2018 NFL Draft
The Saquon Barkley pick will either make or break the Giants draft. Were they smart to pass on a quarterback? (David J. Phillip/AP)

The Philadelphia Eagles are the reigning Super Bowl champs and really continue to show why their the best organization in the NFL. With the 2018 NFL Draft in the books, the rest of the division will try to catch their division counterpart. The Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins seem to be really far behind the Eagles at this point in time. How do we grade each team in the NFC East for the 2018 NFL Draft?

Dallas Cowboys: Draft Grade B

  • Round 1, Pick 19 (No. 19 overall): Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
  • Round 2, Pick 18 (No. 50 overall): Connor Williams, T, Texas
  • Round 3, Pick 17 (No. 81 overall): Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
  • Round 4, Pick 16 (No. 116 overall): Dorance Armstrong Jr., DE, Kansas
  • Round 4, Pick 37 (No. 137 overall) *compensatory pick: Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford
  • Round 5, Pick 34 (No. 171 overall) * compensatory pick: Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky
  • Round 6, Pick 19 (No. 193 overall): Chris Covington, LB, Indiana
  • Round 6, Pick 34 (No. 208 overall) * compensatory pick: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State
  • Round 7, Pick 18 (No. 236 overall): Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama

I think the Cowboys just did an all-around solid job here with this draft. Leighton Vander Esch will take over that Anthony Hitchens spot from the jump. Vander Esch is a really good cover linebacker and gives the Cowboys three pretty good ones with Sean Lee and Jaylen Smith. We will never know if Smith will fully recover from that knee injury and Sean Lee is never fully healthy. Then to get Connor Williams in round 2 seems to be a perfect fit. This Cowboys offensive line is unbelievable as it is. I didn’t love Connor Williams but they can stick him at right tackle and move La’El Collins back to guard where he thrived. Just sliding in Williams even if he’s average is a huge upgrade over Chaz Green. Fitting needs with value is what made the Cowboys solid to start.

Dallas Selected As Host City Of 2018 NFL Draft

The later picks for the Cowboys also have some upside. Michael Gallup is a really good route runner and Dallas really needed a receiver. While he doesn’t fix all of their issues, Gallup has a chance to be a nice slot guy. Cedrick Wilson was also picked and joined Gallup at the Senior Bowl. Wilson would probably be categorized as a 2nd or 3rd receiver if he pans out. Adding in Dorance Armstrong and Bo Scarbrough puts the icing on the cake for me to round out the B. Armstrong is a twitchy pass rusher that can really get after the quarterback. His tape is inconsistent but injuries could be to blame for that. Armstrong at his peak may become similar to DeMarcus Lawrence who has flourished under Rod Marinelli. Hey, maybe Bo Scarbrough even becomes a steal in the 7th round?

New York Giants: Draft Grade B+

  • Round 1, Pick 2 (No. 2 overall): Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  • Round 2, Pick 2 (No. 34 overall): Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
  • Round 3, Pick 2 (No. 66 overall): Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia
  • Round 3, Pick 5 (No. 69 overall) [Via Tampa Bay]: B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State
  • Round 4, Pick 8 (No. 108 overall) [Via Tampa Bay]: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
  • Round 5, Pick 2 (No. 139 overall) RJ McIntosh, DT, Miami

I would have given the Giants an A+ here but they passed on Sam Darnold so I can’t give them the highest grade possible. However, the Giants did very, very, very well. The biggest problem I have with their draft was the Saquon Barkley pick. I’m not sure who the Giants are trying to fool but Eli Manning can’t play anymore. Barkley is a good player, but his pure run between tackle ability is really overhyped. His best trait will be his receiving prowess which really makes him valuable. I’m just not sure he’s the worth being the fourth highest paid running back from day one.

