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.
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.
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.
Washington Redskins, No picks
This pick was traded to the St. Louis Rams as part of the Robert Griffin III trade.