Previously: AFC East Draft Summary
In one of the busiest drafts in recent history, in terms of trades, the Cowboys got in on the action and moved up to number 6. They selected CB Morris Claiborne out of LSU and improved one of their most glaring needs from the 2011 season: their secondary,. DE Tyron Crawford, drafted in the 3rd round, will not immediately become a starter on the Cowboys defense but he does provided some much needed depth. The next two picks, both in the 4th round, stayed the course with defensive players; LB Kyle Wilber out of Wake Forest and S Matt Johnson, an Eastern Washington product. With their 5th round pick, the Cowboys drafted Danny Coale, a WR that many scouts compare to Wes Welker. Coale should be able to step in and take some of the stress off of Miles Austin’s shoulders.
Hit the jump for the rest of the NFL East Draft summary…
The departure of RB Brandon Jacobs opened up a whole at that position behind Ahmad Bradshaw on the depth chart. GM Jerry Reese added RB David Wilson, a Virginia Tech product, with the 32nd pick in the 1st round. Reese also added WR Rueben Randle, out of LSU, in the 2nd round (63rd overall pick). Many experts predicted Randle would be selected in the first round which makes him a great pick up for the New York Giants. The team also added depth on both sides of the line with tackles Brandon Mosley (4th round; Auburn), Matt McCants (T; UAB) and DT Markus Kuhn (North Carolina State) being selected as the team’s last three picks.
The Eagles had arguably one of the best drafts this year. They moved up in the first round to select DT Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi State and selected speedy LB Mychal Kendricks out of California. In recent years the Eagles have had trouble with their linebacker corps but with the addition of Kendricks and a trade for DeMeco Ryans (from the Houston Texans) they are hoping to reverse the recent subpar performances of Eagles linebackers. In the third round the Eagles selected strong armed QB Nick Foles out of Arizona. Foles will provide depth and be in competition for the backup QB spot behind Mike Vick.
The Redskins, as expected, selected franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III with the 2nd overall pick and selected three offensively lineman to help protect him; 3rd round pick Josh LeRibeus (SMU), 5th round pick Adam Gettis (Iowa) and Tom Compton (South Dakota). In the 4th round they selected QB Kirk Cousins, a Michigan State product, which surprised many, many experts and fans. Although the Redskins traded many picks to obtain the 2nd overall pick, they got their franchise QB in RGIII, a man that many believe will succeed.
The overall perception of the NFC East draft is that most teams drafted to take care of their needs instead of “value.” The Redskins drafted two quarterbacks; RGIII and Kirk Cousins. RGIII will be their guy, there is no speculation about that. Cousins could have been drafted as insurance, if RGIII takes a lot of hits outside of the pocket, like his NFC East counterpart Mike Vick. Cousins could also have been drafted as trade bait a year from now to regain some of the picks the Redskins lost in their bid to acquire the 2nd overall pick.
The Giants, still a strong team, drafted RB David Wilson and WR Rueben Randle with their first two picks. These aren’t “sexy” picks but GM Jerry Reese has proved through his career in the front office that he knows what he is doing when it comes to the draft. The Eagles have not had a great track record of drafting linebackers and by drafting Mychal Kendricks with the 46th overall pick they made him the highest drafted linebacker in Andy Reid’s tenure. Kendricks, touting the best 40 time of any linebacker attending the NFL scouting combine, will fight for a starting job on the strong side and will help with coverage of opposing tight ends, another aspect the Eagles’ defense struggled in.