Mason Thompson | January 20th, 2020
We are almost done with the NFL season. In three weeks we will know which team is at the top of the mountain in the league. Last April, all 32 teams looked to address some of their weaknesses during the draft. The draft is the offseason Super Bowl as all seven rounds are televised live with in-depth analysis of each player and what they bring to their new teams.
Today, I take a look at how the NFC East did with their draft selections. The NFC East had six selections in the first round with the Giants having three, Washington having two, and Philadelphia having one. Two teams took their quarterbacks of the future, while another took their new franchise tackle. Let’s take a look at how the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, and Redskins rookies did this year.
- 2nd Round, Pick 58: Trysten Hill, DT, Central Florida
- 3rd Round, Pick 90: Connor McGovern, OG, Penn State
- 4th Round, Pick 128: Tony Pollard, RB, Memphis
- 5th Round, Pick 158: Michael Jackson, DB, Miami
- 5th Round, Pick 165: Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami
- 6th Round, Pick 213: Donovan Wilson, DB, Texas A&M
- 7th Round, Pick 218: Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State
- 7th Round, Pick 241: Jalen Jelks, EDGE, Oregon
The Cowboys got very limited production from their draft class this year. Without a first-round pick due to the Amari Cooper trade, the Cowboys had to wait until the second round to make their first selection. That first selection was Trysten Hill. With the selection of Hill, the Cowboys chose him over a multitude of safeties that were available. Hill was seen as a reach at the time and didn’t show much production during his rookie season, only having five tackles.
McGovern ended the year on injured reserve and should be a reliable depth piece for the Cowboys on their offensive line. Pollard was selected as insurance for the Ezekiel Elliot holdout and provided a spark during the season. He rushed 86 times for 455 yards and three touchdowns while also adding 15 receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. He and Elliot should form a dynamic duo.
The rest of the draft didn’t provide much else. Wilson was selected instead of taking a safety with the selection of Hill and it impacted the team. Jackson and Jelks offer upside as depth pieces and potential breakout candidates next year as the edge rusher opposite of Demarcus Lawrence. Weber was cut before being placed on the practice squad where. He is no longer on the Cowboys practice squad as he has been added to the Chiefs practice squad.
- Best Pick: Tony Pollard
- Worst Pick: Trysten Hill
New York Giants
- 1st Round, Pick 6: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
- 1st Round, Pick 17: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
- 1st Round, Pick 30: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
- 3rd Round, Pick 95: Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion
- 4th Round, Pick 108: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
- 5th Round, Pick 143: Ryan Connelly, LB, Wisconsin
- 5th Round, Pick 171: Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn
- 6th Round, Pick 180: Corey Ballentine, CB, Washburn
- 7th Round, Pick 232: George Asafo-Adjei, OT, Kentucky
- 7th Round, Pick 245: Chris Slayton, DT, Syracuse
Like everyone else, I laughed at the Daniel Jones selection when it happened. He made some strides as a passer this year but was very turnover prone. Jones had 24 touchdowns while having 12 interceptions while also losing six fumbles. He will need a more reliable offensive line to see his production. He is also enduring a coaching shift as well. Lawrence was a surprise pick at the time considering the Giant’s depth on the interior defensive line. He did have a solid season though. Baker was a sore spot on the Giants defense this year. He got torched on national television and didn’t do much otherwise. He needs another year of development and maybe another helper on the outside instead of being the number one option.
Ximines was a bright spot on the defense, earning four and a half sacks during his rookie campaign. Love might have had a better rookie season than Baker as he did have an interception while Baker didn’t. The two rookies will need to develop for the Giants to improve defensively. Connelly served as reliable depth at the linebacker spot before being placed on injured reserve.
Slayton had a great year recording 48 receptions for 780 yards and eight touchdowns. The trio of him, Sterling Shepherd, and Golden Tate should make the Giants comfortable at the receiver spot heading into next year. Ballentine showed strides towards the end of the year as he was playing over 60 percent of the snaps in games in November and December.
- 1st Round, Pick 22: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
- 2nd Round, Pick 53: Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
- 2nd Round, Pick 57: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
- 4th Round, Pick 138: Shareef Miller, EDGE, Penn State
- 5th Round, Pick 167: Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern
- Key Undrafted Player: T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
The Eagles traded up three spots in April to steal Dillard from the Texans. He started four games this year, being weeks 7-9 and 12. He offers a great upside as Jason Peters‘ replacement. He and Lane Johnson are the tackles of the future in Philadelphia.
Sanders started slow but made a huge impact down the stretch. He had 818 rushing yards for three touchdowns while also catching 50 passes for 509 yards and three touchdowns. He offers dual-threat ability and will be the number one back for the Eagles next year instead of splitting time with Jordan Howard. The Eagles chose to select Arcega-Whiteside over other receivers such as D.K. Metcalf. He never showed much potential this year, only totaling ten catches for 169 yards and a touchdown.
Miller only played a little on special teams and not much else. Thorson was seen as a developmental project at best and he showed that as he was cut by the Eagles and is now on the Cowboys. Overall, only having five selections hindered the Eagles this year.
- Best Pick: Miles Sanders
- Worst Pick: JJ Arcega-Whiteside
- 1st Round, Pick 15: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
- 1st Round, Pick 26: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
- 3rd Round, Pick 76: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
- 4th Round, Pick 112: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
- 4th Round, Pick 131: Wes Martin, OG, Indiana
- 5th Round, Pick 153: Ross Pierschbacher, OL, Alabama
- 5th Round, Pick 173: Cole Holcomb, LB, North Carolina
- 6th Round, Pick 206: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
- 7th Round, Pick 227: Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison
- 7th Round, Pick 253: Jordan Brailford, EDGE, Oklahoma State
Haskins showed potential late in the season to be a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, he now has to learn a new system. He had the same number of touchdowns and interceptions with seven and needs help from his offensive line. Sweat dropped for an issue that was deemed to be false and will likely form a great tandem with Chase Young come April. He had solid numbers, having seven sacks and forcing two fumbles. This first round for the Redskins could change the franchise for years to come.
McLaurin had a great rookie campaign catching 58 passes for 919 yards and seven touchdowns. He was Haskins’ favorite weapon at Ohio State and is now his favorite weapon in Washington. Love didn’t play at all. Benny Snell Jr. or Pollard would have been better options at this selection.
Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher offered depth on a team that will likely need it with Trent Williams’ future with the team in doubt and Brandon Scherff being a free agent. Holcomb was a pleasant surprise, having over 70 tackles as well as forcing three fumbles and earning a sack. Harmon dropped in the draft for unknown reasons but had a solid year catching 30 passes for 365 yards. He and McLaurin are solid options for the future. Moreland will earn more playing time next year.
- Best Pick: Terry McLaurin
- Worst Pick: Bryce Love
This draft was very beneficial to the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins while the Cowboys didn’t get much help from this class. Overall, I think the Redskins had the best class in the division getting their franchise quarterback, a potential number one edge rusher, and a number one receiver. It will be interesting to see Jones, Dillard, Arcega-Whiteside and Baker’s development throughout next year.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images