NFL Draft Review (Part 2 of 8)
by Brett Berliner(NFL)
Posted on May 3, 2006, 3:48 PM
We're back with round 2. This time, we cover the NFC East, a division who has been having some really great drafts, recently. Except for the Redskins, it's been a long time since they've had a great draft.
Best Pick: Bobby Carpenter, OLB, Ohio State. Although Carpenter went a little bit higher than some might expect, this was a very good pick for the Cowboys. Carpenter has both experience playing with his hand down, and as a linebacker, so in the 3-4, he should be absolutely deadly, especially playing across from Demarcus Ware. Carpenter could start and excel immediately. Although tight end wasn't a big need for the Cowboys, Fasano may very well have been the best player available, and he's ready to play immediately. As long as Dallas finds way to utilize both him and Jason Witten, their offense will be impacted immediately. I think Skyler Green went a round or two too high, but there's no denying he's explosive as a receiver and return man. Later on day two, the Cowboys picked up two players who fit their scheme and could help in NT Montavious Stanley and E.J. Whitley, two great value picks.
Worst pick: Jason Hatcher, DE, Grambling. Nothing against Hatcher as a player, but very few, if anyone, had him rated as a first day pick. He is athletic, but lacks instincts and football smarts. Jason could eventually develop into a starter in Dallas' 3-4 defense, but for a 3rd round pick, and a team with a lot of holes, this wasn't great value. Pat Watkins and Pat McQuistan are fine players, to be sure, but neither of them is going to be able to fill the holes at their respective positions that the Cowboys have.
Overall: I think that, by the actual players the Cowboys picked, they had a strong draft. However, I don't see any of their picks, especially the early ones, as addressing their biggest needs. I think spending their 2nd and 3rd round picks on a free safety and an offensive tackle would have helped the team a bit more. Still, they got generally good value and picked players who fit their system, so it's not like they had a 'bad' draft. Overall Grade: B-
Best Pick: Gerris Wilkinson, ILB, Georgia Tech. Although the Giants acquired LB help in the offseason in the form of LaVar Arrington, Wilkinson is versatile enough to provide help as either a backup middle linebacker, or a starting strongside linebacker. He isn't a speed demon, but he's fast enough, and he has a strong upper body to help him shed blocks. More importantly, he's excelled the last two seasons, despite moving from defensive end. He should find a home on the Giants defense almost immediately. I liked the move to trade down in round one. They obviously weren't sold on Santonio Holmes, or they would have drafted him, and they added a guy who can help some in Kiwanuka. Although he was a bit overrated early in the year, he fell back down to earth and this was probably where he belonged, draft wise. He has some pass rush ability, purely from determination and quickness, so as he learns moves, he could be deadly. Although I wasn't a huge fan of Sinorice Moss, at 44, he's a much better value. The Giants needed some help across from Plaxico Burress with Amani Toomer getting older, and Moss is steady and will provide a a nice pass catching threat to team with Burress and Jeremy Shockey. I liked some of what they did on day two, specifically, their pickups of Barry Cofield and Gerrick McPhearson. McPhearson is tiny, but he's quite possibly the fastest player in the draft, and he will at least help on special teams and as a potential dime back. Cofield needs to bulk up to play DT every down in the NFL, but he's strong, smart and quick and will find his way instantly into their DL rotation.
Worst Pick: Guy Whimper, OT, East Carolina. I know that Mel Kiper had him rated about where he went, but I don't really like Whimper myself. For a guy that's just over 300 pounds, he's never appeared to be very well conditioned. His footwork is okay, but his technique wasn't even good for a college player. He is the type of guy who could surprise, and be a better NFL player than he was a college player, but I wouldn't put money on it.
Overall: I like what the G-Men did. They spent two early picks on the DL, despite the fact that it's one of the strongest positions on the team, but that shows they understand why their defense played so well last year. Strahan still has some years left in him, but eventually, he's going to need to be replaced, and by that time, Kiwi should be a beast. They know the key to a strong defensive line is to get a lot of talented players in there, to give each other rests, and I appreciate that. I think they should have spent an earlier pick (or maybe just a stronger one) than a 4th rounder on Whimper on the OL, but it's hard to argue with how their D has played with that line, so adding to it is always a good thing. Final Grade: B+
Overall: I can't make a worst and best pick for the Eagles, because their draft strategy this year is so extremely bust or boom that it's hard for me to fairly judge. If I was absolutely nailed down, I'd say their best pick was Winston Justice and their worst Chris Gocong, but even those could go either way. Instead, I'll run down their draft and discuss my interests and reservations with each of the players, starting with their first round pick, Bunkley. Coming into the draft, I liked Bunkley a lot, and I still do. I think he's a little bit of a risk, but if he pans out, he'll be incredible. He has to overcome a rash of injuries while in college as well as a few character concerns (both grades and theft), but overall, he should become a very strong player.
Justice fell so far because apparently teams weren't over his character issues. I can't accurately judge that, since I haven't interviewed the guy, but as many know, he was caught for waving a pellet gun around like a real one, and for attempting to solicit a prostitute, both major charges. He's got the athleticism and size, but mentally, he's not been praised, so it's definitely a risk. If he can keep his nose clean and stay interested in the game, he'll be a steal here. I think Justice will turn into a solid NFL starting left tackle, so take that for what it's worth. Gocong, I don't know about. He put up EYE POPPING numbers at Cal Poly, but he was also known for his lack of dominance, so you have to wonder if he had put his mind to it constantly, could he have had even more numbers? I heard they're going to have him drop weight and have him move to linebacker, and I just don't see it. Maybe in the 3-4, but in the 4-3, he's going to probably be too slow, and he doesn't change directions well enough. I think he'll end up on the line somewhere, but I think he was picked much too early.
Jean-Gilles is a guard just like Elton Brown from last year - he's a good pick at this point, but there's a reason guys like Davin Joseph were picked over them, and it's conditioning. At Georgia, he often wore down late in games, and so while some had Max in the late first, early second range as a road grader, questions about his weight slid him down. It's a good pick here, but not the KNOCKOUT some have suggested. The next two picks were WRs - one with height, bulk and no speed, and one with speed and no height or bulk. If Bloom and Avant had a child, or were merged to create one being, they'd be great picks, as is, they're both decent enough players.
Overall, this is a risky draft that could pay off big dividends. I think Bunkley and Justice will become great contributors, Jean-Gilles a starter, and Gocong a bust, but I don't quite know yet. My best guess? Final Grade: B+
Overall: I don't know. I always rip the Redskins apart (see my draft grades from last year for the hilarity), but this year, I am almost bored with it, so I'm going to just sit back and let it speak for itself...
They did another terrible job. The 'Skins traded up to select a guy, Rocky McIntosh, who may be bigger and faster than the two LBs who went before him, Demeco Ryans and D'Qwell Jackson, but he certainly isn't half of the overall player they were. Trading up was absolutely pointless, at least, trading that high.. but it's the Redskins. What do you expect?
Their late rounds were pretty bad, too. Montgomery was never close to dominant at Minnesota, and their 6th round DT, Kedric Golston, is a much better overall player. If they traded work ethics (Montgomery's is really good, actually), then either could be an impact player. I guess Montgomery could eventually be a steal, but he's going to need a LOT of work.
Reed Doughty is a safety who plays slower than molasses, even in comparison to the rest of the guys at Northern Colorado, and Kevin Simon ran an offensive lineman's time at the combine. Yikes.
I don't see a single impact player or potential impact player here, and even with only one pick in the first four rounds, they really blew it.