2014 NFL Draft Grades: NFC East

What was once the best division in football, the NFC East has been in flux as of late. The Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, and Giants have all been up in down the past few seasons. Yes, the Giants won two Super Bowls but they’ve still had subpar seasons in that stretch all the same.

Heading into the 2014 NFL Draft, all four teams looked to get over the hump and get to the playoffs which they all believe to be on the cusp of.

The Eagles are trending up, the Cowboys down, and the Redskins and G-Men are treading water. Let’s look at how each team’s draft grades came out and see if they’re heading in the direction they think they are.


Dallas Cowboys

1.) Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

2.) Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise St.

Ben Gardner

4.) Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Iowa

5.) Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh

7.) Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford

7.) Will Smith, OLB, Texas Tech

7.) Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor

7.) Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois

7.) Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon

Grade: B-

The first two picks save this draft class. Martin has the potential to be a Pro Bowl caliber player and is capable of playing tackle or guard. Nabbing Lawrence is the second-round was a dream come true for them. A community college transfer who played his final two seasons at Boise State, racked up 20 sacks in his time on the smurf turf. After that things get iffy. They reached for Hitchens in the 4th Round and finally addressed their major need with their third pick in the seventh-round in safety Ahmad Dixon. The rest of the class are bodies for depth.

Sleeper: Ahmad Dixon

Safety has been a revolving door for the Cowboys and looks like it will still be that way. Dixon will most likely get at least on starting opportunity over the course of the season; last year undrafted safety Jeff Heath started nine games. Dixon can play the run aggressively and cover, but has some red-flags (targeting one of them).

2014 NFL Draft

New York Giants

1.) Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

2.) Weston Richburg, C, Colorado St.

3.) Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse

4.) Andre Williams, RB, Boston College

5.) Nat Berhe, S, San Diego St.

5.) Devon Kennard, OLB, USC

6.) Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame

Grade: B

Solid draft top to bottom for the G-Men. They get the highest draft grade of the division. Beckham will help fill the void left by Hakeem Nicks’ departure and will pair well with fellow LSU Tiger Ruben Randle. Richburg will be a Day One starter and anchor an aging offensive line. Bromley, was a bit of a reach but was a three-year starter for the Orange and led the team in sacks with 10 as a senior. The fifth- and sixth-round picks all provide solid, developmental depth.

Sleeper: Andre Williams Williams was everything for the Boston College Eagles the past four seasons. He capped off his time at BC with 2,177 yards, 18 touchdowns, the Doak Walker Award, and a first-team All-American honor. He breaks at least one tackle every time he touches the ball and will compliment David Wilson very nicely.

Jordan Matthews Vanderbilt 350

Philadelphia Eagles

1.) Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville

2.) Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

3.) Josh Huff, WR, Oregon

4.) Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida

5.) Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon

5.) Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford

7.) Beau Allen, DT, Wisconsin

Grade: C+ The Eagles did a good job of addressing needs. Smith fits well in the Eagles 3-4 system and while he played mostly along the defensive line while at Louisville, he played some linebacker as well so the transition shouldn’t be too painstaking. Matthews and Huff fill the void left by DeSean Jackson. Watkins kicked off Day 3 and gives the team much needed depth behind their top three corners. Hart and Allen help the switch still under way from 4-3 to 3-4.

Sleeper: Ed Reynolds A familiar face for coach Chip Kelly who coached against Reynolds from his Pac-12 days while running the team at Oregon. He was a productive but injury prone player while at Stanford. With safety an area of need for the Eagles, Reynolds, if healthy, could be prove to be a valuable player. He had six interceptions in 2012.

NFL: MAY 08 National Football League Draft


Washington Redskins

2.) Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford

3.) Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

3.) Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska

4.) Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson

5.) Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane

6.) Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

7.) Ted Bolser, TE, Indiana

7.) Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas

Grade: C

Coach Jay Gruden, in first draft day as head coach, added some nice pieces. Murphy, had 15 sacks last season for the Cardinal but still needs some development. Plus with Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo already there, the selection makes one scratch their head. The ‘Skins got it right with their next two picks addressing the line with solid players, especially Morgan. Grant and Seastrunk are interesting. Receiver is well stocked up already in Washington, as is running back.

Sleeper: Bashaud Breeland Cornerback was a serious need heading into the draft. The ‘Skins waited till the 4th Round to do something about it but landed a quality player in Breeland. He had 13 passes defensed last season and has appealing size at 6’0″ and 197-pounds. He can contribute right away. He had four interceptions in 2013.

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