By Peter Gleason
The just-completed NFL draft has given the Eagles a leg up on their NFC competition:
» Round 1: (No. 14 overall) Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee.
» Round 2: (43) Sidney Jones, CB, Washington.
» Round 3: (99) Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia.
» Round 4: (118) Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina; (132) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State.
» Round 5: (166) Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia; (184) Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska.
» Round 6: (214) Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington.
After devoting their free-agent resources to offense, the Eagles committed their draft capital to defense. Barnett gives theEagles one of the best pass rushers in the draft. He is a “Call of Duty” player — that is to say, he has exceptional hand-to-hand combat skills — with the potential to be a double-digit sack producer as a rookie. Jones isn’t expected to make a major contribution as a rookie, due to his lengthy recovery from a torn Achilles tendon suffered at his pro day in March. If he fully recovers, he gives the Eagles a Pro Bowl-caliber corner on the island. Hollins is a slick vertical pass catcher with A-plus skills as a special teams demon. He could blossom into an impact player in that underrated phase of the game. GRADE: A-
2) Washington Redskins
» Round 1: (No. 17 overall) Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama.
» Round 2: (49) Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama.
» Round 3: (81) Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA.
» Round 4: (114) Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma; (123) Montae Nicholson, S, Michigan State.
» Round 5: (154) Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas.
» Round 6: (199) Chase Roullier, C, Wyoming; (209) Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State.
» Round 7: (230) Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville; (235) Joshua Holsey, DB, Auburn.
The Redskins scooped up a number of solid players by simply allowing the draft board to come to them. Allen was viewed as a top-five talent early in the pre-draft process, but dropped down boards due to possible concerns about his medical history. If he can move beyond his injury woes, Allen could serve as a nice complement to Ryan Kerrigan as a 5-technique pass rusher. Anderson is a backyard brawler with a rugged game on the edges. He isn’t a high-level pass rusher, but his non-stop motor will lead to a number of garbage-time sacks. Perine could take the RB1 job after coaches catch a glimpse of his hard-nosed running style in camp. GRADE: B+
T-3) Dallas Cowboys
» Round 1: (No. 28 overall) Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan.
» Round 2: (60) Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado.
» Round 3: (92) Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan.
» Round 4: (133) Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina.
» Round 6: (191) Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech; (216) Marquez White, CB, Florida State.
» Round 7: (228) Joey Ivie, DT, Florida; (239) Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State; (246) Jordan Carrell, DT, Colorado.
The Cowboys entered the draft intent on upgrading their defense with a handful of blue-chip prospects possessing outstanding skills. Charlton is a classic “flasher” with the size, length and athleticism to excel. He needs to play with more energy, but the former Michigan standout gives the Cowboys a legitimate rusher off the edge. Awuzie is a blue-collar cover corner with outstanding instincts, awareness, ball skills and versatility. He should be capable of performing on the outside or in the slot in the Cowboys’ Tampa 2 scheme. Lewis is the best nickel corner in the draft, but he must resolve his legal situation. Switzer is a dynamic returner with the receiving skills to also thrive as a slot pass catcher. GRADE: B
T-3) New York Giants
» Round 1: (No. 23 overall) Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi.
» Round 2: (55) Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama.
» Round 3: (87) Davis Webb, QB, Cal.
» Round 4: (140) Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson.
» Round 5: (167) Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown State.
» Round 6: (200) Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh.
The Giants added some more firepower to an offense that is brimming with talent on the perimeter, particularly at the pass-catcher spots. Engram is a Jordan Reed-like playmaker capable of playing “Y” or “H” in their scheme. He is the most polished route runner among the tight ends of the 2017 draft class. Webb is a quick-rhythm passer ideally suited for playing in the Giants’ small-ball scheme. Tomlinson is a space-eater with outstanding strength, power and hand skills. He plays with leverage and fills a void as a rock-solid run stopper. GRADE: B