The school bus makes its next stop in the NFC East – a neighborhood not as conspicuously threatening as it used to be. They taunted the little fat kid to his breaking point, when he whipped out a loaded Eli Manning stowed away in his pocket and sprinted home with the Lombardi Trophy. Meanwhile, Philadelphia slept through its alarm, Washington dropped out early to deal picks behind the dumpster, and the Cowboys were so enamored by the school nurse that they forgot to study for finals.
In midst of all that, were the Beasts of the NFL able to charm this professor into granting them adequate progress reports? Did FN’s Mock Draft reestablish the division as Super Bowl favorites?
Washington Redskins (1.2) – QB Robert Griffin III = B+
This has nothing to do with RG3. While there is always a risk in crowning the player whose face will be your franchise – especially when shooting spitballs right behind the Colts with the No. 2 pick (see Ryan Leaf), Griffin III could very well be a superior Cam Newton and can eventually prove to surpass the insurmountable Luck in this age of the renovated quarterback. The Redskins desperately mandate a new field general with such caliber, but their grade is this low due to the severity of the future draft picks they lost in the process. The General Manager(s) of Washington survived smaller classes before, but if you’re going to trade half your deck of Pokemon cards for a Charizard, it better be holographic…
Dallas Cowboys (1.14) – SS Mark Barron = B+
In spite of their lucrative free agency period, the Cowboys have been doomed by a plethora of needs after another winter break infected by mono. Guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau still aren’t rookie David DeCastro, cornerback Brandon Carr doesn’t exactly improve Orlando Scandrick’s game, and the deficit left by Laurent Robinson in the passing game is larger than currently realized. Of course, Barron is the top safety in the Class of 2012 and he could deliver a physical and immediate impact, even in tandem with signed veteran Brodney Pool, filling yet another hole in this secondary.
Philadelphia Eagles (1.15) – DT Fletcher Cox = B
Philadelphia believes that Demetress Bell has addressed health and depth issues along the offensive line. However, since the highlight reeled gains and equally necessary short conversions of LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick are a prime indicator of the Eagles’ success on offense, they have to stay upright throughout the season. That wall of protection must be proofread at least three times, and DeCastro or the adaptable Cordy Glenn could be the difference between an exclamation point and an ellipses. Defensive tackle (and defense in general) is definitely key, as well, and Cox is debatably the No. 1 athlete at his position and will offer versatility along the other line. He is, though, more luxury alongside Cullen Jenkins than a first-round obligation, which is fine, but the Dream Team better stop drooling all over the desktop during my history lectures.
New York Giants (1.32) – OLB Lavonte David = A
It has happened – the champion New York Giants have evaded the temptations of Coby Fleener, Doug Martin, and superfluous defensive linemen, and selected a linebacker in the first round for the first time since what feels like preschool! Happy trails, Jerry Reese. What makes David the right man for the Big Blue is his additional capability to play safety, so he can both attack from the edge and draw back into coverage, rather than Perry Fewell pulling a Deon Grant into the box and sacrificing the middle of the field. The Giants will be looking to bury the NFC East’s heads further under the sandbox.
NFC East = B+
There is unquestionably a wide array of talent and potential here, and it holds true in these selections. It’s a shame that they waste it all by annually pummeling one another in the parking lot. The team that maintains the most levelheadedness from April through the regular season and uncovers the optimal permutation of need and BPA will avoid the outbreak of swine flu. Until then, the Giants rule the community. Food fight!