The NFC East is usually a crap-shoot when it comes to guessing which of these four teams will finish the season on top. The Redskins have the roster – but are a mess of a franchise; the Eagles are always a popular pick but usually fizzle out; the Giants get a pass on average seasons because of their recent history in the playoffs and the Cowboys – well, you either love ’em or hate ’em.
Finished with a 7-9 record
Def Yards: 13th Off Yards: 22nd
The Eagles started off 5-0 and were a train wreck the rest of the season. They had a horrific record away from home 1-6 and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz had a terrific start and was sent right back down to the Land of Humble Pie by year’s end. They spent the off-season getting offensive line help and more depth at the wideout position and although they could use a new look at running back, chances are they will address the defense with the 14th pick in the first round. Tennessee’s Derek Barnett is a defensive end who can help out the Eagles pass rush. They finished in the middle of the NFL with 34 sacks last year and a pass-rusher of this caliber will help put them in the upper tier of that category and as we all know. In a division where the Cowboys and Redskins both finished in the top five of total offenses next year – this would help the Eagles tremendously.
New York Giants
Finished with an 11-5 record
Def Yards: 10th Off Yards: 25th
My least favorite team to talk about. Ever. They went out and signed Brandon Marshall at wide-out giving them a three-headed monster at the position along with Odell and Sterling but they lack a punch with the offensive line, Eli seems to be regressing and zero talent at the running back position. Defensively they over-achieved playing against a lot of backup quarterbacks last season so it’ll be interesting where they go. Jerry Reese usually just goes with the “best player on the board” concept during the draft. There might be two linebackers in that spot and two offensive linemen in that spot. The Giants need to address the offensive line if they ever intend to have a running game and expect to keep Eli upright. Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk is a tough tackle who worked to get where he is. He worked through the FBS ranks to find himself starting at left tackle for Wisconsin. Wisconsin plays a brand of “tough” football so he’s no stranger in mixing it up at the line of scrimmage. Could be a very, very good pick for the Giants.
Finished with a 13-3 record
Def Yards:14th Off Yards: 5th
The Cowboys are turning the page in the franchise and it’s clear that the future is now, with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliot. Losing safety Barry Church in free-agency might’ve been a blessing in disguise because he was a perennial under-achiever who “just happened” to play well in a contract year. Knowing who the Dallas Cowboys are, they will fill in that safety spot with the biggest grin on their faces as they take Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers. Peppers is one of the true first-round-wildcards because people love his versatility and athleticism but wonder how well it will translate in the pros. If Peppers is there at the 28th pick, you better believe the Cowboys are wasting no time and going with the flashy pick that may end up being well worth it.
Finished with an 8-7-1 record
Def Yards:28th Off Yards: 3rd
Oh man. Why won’t they just give Kirk Cousins the contract he wants? Why? The stupid, stubborn Redskins finally have a good thing going and they are going to watch it blow up in their faces. Cousins is primed to have another good year. He’s seemingly mastered Jay Gruden’s system and is in a contract year. The Redskins, aside from their average record, really have a nice roster. They could go cornerback at this spot, and help out Brashad Breeland (who really disappointed me last season – get it together Breeland, I still believe in ya’!) or go draft a running back – I mean that’s what Dallas did and it worked for them right?! (that’s me imitating the Washington brass… .) Florida State running back Dalvin Cook makes the most sense just because it is a guarantee that Cousins won’t be here next season, so having all the pieces on the offense around a new quarterback might be exciting for a free agent or draft pick in 2018. The Redskins are going to look flashy from time to time this year and Cook has all the tools to be a big playmaker for them in the backfield.