers for 2013 6th-rounder and conditional 2014 pick

·         Eagles sign QB Dennis Dixon

·         Eagles sign P Donnie Jones

·         Eagles sign CB Cary Williams

·         Eagles sign TE/FB James Casey

·         Eagles sign S Patrick Chung

·         Eagles sign CB Bradley Fletcher

·         Eagles sign NT Isaac Sopoaga

·         Eagles sign ILB Jason Phillips

·         Eagles sign OT Ed Wang

·         Eagles cut CB Nnamdi Asomugha

·         Eagles cut DE/DT Cullen Jenkins

·         Eagles cut DT Mike Patterson

·         Eagles cut P Mat McBriar

·         Eagles cut OT Demetress Bell

·         Broncos sign CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

·         Chargers sign OT King Dunlap





The Eagles cleaned house this offseason, cutting 5 starters and letting another of other free agent starters go. But in their place the Eagles added many new pieces to fit their new schemes. On offense, Michael Vick was retained with a restructured $10 million contract and they also added former Oregon QB Dennis Dixon with the hope of taking advantage of his speed in their fast-break option read offense. The future of Nick Foles with the team is unknown.  He must be shopped prior to the draft. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin look to rebound from injury-plagued seasons along with TE Brent Celek. To these ranks the Eagles added WR Arrelious Benn and H-Back James Casey. The offensive line hopes to get Peters, Watkins and Kelce back from injury and add Ed Wang to compete at RT.

On defense, the switch to the 3-4 will be interesting. Gone are DTs Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson, replaced by NT Isaac Sopoaga. On the outside, Connor Barwin comes over from the Texans at one OLB spot and they will convert Trent Cole and Brandon Graham to the other OLB spot. The secondary is the biggest area of change, as all 4 starters will be new next season. Cary Williams, Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips will be penciled in at 3 of the 4 spots and free agent signee CB Bradley Fletcher will compete for the other spot.


The Draft:

The Eagles have 9 picks in this year’s draft, starting with the 4th pick in the first round.

Round 1, Pick 4 (4)
Round 2, Pick 3 (35)
Round 3, Pick 5 (67)
Round 4, Pick 4 (101)
Round 5, Pick 3 (136)
Round 7, Pick 4 (210)
Round 7, Pick 6 (212) (From Browns)
Round 7, Pick 12 (218) (From Buccaneers)
Round 7, Pick 20 (226) (From Bears through Buccaneers)
Round 7, Pick 33 (239) (Compensatory Selection)



1.       Defensive End

2.       Right Tackle

3.       Cornerback

4.       Inside Linebacker

5.       Center


The biggest needs for the Eagles lie along the defensive and offensive lines. With the 4th pick, Philly should get an immediate impact starter at either position. OT Eric Fisher of Central Michigan, DE/DT or Shariff Floyd of Florida are both strong possibilities at #4. Also of note is the interest the Eagles have shown in QB Geno Smith and Alabama CB Dee Millner.


New York Giants (Last Year 9-7):

Offseason Overview:

Coming off an amazing Super Bowl run in 2011, the 2012 Giants campaign fell flat. After an encouraging 6-2 start, the Giants faltered down the stretch and just missed the playoffs in week 17. As a result, the Giants let several key members of the last few years go, including RB Ahmad Bradshaw, DT Chris Canty and LB Michael Boley. The biggest intrigue of their offseason centered around restricted free agent Victor Cruz, who received a 1st round tender. He is likely to be retained.


Free Agency Moves:

