On April 25, 2013, the 78th NFL Draft will commence in New York City at Radio City Music Hall. As every team in the National Football League prepares to fill up their draft boards with potential picks, let’s delve deeper into the draft and narrow our focus onto 4 specific teams in one division, the NFC East.
Dallas Cowboys (2012 Finish: 8-8; Third Place) The Dallas Cowboys come into the 2013 Draft a different team literally, new defensive coordinator and new defensive line coach Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli respectively are changing the Cowboys defense from a 3-4 base look, to the 4-3 Tampa 2 defensive scheme. Jason Garrett is no longer the playcaller in Big D, and Tony Romo has at least 57 million new reasons to smile. Over the three day draft, the Cowboys have a NFC East low, 6 picks, one in each of the first 6 rounds. The Cowboys will focus their attention on these positions: Safety, Offensive Guard, Offensive Tackle, Defensive Tackle, and potentially Running Back. Look for the Cowboys to use their 1st round selection on an offensive lineman, defensive tackle, or a safety as they try to bolster their roster to better compete in the NFC East.
New York Giants (2012 Finish 9-7; Second Place) After another mid-season meltdown, the Super Bowl defending champion New York Giants found themselves on the outside looking in on the postseason, a disappointing finish to a season with a promising start. The Giants have 8 selections to make in the 2013 NFL Draft, one in each of the first 6 rounds and two in the 7th and final round. Needs for the Giants include: Linebacker (Inside & Outside), Defensive End (Isn’t that always a need for the Giants even when it isn’t?), Corner Back, and possibly Tight End. Expect the Giants to target a Defensive End or Linebacker in the 1st round with their number 19 selection and begin their climb back to NFC East supremacy.
Philadelphia Eagles (2012 Finish 4-12; Last Place) This draft marks a new era in Philadelphia Eagles’ football. New head coach Chip Kelly continues to put his stamp on a franchise that is vastly different from the Andy Reid tenure in Philly. With change comes new coaches, with new coaches comes new schemes, with new schemes come different philosophies, and with different philosophies a necessity for different players develops. Thus, the Eagles find themselves turning to free agency and now the draft to further their transformation. With needs that range from Defensive Tackle and Linebacker to Quarterback and their NFC East high 9 draft picks (one in each of the first 5 rounds and four in the 7th round) to address them, the Eagles could spend their number 4 overall selection in the 1st round on either one of those positions as the Eagles will definitely aim to diversify their roster with players that can help them go from worst to first in the NFC East.
Washington Redskins (2012 Finish 10-6; NFC East Champions) This draft is a stark contrast for the Washington Redskins, as a team that has went into the draft with a top ten pick every year since 2010 to not having a 1st round selection at all and going from cellar to stellar in the NFC East ranks the Redskins have to now deal with problem of new-found success. All of a sudden the Redskins are the hunted instead of the hunter, how will they handle the pressure? It doesn’t help being without a first round selection when you have glaring needs at safety, corner back, inside linebacker, and tackle but the team from the Nation’s Capital will have to make due with their 7 draft selections (one selection in every round after the first with the 5th round being the exception where they hold 2 picks). The first of those 7 picks will come at 51 in the 2nd round, where safety has to be the pick, a pick that might go a long way toward the Redskins repeating as NFC East Champions.