2018 NFL Draft In Review, NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Draft picks: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch (No. 19 overall), Texas OG Connor Williams (No. 50 overall), Colorado State WR Michael Gallup (No. 81 overall), Kansas DE Dorance Armstrong (No. 116 overall), Stanford TE Dalton Schultz (No. 137 overall), Western Kentucky QB Mike White (No. 171 overall), Indiana LB Chris Covington (No. 193 overall), Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson (No. 208 overall), Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough (No. 236 overall). 
 

Despite what critics might say, Vander Esch is not a reach at pick 19. Leighton is an every down linebacker and fits with what Dallas is trying to accomplish on defense. Had Connor Williams been eligible for the 2017 NFL draft he would have been a top 10-15 selection. Injuries and inconsistent play held him out of the first round much to the benefit of the Cowboys. Williams will either play guard or tackle depending on what the team decides to do with Collins. Gallup is going to get every chance to have an impact as a rookie as the WR room is thin in Dallas. Armstrong has potential to be a player and was a good value pick at 116. Schultz might have big shoes to fill with the news of Witten retiring. Mike White is a QB who with proper coaching might develop into more than just a backup QB someday. Bo is another nice sleeper pick as he will be going into the season healthy and motivated.

 

New York Giants

Draft picks: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (No. 2 overall), UTEP OG Will Hernanded (No. 34 overall), Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter (No. 66 overall), N.C. State DT BJ Hill (No. 69 overall), Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta (No. 108 overall), Miami DT R.J. McIntosh (No. 139 overall). 
 

There is a lot to like with the Giants draft. For one, they didn’t overthink things at pick number two as they selected the best player in the draft in Barkley. Saquon is not a perfect prospect, those don’t exist, but is going to be a great fit and a fan favorite in NY. Hernandez plays with the edge that the line needs up front and is a mauler in the run game. Carter is a versatile outside backer that will help the Giants transition into a 3-4 defense with his athleticism. Hill and McIntosh will compete for snaps on the defensive line. Lauletta is a nice consolation prize for not selecting a QB in the first round. Look for Kyle to compete with Davis Webb for the number two job as well the QB of the future.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Draft picks: South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert (No. 49 overall), Pittsburgh CB Avonte Maddox (No. 125 overall), Florida State DE Josh Sweat (No. 130 overall), TCU OT Matt Pryor (No. 206 overall), OT Jordan Mailata (No. 233 overall). 
 

It was no secret that Philadelphia had an interest in trading out of the first round. The Eagles ended up selecting at pick number 49 (one slot ahead of Dallas) to take who a lot of execs feel was the best TE in the class in Goedert. Maddox will have the opportunity to replace Daryl Worley in the secondary. While it was a little ridiculous that pre-draft mock drafts were slotting Josh Sweat in the latter part of the first round, he was a great value at pick 130. If that knee holds up and he is able to work on his quickness of the snap he will get into Philadelphia’s deep rotation. When your roster is as strong as Philly’s you can take a chance at a freak athlete late in the draft like they did selecting Mailata. Mailata will try to win a roster spot at offensive tackle as he makes the transition from rugby.

Washington Redskins

Draft picks: Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne (No. 13 overall), LSU RB Derrius Guice (No. 59 overall), Louisville OT Geron Christian (No. 74 overall), Penn State S Troy Apke (No. 109 overall), Virginia Tech DT Tim Settle (No. 163 overall), Alabama LB Shaun Dion Hamilton (No. 197 overall), Virginia Tech CB Greg Stroman (No. 241 overall), SMU WR Trey Quinn(No. 256 overall). 
 

Some analysts were critical of Washington using such an early first round pick on Payne. Did they not watch the college football playoff last season? Payne is strong at the point of attack who is just starting to reach his potential in terms of getting penetration. Tim Settle was drafted later on who was a good value and can rotate in at NT. Guice is a first round talent who slipped into the second round with character concerns. If Guice is motivated and focused the Redskins may have found their guy at RB. Christian is an athletic tackle who can play on both sides of the line. Apke and Stroman both have potential to stick on the roster and provide depth in the secondary. If Shaun Dion Hamilton can stay healthy he is a player that might transition well into Washington’s defense as an ILB. Quinn is a good prospect as most had a 5th-6th round grade on the WR from SMU.

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