·         Giants tender WR Victor Cruz

·         Giants re-sign OT William Beatty

·         Giants re-sign G Kevin Boothe

·         Giants re-sign S Stevie Brown

·         Giants re-sign QB David Carr

·         Giants re-sign DT Shaun Rogers

·         Giants re-sign TE Bear Pascoe

·         Giants re-sign RB Ryan Torain

·         Giants re-sign OLB Keith Rivers

·         Giants sign TE Brandon Myers

·         Giants sign ILB Dan Connor

·         Giants sign WR Louis Murphy

·         Giants sign S Ryan Mundy

·         Giants sign K Josh Brown

·         Giants sign CB Aaron Ross

·         Giants sign DT Cullen Jenkins

·         Giants sign K David Buehler

·         Bears sign TE Martellus Bennett

·         Ravens sign DT Chris Canty

·         Eagles sign S Kenny Phillips

·         Giants cut RB Ahmad Bradshaw

·         Giants cut DT Chris Canty

·         Giants waive DT Martin Parker

·         Giants cut OLB Michael Boley



By resigning Beatty and Boothe and restructuring David Diehl, the Giants will keep continuity in their offensive line. But Diehl’s struggles at RT could push him to the bench or to another spot on the O-Line if they can upgrade that position in the draft. Bradshaw’s departure will put more pressure on last year’s first round pick RB David Wilson. The additions of TE Brandon Myers and WR Louis Murphy hope to give depth, speed and versatility to a passing attack that got stale as the season went along. The biggest addition came in the form of DT Cullen Jenkins, who looks to regain the form that got him a big contract from the Eagles.


The Draft:

This year the Giants have 8 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Round 1, Pick 19 (19)
Round 2, Pick 17 (49)
Round 3, Pick 19 (81)
Round 4, Pick 19 (116)
Round 5, Pick 19 (152)
Round 6, Pick 19 (187)
Round 7, Pick 19 (225)
Round 7, Pick 47 (253) (Compensatory Selection)



1.       Defensive End

2.       Right Tackle

3.       Inside Linebacker

4.       Running Back

5.       Safety


It seems strange that the biggest need for the G-Men is defensive end since it seems like that draft a defensive end every year. But with Osi leaving town and Justin Tuck slowed by injuries, the Giants could really use a compliment to Jason Pierre-Paul. In addition, depth and competition at RT and Running Back should be targeted by the Giants front office as well as an impact middle linebacker.


Washington Redskins (Last Year 9-7):


Offseason Overview:

The Redskins leveraged their future last year to get QB Robert Griffin III and the gamble paid off. RGIII was dynamic last year and led the Skins into the playoffs. However, a severe knee injury ended the young quarterback’s playoff run and his rehab could take him into the start of this season. Couple that with the second half of the severe salary cap penalty levied against Washington for violations in the uncapped season and the offseason has created more questions than answers for Washington. Without their first round pick, the Redskins will need to really do well on day 2 and 3 of the draft to fill their holes and repeat as NFC East champs.


Free Agency Moves:

·         Redskins sign CB E.J. Biggers

·         Redskins sign OT Jeremy Trueblood

·         Redskins tender NT Chris Baker

·         Redskins re-sign OT Tyler Polumbus

·         Redskins re-sign ILB Bryan Kehl

·         Redskins re-sign P Sav Rocca

·         Redskins re-sign DE/DT Kedric Golston

·         Redskins re-sign DE/OLB Rob Jackson

·         Redskins re-sign FB Darrel Young

·         Cardinals sign DE/OLB Lorenzo Alexander

·         Redskins cut CB DeAngelo Hall

·         Redskins cut CB D.J. Johnson



The Redskins have spent the offseason retaining some of their lower priced free agents and hoping the price comes down on some of their others. The most notable departure was that of CB DeAngelo Hall, whose big cap number just couldn’t be tolerated. A number of other players of note remain on the market, including TE Fred Davis, G Kory Lichtensteiger and T Jamaal Brown. Jeremy Trueblood was signed to take over the RT spot from Brown and Biggers will help in the secondary, but more will be needed there.


The Draft:

The Redskins have 7 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Round 2, Pick 19 (51)
Round 3, Pick 23 (85)
Round 4, Pick 22 (119)
Round 5, Pick 21 (154)
Round 5, Pick 29 (162) (From Patriots)
Round 6, Pick 23 (191)
Round 7, Pick 22 (228)



1.       Safety

2.       Cornerback

3.       Left Guard

4.       Wide Receiver

5.       Tight End



The Redskins traded their first round pick to the Rams as part of the RGIII deal and thus don’t pick until #51 in the second round. Talent in the secondary and along the offensive line should be the focus early, as well as more weapons for the RGIII offense. Luckily for the Redskins, Safety and Guard are two of the deeper positions in this year’s draft and there are a number of interesting wide receivers in the 3rd through 5th round.


Norm’s Take:

About Philly – The Eagles spent lots of high picks on DL-LB types last year so I’d expect they lean toward CB Millner at #4 if he’s there. But OT Fisher might be hard to pass up also.

About NYG – The addition of TE Myers in free agency was very underrated. He emerged as a very good player last season. This team usually drafts well so repairing holes that way is very possible.

About Wash – Luckily for the Skins this draft has lots of second and third round safeties. (ATTENTION DALLAS!)

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