Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grading The NFC East In The 2011 Draft


I’m going to give 2011 draft grades to the four teams in the NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. Understand that draft grades just a few days after the draft are for entertainment purposes only because nobody knows how these players are going to pan out. Sometimes the fifth round picks winds up being much better than your first round pick. There have been times when a free agent is better than all the other picks in your draft. The only thing you can see from the picks that these teams have made is which teams have addressed their needs and which teams haven’t.

Here are their picks and my grades.

Philadelphia Eagles

1st: Danny Watkins (OG) Baylor

2nd: Jaiquawn Jarrett (S) Temple

3rd: Curtis Marsh (CB) Utah State

4th: Casey Matthews (LB) Oregon

4th: Alex Henery (K/P) Nebraska

5th: Julian Vandervelde (G) Iowa

6th : Jason Kelce (C) Cincinnati

6th: Brian Rolle (LB) Ohio State

7th: Greg Lloyd (LB) UConn

7th: Stanley Havili (FB) USC

The Eagles addressed a severe need on the offensive line by drafting Baylor guard Danny Watkins, who was the best guard in the draft. I don’t think the value is high because you shouldn’t need to use a first round pick on a guard. Temple safety Jaiquawn Jarrett can hit well enough to start in the NFL but I don’t know if he can deal with the NFL passing game.

In the 3rd round, Utah State’s Curtis Marsh has the raw skills to eventually be a quality NFL cornerback, but he won’t be ready to do it this year because it will be only his third year at the position. Casey Matthews improves the team’s depth at linebacker position, but I don’t know if he’s a starter. Nebraska kicker Alex Henery, who will be the replacement for David Akers, has a big leg but there’s no telling that he’ll be able to make the big kicks with the game on the line.

I will give the Eagles and B- on their draft. They picked one definite starter, Watkins, with Pro Bowl potential, three contributors, Jarrett, Marsh and Matthews, along with a kicker.

New York Giants

1st: Prince Amukamara (CB) Nebraska

2nd: Marvin Austin (DT) UNC

3rd: Jerrel Jernigan (WR) Troy

4th: James Brewer (OT) Indiana

6th: Greg Jones (ILB) Mich St

6th: Tyler Sash (S) Iowa

6th: Jacquian Williams (LB) S. Florida

7th: Da’Rel Scott (RB) Maryland

The Giants went into the draft with severe needs on their offensive line at the tackle position. They were expected to take a tackle in the first round, but they couldn’t turn down cornerback Prince Amukamara. He’ll be able to come in and start right away.

In the second round, they had another impact player fall to them and I’m talking about defensive tackle Marvin Austin, who has Pro Bowl potential. He didn’t play last year because of a suspension, but he could make their defensive line totally unstoppable.

The Giants have great size in their receiver corps, so they add a little, quick and speedy wideout, Troy’s Jerrel Jernigan, to the group. They’ll try to get him out in the open field and allow him to make plays. In the fourth round, they got their tackle in Indiana’s James Brewer, but it’s going to take some time before they put him on the field.

I will give them a B+ for this draft. Two starters and potential Pro Bowlers, Amukamara and Austin, plus a contributor in Jernigan.

Dallas Cowboys

1st: Tyron Smith (OT) USC

2nd: Bruce Carter (OLB) North Carolina

3rd: Demarco Murray (RB) Oklahoma

4th: David Arkin (OG) SW Missouri State

5th: Joshua Thomas (CB) Buffalo

6th: Dwayne Harris (WR) East Carolina

7th: Shaun Chapas (FB) Georgia

7th: Bill Nagy (C) Wisconsin

I thought the Dallas Cowboys did a good job of addressing a severe need at the offensive tackle position with Tyron Smith. He’ll be a starter from day one and could be a Pro Bowler in a year or two. They didn’t do much for their secondary which is undermanned and will continue to be a problem. Bruce Carter could be a special player for them and another pass rusher and playmaker.

I like running back Demarco Murray because he’s an ideal backup and third down back with big play speed. They got more offensive line help by grabbing Southwest Missouri State guard David Arkin in round four. This young man will have time to sit and learn.

I will give them a B for the draft. They’ve drafted two starters and a definite contributor.

Washington Redskins

1st: Ryan Kerrigan (OLB) Purdue

2nd: Jarvis Jenkins (DT) Clemson

3rd: Leonard Hankerson (WR) Miami

4th: Roy Helu (RB) Nebraska

5th: Dejon Gomes (S) Nebraska

5th: Niles Paul (WR) Nebraska

6th: Evan Royster (RB) Penn State

6th: Aldrick Robinson (WR) SMU

7th: Brandyn Thompson (CB) Boise State

7th: Maurice Hurt (OG) Florida

7th: Markus White (DE) Florida State

7th: Christopher Neild (DT) West Virginia

The Redskins have a glaring need at the quarterback position, but they didn’t address it. I think drafting defensive end Ryan Kerrigan in the first round was a good move by the Skins. He’ll start right away and he has All-Pro potential. Kerrigan, who plays both the run and the pass equally as well, will team up with Brian Orakpo to give Washington a formidable pass rush.

They made another good move by grabbing Clemson nose tackle, Jarvis Jenkins with their second pick. He will step in there and be an anchor at their nose tackle position or at one of the defensive end spots.

Third round selection, Miami wide receiver, Leonard Hankerson will add some size and deep speed to the Redskins wide receiver group. They’ll try to team him with the diminutive Santana Moss to put pressure on secondaries.

Mike Shanahan and crew hope they’ve found a running back in either Nebraska’s Roy Helu or Penn State’s Evan Royster.

I’ll give them a B+ because I think they drafted three starters, Kerrigan, Jenkins and Hankerson.

Remember again, this is for entertainment purposes only.

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