2018 NFL Scouting Combine: Offensive Line Notes

The good news is the Giants nailed the rest of their picks. Hernandez has a shot to be a really excellent guard. Hernandez is mean and nasty for starters. The Giants couldn’t run faster to the podium to take the 330-pound bulldozer. Someone who was essential for building a power run game that the Giants obviously are looking to reinforce. Lorenzo Carter could be the steal of the entire draft. Talk about pure tools? No pass rusher has better ones than Carter and is the biggest freak show of any at the position. Carter should be a long-term upgrade over JPP on what was a brilliant 2nd day of the Draft. Adding another NC State defensive tackle is always a good pick. Just a job well done here.

2018 NFL Draft
Picture via @goedert33

Philadelphia Eagles: Draft Grade A+

  • Round 2, Pick 17 (No. 49 overall): Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
  • Round 4, Pick 25 (No. 125 overall) [via Baltimore]: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh
  • Round 4, Pick 30 (No. 130 overall): Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
  • Round 6, Pick 32 (No. 206 overall): Matt Pryor, G, TCU 

    Round 7, Pick 15 (No. 233 overall): Jordan Mailata 

     

If you ain’t first, you’re last. The Eagles are first so they get an A+ for winning the Super Bowl. The Carson Wentz trade still lingers as the team is losing a third-round pick. Ronald Darby also helped them win a Super Bowl as a top tier corner trading a second rounder today. Who said you had to use the picks to win a Super Bowl? Trading them also has value. This is why Howie Roseman continues to show that he is the best.

Philadelphia started their day by ripping off the Baltimore Ravens collecting their 2nd round pick in 2019. Don’t worry, the Ravens will stink. Then they add the best pass-catching tight end in the draft, Dallas Goedert. The South Dakota State tight end gets to pair with a former North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Philly just really builds on something that was already a strength. Good luck stopping Goedert and Zach Ertz over the middle in what will be a mismatch nightmare. How many weapons do the Eagles need!

Philadelphia Eagles Came Close To Dealing For Brandin Cooks This Past Offseason

Avonte Maddox will also be a perfect slot corner. His feet are pure magic. Matt Pryor could be the next big V? Taking a shot on a massive rugby player? But above all… to land Josh Sweat is flat out incredible. His get off is unreal and Sweat will be a huge threat on third downs as a pass rusher. Sweat may have gone in the first round if it weren’t for medical concerns. Now he gets to be the 8th best pass rusher on the Eagles. Philadelphia is awesome and it’s because of Mr. Roseman.

Washington Redskins: Draft Grade C

  • Round 1, Pick 13 (No. 13 overall): Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 27 (No. 59 overall): Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  • Round 3, Pick 10 (No. 74 overall): Geron Christian, OT, Louisville
  • Round 4, Pick 9 (No. 109 overall): Troy Apke, S, Penn State
  • Round 5, Pick 26 (No. 163 overall): Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
  • Round 6, Pick 23 (No. 197 overall): Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama
  • Round 7, Pick 23 (No. 241 overall): Greg Stroman, CB Virginia Tech
  • Round 7, Pick 38 (No. 256 overall): Trey Quinn, WR, Southern Methodist 

This Draft really broke down into specify one specific goal rather than nailing the best draft possible. It’s obvious that Alex Smith isn’t going to set the world on fire so it looks like the Redskins wanted to sure up the run game, both offensively and defensively. That started with the Da’Ron Payne pick who is a much better run stuffer than pure blitz guy. Putting him next to Jonathan Allen, his former collegiate teammate at Alabama, should create a nice combo there. However, I really don’t see Payne as a first round value. I’m not sure he affects the pass game like you would want at the end of the day.

Derrius Guice is one of the top running backs in the draft. Guice is talented, has good size, and can handle being the workhorse. The problem is he has some character concerns. Does that matter at the running back position? Maybe, maybe not. Guice should be the starter day one so I have no problem with this pick. The rest is little to be desired.

SHOP FOR MERCH!

Geron Christian is a true boom or bust pick. The Louisville tackle has great athleticism but is very raw. He has great feet and the tools are there but I’m not sure he knows what he’s doing. It could be worth it but he’s no sure thing. Apke is probably a special teamer. Settle is a two-down nose tackle. At the end of the day Washington got a bunch of guys but no star that puts this class over the top.