NFL: NFC East Team Needs

The NFC East remains one of the more compelling divisions in the NFL. They haven’t had successive division winners since the Philadelphia Eagles did it from 2001-2004. Each team has also won the division at least once since 2011.

With such a tightly-contested division, they need to hit on their draft picks and make the most of free agency. Here are each NFC East team’s needs leading into the draft.:

Dallas Cowboys

The division winners in 2018, Dallas had one of the best defensive fronts in the league last season. They were particularly good against the run, spearheaded by defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and Linebackers Jaylon Smith, Sean Lee and Leighton Vander Esch.

However, there is room for improvement in the secondary, as they were 13th in the league in passing yards allowed. Finding a dominant safety to lock down the middle of the field, as well as a shut-down cornerback, would complete the defense.

On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys need to become more dynamic. While they’ve had the luxury of one of the league’s best offensive line and backs the last few years, the OL looked thin at times last year.

Dallas should explore depth to protect themselves if injuries occur again. Adding another RB behind Ezekiel Elliott is a bigger factor for them to consider.

At receiver, Dallas has already replaced the loss of Cole Beasley with Randall Cobb. However, they shouldn’t rely on him to have the same production. If they lack confidence in the younger guys like Cedrick Wilson Jr or Noah Brown, a playmaking WR could be on the cards in the early-middle rounds with a strong WR class.

Despite the return of Jason Witten at tight end, the Cowboys should also look at TE to improve their passing attack, after finishing 23rd in the league in 2018.

Dallas has some minor improvements they should address to go from a playoff team to a Super Bowl contender.

New York Giants

The Giants remain one of the biggest mysteries in the NFL. While many expect them to be poor in 2019 with an average OL and declining Eli Manning, there are some positive signs as well.

They have added multiple pieces to the OL in the last year, including Guard Kevin Zeitler in Free Agency. While they should continue to look for a new Center and Tackle, it is no longer the biggest need for the Offense.

Instead, finding Eli Manning’s eventual replacement cannot be ignored for much longer. While there are a few QBs they might draft, such as Dwayne Haskins or Drew Lock, there is also speculation they will trade for Josh Rosen. With two first round picks in 2019, the Giants can outbid any competitor for Rosen’s service, should he be available from the Arizona Cardinals.

After trading away Odell Beckham Jr, the Giants are also in the market for an elite WR. Despite adding Golden Tate, and already having weapons in Sterling Shepard, Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram, WR could be where we see the Giants use one of their first round picks if they don’t make a move for Rosen.

Defensively, the Giants have been active already this offseason. They allowed Landon Collins to leave, but have added two new Safeties in Antoine Bethea and Jabrill Peppers. CB remains a need still among the DBs, and in a pass-heavy league, having more depth at Safety wouldn’t go astray.

Finding an ILB should be another priority for the Giants, and LSU’s Devin White might get an early look in the draft. On the other hand, the entire Defensive Line needs to be rebuilt, and there are a lot of nice DL options early in the draft.

The Giants are in a rebuild, but they could speed it up quickly by adding a quarterback.

Philadelphia Eagles

A year removed from their Super Bowl victory, the Eagles still possess one of the best passing attacks in the league. However, their RB situation is unclear, with a bevy of players used as the starter in 2018 yet none establishing themselves as the forerunner. Additionally, they should invest in the Guard spots on the OL to strengthen it and better protect QB Carson Wentz.

CB is perhaps the Eagles’ biggest need, as they allowed the third most passing yards per game in 2018. While they have drafted a few CBs in recent years, they should continue investing in the position until they see results.

Elsewhere on the Defense, the DL remains one of the best in the league. To support it though, upgrades at LB are needed. Without any other urgent needs, it’s likely we see them target this position not only early in the draft, but also multiple times.

Like the Cowboys, the Eagles have some minor adjustments they should look to fix as they still boast one of the deepest rosters in the NFL.

Washington Redskins

Washington remains one of the biggest enigmas in the league. They are strong on both sides of the line of scrimmage, and have talented players at most positions. Yet they also will have new faces on Offense in 2019, after trading for QB Case Keenum and RB Derrius Guice yet to play a snap in the NFL.

Jordan Reed remains one of the top TEs when healthy, and the OL is overall in good shape. Adding depth at Center or Guard to solidify the interior of the line wouldn’t go astray, but the biggest need on Offense remains WR. With an uninspiring group headed by Josh Doctson, Washington need to bring in more talent at the position. Finding a dynamic playmaker is essential for this team to remain competitive, and this is a good draft for that.

Depth along the DL is another area Washington are likely to target, especially to help them close down the rushing attacks of the Cowboys and Giants. Solidifying the back end of the Defense will also shape their draft, as they finished 18th in yards allowed in 2018. While they have begun addressing this by bringing in Landon Collins at Safety, finding another Safety and CB are their other needs.

Without a sound player under center, it’s hard to imagine Washington competing for a playoff spot.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.