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Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the NFC East

McFadden

NFC East teams selected only six skill position players in the 2015 NFL Draft. Six. Three of them were taken by Washington, meaning the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys only added one ‘weapon’ to their offenses. Was it simply because of the way their boards fell? Or, with such strong offenses in the division (they scored the most points combined of any division in the NFL), did they emphasise going heavy on defense? I’m here to take a look at the offensive ramifications.

Dallas Cowboys

Pick #27, Byron Jones, CB
Pick #60, Randy Gregory, OLB
Pick #91, Chaz Green, OT
Pick #127, Damien Wilson, ILB
Pick #163, Ryan Russell, DE
Pick #236, Mark Nzeocha, OLB
Pick #243, Laurence Gibson, OT
Pick #246, Geoff Swaim, TE

Winners

I never envisioned a situation where I would be calling Darren McFadden a winner, but here we are. Sure, it says more about the way his ownership acted than any on-field production; but the stars have finally aligned for the 27-year old as he enters his eighth season in the league.

Or have they?

Yes, the situation is second-to-none, but how much can we really expect from someone who has been historically bad for so long? I’ve been wary of off-season risers before and it seems as though we are being set up for a huge disappointment if expectations for him continue to rise. This leaves Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams as potential beneficiaries (a discussion that was had on the first DLF Podcast Draft Special. I think Randle has the best chance of the three, but keep an eye on a forgotten Lance Dunbar, who looked explosive in 2013 before a season-ending knee injury. He could be a spark plug both as a runner and in the passing game.

Losers

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It is hard to identify a clear loser in Dallas (at least on the offensive side of the ball). They improved the defense, gained more star power and added another offensive tackle to a strong group. Geoff Swaim is a strong blocker, so they really went all-in to maintain their running game after the loss of DeMarco Murray. But ultimately, dynasty owners of players in the Dallas backfield could be the losers here if no one steps up and make themselves the clear starter. We could see a running-back-by-committee approach, or even worse:

New York Giants

Pick #9, Ereck Flowers, OT
Pick #33, Landon Collins, SS
Pick #74, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE
Pick #144, Mykkele Thompson, S
Pick #186, Geremy Davis, WR
Pick #226, Bobby Hart, OG

Winners

After signing Shane Vereen in free agency, the Giants did not see the need to add another running back to their group; despite the strength of the class. They have put their faith in the one-two punch of Vereen and Andre Williams; a ‘thunder and lightning’ combo of tough running and pass-catching versatility. Both running backs will benefit hugely if Ereck Flowers (who is, coincidentally, a giant) can be a mauling monster at right tackle.

Losers

Much like Dallas, I don’t see any clear losers here. However, there is no guarantee that Victor Cruz will come back in full health, and the New York off-season seemed like it was a run-oriented one. This may mean a decline in volume for Eli Manning and fewer targets for Odell Beckham, but I wouldn’t let it put you off either of them.

Philadelphia Eagles

Pick #20, Nelson Agholor, WR
Pick #47, Eric Rowe, DB
Pick #84, Jordan Hicks, LB
Pick #191, JaCorey Shepherd, CB
Pick #196, Randall Evans, CB
Pick #237, Brian Mihalik, DE

Winners

The Eagles offense as a unit benefited from the selection of the dynamic and versatile Nelson Agholor. Despite the loss of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy in the Chip Kelly era, Sam Bradford arrives in town with a ton of offensive talent around him and anyone who has owned him throughout his transition from injured Ram to starting Eagle will reap the rewards. I don’t believe the addition of a first round receiver will have a negative effect on Jordan Matthews’ potential and production in 2015, as these two will grow into great weapons together.

Losers

An offensive lineman wasn’t necessarily an immediate need, but the age and injuries last season are a cause for concern. The on-field play last year was good, but DeMarco Murray will be going from perhaps the strongest young offensive line in the league to an aging one. It shouldn’t be too much of a worry, but it’s something to watch out for. Riley Cooper has lost any value he had over this offseason, and Josh Huff may also be an ADP faller after May. However, if you did invest in him, there is no need to panic. He should be much improved in year two and push for playing time even if Agholor sees the field straight away.

Washington Redskins

Pick #5, Brandon Scherff, OG/T
Pick #38, Preston Smith, DE
Pick #95, Matt Jones, RB
Pick #105, Jamison Crowder, WR
Pick #112, Arie Kouandjio, OG
Pick #141, Martrell Spaight, OLB
Pick #181, Kyshoen Jarrett, SS
Pick #182, Tevin Mitchel, CB
Pick #187, Evan Spencer, WR
Pick #222, Austin Reiter, C

Winners

Jay Gruden named Robert Griffin III the starter back in February, and the Redskins did a great job of surrounding him with extra support by adding three offensive linemen, two receivers and a running back. I am a firm believer that Griffin will bounce back to starter-with-upside status and I think now is an ideal time to buy. Despite Matt Jones’ selection in the third round, Alfred Morris avoided some other names who may have threatened him more. I like Jones, but will he take any more touches away from Morris than Roy Helu has in previous seasons? I’m still acquiring Alf.

Losers

I’m not a strong believer in Pierre Garcon, as I explained in my Redskins dynasty capsule in March. Could the influx of youth (along with second-year man Ryan Grant) provide a spark that I don’t feel he does? Jamison Crowder immediately deems Andre Roberts useless for Washington as he will take over punt return duties and add shiftiness in the slot.

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James Simpson

Writer and Editor at Dynasty League Football
The great Russell Wilson once said: "the separation is in the preparation". James shares the same sentiment when it comes to dynasty success. Do the research, watch a ton of football and be relentless about building what you view to be the most talented team. Question everything, be open-minded and learn lessons every day.

As well as editing for DLF, James writes for Sky Sports and can be found on Twitter at @JS_Football
James Simpson

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Moishe

    May 13, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks for a great article! I think that you mean NFC east (not AFC) in the title, though.

    I appreciate all your hard work!

    • James Simpson

      May 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Moishe!

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