Friday, April 28, 2006

ESPN Draft Preview: NFC East

Its the eve of the NFL draft. ESPN Magazine published team by team assessments by Mel Kiper, Jr. and Scouts, Inc. to preview the big event (April 24, 2006, pp 76-84). Here is a summary of their comments on NFC East teams showing needs and likely first picks.

Needs: Free safety, connerback, nose tackle
First Pick: Jason Allen, CB, Tennessee

Needs: Outside linebacker**, wide receiver, defensive tackle
First Pick: Kelly Jennings, CB, Miami, or Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State

Philadelphia EAGLES
Needs: Outside linebacker, offensive line, wide receiver
First Pick: Winston Justice, OT, USC, or Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State, or Chad Jackson, WR, Florida State, or Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State

Washington REDSKINS
Needs: Outside linebacker, offensive guard, cornerback
First Pick: David Pittman, CB, Northwestern State, or Cedric Griffin, CB, Texas

** The ESPN article was published before the Giants signed Lavar Arrington.

After its splashy free agent signings of skill players, it makes sense that the Redskins would focus on the offensive and defensive fronts. I believe the Skins will use their second round pick on an outside linebacker or defensive lineman before taking a corner. The Redskins in the Gibbs II era use free agency, rather than the draft, to stock the team. George Allen would smile at that.

Philadelphia has been low key in the free agency period. This team has always focused on the o-line and defensive front seven, rather than skill positions; Donovan McNabb is a notable exception. Terrell Owens was the splashiest free agent the Iggles ever signed. At that, Owens came to them. They did not seek him out. Perhaps the whole experience left the organization traumatized. Philadelphia has been singularly unaggressive in the free agent market despite plenty of cap room. The draft will reveal a lot about this team.

No comments: