With the draft over and all wrapped up, we thought it would be a good idea to get back on the phone with our buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup," and talk about the NFL by division. Who did themselves the most favors in the draft, and who came up short when addressing their roster deficits?
We started off with the NFC West three weeks ago, jumped to the hyper-competitive AFC North two weeks ago, and then moved to the NFC South. Now, it's time to turn our attention to the NFC East. First, we discussed two recent posts by Greg on the must-read NFL Films blog: One on the "winnability" of certain modern quarterbacks, and another on whether the Dallas Cowboys' window has closed (whatever that means). From there, it was a natural progression to talk about what the Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins did in the draft to upgrade their rosters. Greg also reveals some details on a VERY interesting project he's doing with Ron Jaworski.
On Dallas Cowboys DB Morris Claiborne: "He fits what Rob Ryan wants to do. He wants to play man coverage, and he wants to have a lot of blitz capability. He's big on pressure schemes, and I think that with Brandon Carr on one side and Claiborne, who will step in ... sometimes, there are some 'Welcome to the NFL' moments when you transition from bring a press college corner to being a press NFL corner. All you need to do is ask Patrick Peterson about that. He had a number of those moments until Week 8 or 9, when he really started to play well. But I think Claiborne will be a really good NFL corner -- he can play man, and now, I think the Cowboys feel really good about having three corners who can play, with Orlando Scandrick in the slot, and this is what you need in today's NFL."
On New York Giants RB David Wilson: "The thing that stood out to me, watching his film -- we all know that he has dynamic movement. He certainly can do that. I was impressed watching him hit it up inside. I always worry about that in the NFL with a guy who doesn't have a lot of weight, but he's a tough, physical runner whether he's strong and powerful or not. He's certainly willing to run inside -- he's not necessarily a 'bounce guy,' although he has the ability to get to the perimeter and run."
On Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks: "I thought he was the best 4-3 linebacker, other than Luke Kuechly, in this draft. The thing that makes him a great pick is that he blitzed a lot, and he did it from the outside, and I thought he was an excellent blitzer. This kid is really a dynamic mover -- I can remember watching film and seeing him run down LaMichael James. He really fits, and he's going to start unless he plays himself out of it, which I don't think will happen. He fits their new desire to be a little more versatile, defensively, because I think they will use him as a blitzer."
On Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III: "I think Cam Newton is a guy who's similar and bigger. Griffin could have a similar impact -- I'm not going to sit here and tell you he's going to break rookie records, because nobody can answer that question -- but I think he'll play well as a rookie. This is not a terrible team; it's not like he's gone to one of the two or three worst teams in the league. Some of the principles that Mike Shanahan uses -- the zone run game and the designed movement of the quarterback off of that -- plays to Robert Griffin extremely well."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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