Friday, April 29, 2011

Round 1 Draft Grades: NFC East

One of the most competitive divisions in football had a very competitive draft. Here are my grades in the order they drafted in the first round.

Dallas Cowboys (9): Tyron Smith, OT USC Grade: B+
One of the picks that I got dead right, but I still think that the Cowboys wanted to move back and couldn't strike a deal. Protecting Tony Romo should and is priority #1 and they picked the best tackle prospect in the draft. However, they knew that they could have had Smith later in the first round and could have acquired more draft picks in the process. That is the only thing preventing my grade to be in the A range.

Washington (16 via trade): Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue Grade: A-
Washington did what Dallas couldn't and that was acquire extra draft picks while drafting a player they had near the top of their board. Kerrigan is a perfect fit lining up opposite Brian Orakpo to form one of the better young pass rushing duos in the NFC. Washington still has work to do at the QB position, but there are a few free agents out there and a couple of good round 2 prospects. Ryan Mallett and Colin Kaepernick could be available for the 'skins at the 9 spot in the second round. Stay tuned.

New York Giants (19): Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska Grade: B
I'm not as high on this pick as others because the Giants drafted more of what they already had. In year one, Amukamara will only make a difference on special teams, and maybe in nickel and dime packages. Amukamara has work to do on the pro level despite his superb talent. The player is great, but the team did not address need here, hence the B.

Philadelphia Eagles (23): Danny Watkins, OG/OT Baylor Grade: B
I had Watkins as a tweener between late first and early second round talent. The Eagles went with a high character guy who will be ready to start tomorrow, whether it be at guard or at the right tackle spot (remember with a lefty QB the right side is the blind side). Not the most talented guy available when they picked, but can start right away and will be a great leader in the future. Besides, he's Canadian, how bad can it be?

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