December 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins defensive players line up against Dallas Cowboys offensive players in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2014 Results: Grading The NFC East First Round Picks

Considered the worst division in the NFL, the NFC East has a lot of improving to do in the eyes of fans as well as league-wide. Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft was an important step in turning around the division’s struggling franchises. Below, we’ll take a look at each NFC East team’s selections as well as grading those picks.

New York Giants, Pick #12 – WR, Odell Beckham Jr.

Analysis: The drafting of LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham was a bit if a surprise so early in the draft. Although some might consider this selection a reach for the Giants, it certainly fills a need. New York lost veteran wideout Hakeem Nicks to free agency this offseason and need to fill his void. Beckham lacks the height of Nicks, but makes up for it in speed and as a returner. He’ll team alongside current Giants veteran receiver Victor Cruz to make one of the most explosive receiver tandems in the NFL.

Grade: B-


Philadelphia Eagles, Pick #26 – DE, Marcus Smith

Considered the biggest reach in the first round, Smith was the lowest rated player on ESPN’s big board to go this high. The Eagles need an edge rusher and believe they have found one in Smith. But draft experts who has shown potential but will need time and coaching to develop. This is simply Philly filling a need.

Grade: D


Dallas Cowboys, Pick #16 – OT, Zack Martin

Dallas gets the last of the top-tier lineman in this draft. Notre Dame’s Martin is a safe pick who should become a day-one starter. His presence solidifies the interior of the line, as he is expected to move to guard. But the Cowboys also had the opportunity to select Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and passed. Although Martin is seen as a starter, he’s not considered special. And Dallas still didn’t address their biggest issue, their defense.

Grade: B-


Washington Redskins, No picks

This pick was traded to the St. Louis Rams as part of the Robert Griffin III trade.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys NFC East

  • Scott.

    Love the safe pick. Amazing that the writers dog Jerry out every year about his pick then dog him and give him a d for doing the safe thing. I’m sorry but I’m estatic that the oline is solid for next 7-10 years. I guess he’s truly damn if you do.

  • PaulTX

    It amazes me to hear people complain about the pick. How was drafting Manziel over Martin smart? I guess a lot of football fans do not understand the mechanics of the game. Based on who was still on the board, trading back was the best option, and Jerry has said that they couldn’t get any solid offers. As much as people complain about Jerry, he actually showed good judgment.

    Donald, Barr and Clowney were off the board, and all the other DL scheme fits are ranked 20-50. Ealy, Crichton, and Lawrence are still on the board. Less excited about Kareem Martin and Tuitt, but they are there as well. You got to hope teams needing DL go after Jernigan, Nix, and Hageman. Maybe Dallas has to move up a few spots.

  • Rich

    Good pick. They were clearly trying to trade down but were unable to. They took the best player left.

  • fred

    Love the Boys pick. Setting up a offense line for the first time in years. With Barr and Donald gone this is the best pick. Cant run or pass without a great o-line. O remember when Romo retires and we bring in a rookie. Does the rookie play better behind this O-line. yes Great Job Dallas