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Doug Farrar

The draft in review: The NFC East

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Dallas Cowboys: Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant(notes) is a natural fit for the Cowboys in many ways - he is a very talented player with some maturity and consistency issues who can do some fairly ridiculous things on the field. Bryant has amazing body control, ability to adjust to badly thrown balls, and real toughness in traffic. Tony Romo(notes), your days of throwing to alligator-armed receivers are over. Dallas got some real sleepers in this draft, as well - Penn State linebacker Sean Lee(notes) is a sideline-to-sideline defender who isn't always strong at the point. Indiana (PA) cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah(notes) has been one of the most highly regarded small-school defenders in this draft class, and the Cowboys are already talking about putting him in Ken Hamlin's(notes) place at free safety. Sixth-round tackle Sam Young(notes) from Notre Dame is another prototypical Cowboy - a huge (6-8, 316) blocker with straight-on strength. Bryant is the linchpin here, and he has the tools to be a dominant receiver.

New York Giants: The G-men aren't used to putting bad defenses on the field, and they did everything possible to address last year's problems. First-round edge rusher Jason Pierre Paul was probably a reach with the 15th overall pick - he's got seven starts at a school of any import, and he struggles against the run. But he's explosive off the snap in a way that reminds people of Jevon Kearse(notes). Second-round DT Linval Joseph(notes) from East Carolina is a big man who will replace Fred Robbins(notes) inside. Perhaps the best pick came in the third round in the person of underrated LSU safety Chad Jones(notes) - the best strong safety in this class. He'll perfectly complement Antrel Rolle(notes) and give the Giants a lot of talent against the deep ball and in the box.

Philadelphia Eagles: To augment a pass-rush that isn't what it used to be, the Eagles traded up with the Broncos in the first round to take Michigan OLB/BE Brandon Graham(notes) with the 13th pick. Graham played in a lot of different fronts for the Wolverines, but he was absolutely dominant as a 4-3 edge rusher at the Senior Bowl, which is how he'll be used in Philly. Second-round safety Nate Allen(notes) from South Florida has the following challenge: Replace Brian Dawkins(notes). Like Dawkins, Allen struggles somewhat in coverage, but can really bring it at the line and in space. Third-round Washington end Daniel Te'o Nesheim shot up a few rounds on the boards of most experts in the past few months, especially after a very strong pro day. And if we weren't convinced that the Eagles wanted more depth off the edge, they also took Clemson's Ricky Sapp(notes) in the fifth round. Missouri tight end Clay Harbor(notes) might be the sleeper in this group.

Washington Redskins: The arrival of Donovan McNabb(notes) (and subsequent departure of Jason Campbell(notes)) was the headline of Washington's offseason, and it cost them a second-round pick this year. Now, McNabb has to be that much more productive than Campbell in this system. With the fourth overall pick, the new regime of Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen erased years of offensive line neglect with the selection of Oklahoma's Trent Williams(notes), quite possibly the most physically gifted blocker in the 2010 class. He's still learning after only a year at left tackle, but he's a great fit for Shanahan's preferred zone scheme. After that, things got a little bare. The ‘Skins didn't have a third-round pick after taking Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon(notes) in the 2009 supplemental draft, but there may be a real value pick with another offensive tackle - West Virginia's Selvish Capers(notes), who Washington got in the seventh round.

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