Dallas Cowboys (A-)
The Cowboys had a great free agency. They had to let Byron Jones and Robert Quinn leave due to the massive salaries they would have received (and did). Therefore, resigning Anthony Brown will massively help keep the cornerback play high, even if it won’t be dangerous like last year but they won’t lose too many interceptions (Jones only has 2 in his career). Allowing Quinn to leave was the right idea, even though it leaves a gaping hole opposite Lawrence. The Bears overpaid and overcommitted to him. Last season the Cowboys allowed 11 games over 100yds rushing last season and only created 27.5 sacks outside of Quinn with no inside rusher accumulating more than 4 sacks and therefore, they signed Gerald McCoy to a 3-year $18.5 million deal. That may seem excessive for a 32-year old with dwindling success but there is an out after 1 year. An essential one-year prove it deal which can only bring excess sacks. Clinton-dix feels a hole at box safety but the best value signings are Dalton and Zuerlein. Andy Dalton is probably the best backup QB in the league and will lead the Cowboys to wins if Prescott has to miss games. Greg “the leg” Zuerlein will be a consistent kicker for the Cowboys, something they haven’t had since the best days of Dan Bailey.
The Cowboys also had one of their best drafts for years. Lamb shouldn’t have fallen as far as he did and builds on the powerhouse offense. However, I’m not as high on the pick as others due to K’Lavon Chaisson and Jeff Gladney being on the board (probably trade back, accumulate capital before picking Gladney). However, Lamb was a great pick. Then they got Stephon Diggs’ brother Trevon Diggs CB in the second. There were many better corners in the draft, Diggs was not completely trusted at Alabama (mostly had a safety covering) but with his brother in the NFL, he knows what’s waiting for him in the NFL and can emerge as a starter. Gallimore gets to learn from McCoy. Robinson is a hit/miss pick but shows promise and was value in the 4th. Biadasz will enter the competition to replace Travis Fredrick. The best pick was Bradley Anae. How he fell to the 5th is a mystery. A powerful pocket collapsar who will eventually complement Lawrence rushing from the left side. Dak Prescott may be the only player holding them back.
New York Giants (B-)
The first risk that the Giants took is hiring from the Belichick coaching tree. Whilst Vrabel has worked out and Flores looks to be a beast of a coach, passed apples from the tree of Belichick have not worked out so well, as we’re currently seeing (Bill O’Brian). Therefore, it will be intriguing to see how Joe Judge works, my feeling is that he’ll be a good but not great coach – he still needs to learn for a few years. The Giants took a second risk signing Bradberry to a 3-year $43.5 million deal. Bradberry is a good CB but not deserving of the contract, he only received a 61.7 overall grade from PFF last year. Blake Martinez is an upgrade at linebacker and his contract (3 years $30.75 million) isn’t excessive. Nate Ebner will bring energy to the locker room and boost special teams, following his special teams’ coach to New York in Joe Judge.
Andrew Thomas was a starter at Georgia as a true freshman and has continued ever-since. A sure fire starter to play opposite Solder, he has a high floor even if his ceiling isn’t as great as Becton, Wills or Wirfs. Protecting Jones is top priority and Thomas was a good option to do so. McKinney wasn’t expected to slip out the first round. Although the 2nd is where I would have taken him. His instincts are strong but does lose coverage too often for comfort. However, he could get a year playing rotation behind Julian Love before starting. Matt Peart will sit behind Solder and learn for two years. Therefore, he was great value in the 3rd and can work on his main weakness – strength. In the late rounds, they targeted linebackers, to provide depth and look for help on special teams, something Judge clearly cares about, considering he is an ex-special teams coordinator.
Philadelphia Eagles (C+)
The Eagles free agency hinges on the success of Javon Hargrave and Darius “Big Play” Slay. Hargrave was a monster pickup which replaces the loss of Timmy Jernigan and complement the beast of Fletcher Cox. With Brandon Graham; and Barnett, Avery and Sweat working in rotation; this D-Line looks scary again. Slay was an absolute steal in their trade and the Eagles finally have a CB1 on their roster. Robey-Coleman and Will Parks both come in on a one-year “prove it” deal at their DB positions. Most of free agency was about their players that left getting overpaid. Vaitai and Jenkins are massive risks on their 5-year and 4-year deals for their respected teams. However, the Eagles didn’t sign any wide receivers, not even a veteran such as Ted Ginn. Their free agency will get better if they sign Jason Peters as well.
The draft was an interesting one. Taking Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson will be a decision they regret. Whilst they may want a home-run hitter, Jefferson is no slouch and Reagor has a very low floor (although, he does have a high ceiling). Just hope it’s not Agholor 2.0. Hurts isn’t the worst pick. Wentz is injury prone and Hurts is the type of electric player that can be flipped for picks down the road, the issue is that the Eagles had big holes and planning for the future shouldn’t be part of the “win now” mode the Eagles should still be in. Davion Taylor is not NFL ready and the Eagles have a below average linebacker group, but if Taylor can get up to speed the talent is there, another pick for the future rather than this year. Wallace is a safe pick, he can push both Mills and Parks for the starting strong safety spot. He’s not a world beater but starting potential in the 4th is always good value. Prince Tega-Wanogho is a tackle who dropped due to injury concerns, but his ceiling is ridiculously high (a bit like Jordan Mailata). A very inconsistent draft class for the Eagles.
Washington Redskins (B+)
The first good decision the Redskins made was hiring “Riverboat Ron” Riveria who is a perfect fit considering that monster D-Line the Redskins currently have. The players are going to play for him. Then they signed Fuller back from the Chiefs, a premiere slot corner in the league, Fuller can stop passing offenses that move via the slot receivers (Patriots, Bills and even the Giants). If Fabian Moreau and one year deal of Ronald Darby hold up on the edge, this defence will be incredible (that’s a big if). Schweitzer immediately replaces Eric Flowers at left guard. JD McKissick also replaces Chris Thompson as the pass-catching threat out the backfield which gives the Redskins an improve rotation after their draft. However, losing Trent Williams, especially in the messy way they did is a blow, and one that still has a gaping hole at left tackle, they’re not that important … right?
They got Chase Young … A+. Young, Allen, Payne, Sweat and Ioannidis, that’s a lot of sacks, even more so if they keep Kerrigan around (albeit unlikely, probable cap casualty). Antonio Gibson is a swiss army knife who can play at RB, WR or anything in between. The backfield now consists of Peterson, Guice, McKissic and Gibson. The run game will be powerful to alleviate pressure off second year QB Haskins. Charles will move inside to guard due to his frame (6ft 4in 321lbs) but can cover at tackle if needed. More likely, he’s insurance for Schweitzer and Scherff at guard. Gandy-Golden is a high upside jump ball WR at 6ft 4in. Any one on one matchup in the redzone, that ball is going straight to Gandy-Golden. He will also see playing time due to the weak talent that currently occupies the Redskin WR group, however, they are all young with only Cody Latimer drafted before 2018. Undrafted free agent Thaddeus Moss (TE) will be an absolute steal. He may not be unstoppable like his Father (Randy Moss) but he will quickly ascend the depth chart, an absolute steal.