By Jack Ryan
The NFL draft starts in only five days, and here’s a quick look at what the NFC East needs:
Key additions: CB Darius Slay, CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, DT Javon Hargrave
Key subtractions: S Malcolm Jenkins, CB Ronald Darby, LB Nigel Bradham, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai
Needs: WR, RB, offensive line, LB, S
Analysis: The Eagles need to give quarterback Carson Wentz more playmakers (like WR CeeDee Lamb (above), and luckily for them it’s a great draft for wide receivers. The offensive line remains fine for now, but the depth will have to be replenished with Vaitai signing with the Lions and Jason Peters not returning. The trade for Slay was huge, but Jenkins’s exit leaves a hole in the secondary.
Key additions: DT Gerald McCoy, DE Aldon Smith
Key subtractions: CB Byron Jones, DE Robert Quinn, WR Randall Cobb, C Travis Frederick, TE Jason Witten
Needs: CB, pass rusher, TE, offensive line, WR
Analysis: The exit of Jones in free agency creates a need at cornerback. The Cowboys signed Smith, the former 49ers standout trying to make a return to the NFL, to bolster the pass rush, but he hasn’t played since 2015. The Cowboys franchise-tagged quarterback Dak Prescott and re-signed wide receiver Amari Cooper, but the offense needs fine-tuning, and Frederick’s retirement creates a need on the offensive line.
New York Giants
Key additions: CB James Bradberry, LB Blake Martinez
Key subtractions: QB Eli Manning, T Mike Remmers
Needs: Offensive line, pass rusher, CB
Analysis: During free agency, General Manager Dave Gettleman focused on upgrading the defense with the relatively expensive additions of Bradberry and Martinez. The Giants could continue to add in the secondary, and securing pass-rush help also would be advisable. It’s a very good draft for offensive tackles, and the Giants could go that way with the No. 4 selection to help protect Manning’s successor at quarterback, Daniel Jones.
Key additions: CB Kendall Fuller, CB Ronald Darby, S Sean Davis, QB Kyle Allen
Key subtractions: TE Jordan Reed, CB Quinton Dunbar, CB Josh Norman, G Ereck Flowers
Needs: Offensive line, TE, WR, pass rusher
Analysis: The Redskins seem likely to select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the No. 2 choice. That’s the right move, barring an overwhelming trade offer. He is a game-changing player at a premium position. The biggest remaining task will be deciding whether to trade seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams. The Redskins also must add at wide receiver and tight end, in addition to potentially replacing Williams.