The NFC East is an odd division in today’s football. There are plenty of NFC teams further East than Dallas, but they keep the division the way it is mainly because of rivalries. Cowboys v Redskins and Cowboys v Giants go a long way back. Last season it was the Cowboys that bounced to the top on the arm of Dak Prescott and the legs of Ezekiel Elliot. Two rookies shook up the division, but now there are 17 game tapes for teams to study and that should bring balance things out a bit. If the Giants and the Eagles can pick up a couple key players, they could just as easily grab the division… things aren’t looking as good for Washington.
2016 Record: 13-3
First Pick: #28
Needs: Defensive Back, Defensive End, Tight End, Linebacker
Analysis: The Cowboys lost a lot from their secondary in free agency. They’ll need to fill some hole at safety and cornerback early. They also have a big need at defensive end. A big-time pass rusher will make things a bit easier for a rebuilt secondary. On offense they have quite the youth movement going, but an aging player at tight end. Picking up an heir-apparent to Jason Whitten on day two or early day three would be a wise move. Also some depth at defensive tackle might be on the wish list.
NEW YORK GIANTS
2016 Record: 11-5
First Pick: #23
Needs: Offensive Tackle, Linebacker, Tight End, Running Back
Analysis: Their biggest need going into the draft is an offensive tackle. The consensus is that the team needs to move on from Ereck Flowers and they’re in a good place to find a replacement. They’ve also need some new blood in their linebacker corps as the play hasn’t been up to what they expected. Eli Manning could use a tight end and some depth at running back is in order. Speaking of Manning, he’ll be 36 this year and the Giants should start grooming their next franchise quarterback. The last thing you want to do is draft a QB when you need one.
2016 Record: 7-9
First PIck: #14
Needs: Cornerback, Running Back, Defensive End, Defensive Tackle
Analysis: The team’s biggest need is at cornerback, something they’ll want to address in their first two picks and probably again on day three. Ironically, a team that not long ago touted two top backs are suddenly in need of a running back and could be in position to get one of the top ones. And while they’re at it, the really need to rebuild their defensive line… both inside and out. A big space eater on the inside and a pass rusher on the outside would likely move the needle on a few of those losses last year.
2016 Record: 8-7-1
First PIck: #17
Needs: Inside Linebacker, Safety, Running Back, Quarterback
Analysis: With roughly a break-even record, you’d think the Redskins would have a few things they could build on. But in truth, the team is in rough shape. They have almost no depth on defense and very little on offense. The first place to look is inside linebacker and safety to shore up the middle of the field and build from there. On offense, they need a fresh runner badly and with all the talk about Kirk Cousins leaving next season, they’ll have to look at their next quarterback. After that, they need to stock pile the best players they can get. Trading back for more picks would help a lot.