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2023 NFL Draft Recap: NFC East Grades

The Eagles dominated in the NFC and continued by dominating the Draft. How did the other teams fare? Have they gained any ground on the NFC Champs?

Cowboys  (B-) 

  • 1.27 – Mazi Smith (DT) 
  • 2.27 – Luke Schoonmaker (TE) 
  • 3.27 – DeMarvion Overshown (ILB)
  • 4.27 – Viliami Fehoko (DE)
  • 5.35 – Asim Richards (OT)
  • 6.01 – Eric Scott Jr. (CB)
  • 6.35 – Deuce Vaughn (RB)
  • 7.27 – Jalen Brooks (WR)

The Cowboys had a decent draft. In the first round, they missed out on players we thought could land there, like Bijan Robinson or Dalton Kincaid. Mazi Smith was needed for their defensive line, but there are concerns with his college production. I’m not sure if his talent shows first-round capital. The Cowboys reached for Luke Schoonmaker as a tight end in round two. The Cowboys should have traded up or waited on the depth of this class. Schoonmaker will end up as a late-round-three pick in most rookie drafts. He has the potential to be the Cowboy’s starting tight end. Overshown was a solid value pick in the third. He should fill in nicely at the linebacker core. 

I wasn’t a big fan of Viliami Fehoko, as he needs to bulk up more to be a full-time player, but he does have a motor. Asim Richards was good value in round five; he should provide depth to an aging line. The Cowboys paid up to get a player like Eric Scott, as he offers the secondary size and explosiveness that should make him an impact player. I’m indifferent about Deuce Vaughn as he joins his father, a scout for the team. He is explosive but only 5’5″ in size. I’d say he is an excellent fourth-round pick in rookie drafts. Jalen Brooks will have a tough time making the roster, but he is an intriguing wide receiver if he can make the team. 

The Cowboys get a B- due to the level of talent they drafted, as I don’t see players here making a big-time impact for the Cowboys, but they didn’t reach for many outside the top two picks.

New York Giants  (A)

  • 1.25 – Deonte Banks (CB)
  • 2.26 – John Michael Schmitz (C.) 
  • 3.10 – Jalin Hyatt (WR)
  • 5.38 – Eric Gray (RB)
  • 6.32 – TRe Hawkins III (CB)
  • 7.26 – Jordan Riley (DT)
  • 7..37 – Gervarrius Owens (S)

I thought the Giants had a great draft this year. They started with Deonte Banks, a very fluid athlete who could start day one as a cornerback. John Michael Schmitz was one of the best values in the draft. He had first-round talent in my books and was going close to the end of round two. He will start day one and be a reliable blocker for Daniel Jones. Giants continued to get values with Jalen Hyatt in the third round as he was talked of early round two buzz on him. Hyatt is a deep-threat receiver who can win with his speed and footwork to take the top off a defense. He should be an early third-round pick that will be good value in rookie drafts.  

In round five, the Giants took one of my favorite running backs, Eric Gray. Gray is a tough runner who can fill in as the backup to Saqoun Barkley or fill in as a starter if Barkley is to miss time. He should be an excellent third-round pick in most rookie drafts. The Giants add another cornerback in Hawkins, who should be a good depth piece due to his athletic ability. Riley is like a rotational lineman who will be a depth player. Owens was a gem in the seventh round with the talent that should have been taken earlier in the draft. 

The Giants get an A due to the talent values they got at multiple positions and players who should mostly all make an impact on the team.

Philadelphia Eagles (A) 

  • 1.09 – Jalen Carter (DT)
  • 1.31 – Nolan Smith (OLB)
  • 3.02 – Tyler Steen (OT)
  • 3.03 – Sydney Brown (S)
  • 4.03 – Kelee Ringo (CB)
  • 6.11 – Tanner McKee (QB)
  • 7.32 – Moro Ojomo (DE)

The Eagles nailed this draft by taking all the Georgia players from the national championship team. They traded up one pick to grab potentially the best overall player in the class Jalen Carter. Carter will be a monster on a still very good defensive line. At the end of the first, they get a bargain pick in Nolan Smith, a quick edge rusher who could start day one. Tyler Steen was good value for a need the Eagles had at Guard but could also help out at tackle. Sydney Brown was an absolute steal in this draft. I saw the film of him at the Senior Bowl practices, and Brown was tearing up offenses in many ways. Four players that all could be day-one starters. 

They got a corner in Ringo in the back half of the draft, which fell due to some questions in his game. The Eagles loved Ringo, giving up a 2024 third-rounder to move up to get him, but he has a playing-making ability. Tanner McKee went in the sixth round, which I don’t like. He doesn’t fit on that offense if he needed to go in, so he is likely undrafted. Moro Ojomo was a nice seventh-rounder who could fill in some depth.

The Eagles hit big on some players that could have most of this class as full-time starters by 2024, so they get an A for that, plus getting players at a value. Also, don’t forget that they also acquired Swift on day three of the draft.

Washington Commanders (B-) 

  • 1.16 – Emmanuel Forbes (CB)
  • 2.16 – Jartavius Martin (S)
  • 3.34 – Ricky Stromberg (C.)
  • 4.16 – Braeden Daniels (OT) 
  • 5.03 – KJ Henry (DE)
  • 6.16 – Chris Rodriquez Jr. (RB)
  • 7.16 – Andre Jones (OLB)

The Commanders made it a point to boost their secondary up with their first two picks  Fobres was a ball-hawking defensive back that is shown to make an impact at the NFL level despite his skinny frame.   Martin was a decent pick in the second, as he could be the nickelback or play safety for the Commanders. In the third, the Commanders panicked a little, taking Stromberg earlier than expected, but it was a solid center to grab. 

In the fourth round, they grabbed Braeden Daniels, an offensive tackle that should move into the guard spot. They have good value in round five with KJ Henry, as he brings strength and speed as an edge rusher. I felt like Rodriquez wasn’t needed for this team, as I believe Brian Robinson could do the things Rodriquez does. It’s short yardage and being a bruiser. He is likely a late fourth to an undrafted player in rookie drafts. Jones is likely the last man on the roster type of player that will use his athletic ability to win.

I have given the Commanders a C+ grade as I believe they didn’t hit on the values of the talents they drafted. Tight end was a more significant need than they showed us. I do think that Forbes is going to be a star for them.

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