After a brief hiatus, our good buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup is back to talk a little football. And with the preseason just around the corner, it's time to finish up our draft review podcasts by division, now that teams have given a bit of insight into how their new players will be used. We've already covered the NFC West, AFC West, AFC South, NFC South, NFC North, AFC North, and AFC East. Now, we'll conclude with the NFC East, and review how the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins did with their selections.
On the Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick, Wisconsin C/G Travis Frederick: "If you're making a draft board, you probably didn't have Travis Frederick as your 31st-best player. Now, here's the question: You're a team that really struggled last year to run your offense, both running and throwing, because of offensive line deficiencies. It could be argued that this was the reason they couldn't compete. You made a valid point about the safeties still on the board, and that's a position they need, as well. But if they feel that they can't function in their division and win games without a [better] offensive line, then I understand intellectually why they made the pick. It's easy to say that there are better players, but if they can't run their offense, and therefore can't run their team, then you understand their rationale."
On the New York Giants' first-round pick, Syracuse OT Justin Pugh: "I liked Pugh on film, and I think he's a starting tackle in the NFL. Over time, I think he could play left tackle, but he's definitely a starting right tackle. So, what's the value of that? If he's a starting tackle in the NFL from year one, and he'll get the opportunity to do so, then we're just debating the value of the pick. Ultimately, you have to talk about the player. He certainly wasn't as smooth in pass protection as a Luke Joeckel or an Eric Fisher, but I thought he had very good balance and knee-bend. You mentioned that he looked overwhelmed at times a the Senior Bowl, and that's about strength. He has very good feet, and plus athleticism and movement. Now, he needs to get stronger in an NFL weightroom."
On the Philadelphia Eagles' first-round pick, Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson: "At this point, he's a better athlete than player, and that's fine. He's a young guy who's inexperienced. He's a better athlete than either Joeckel or Fisher, and you could argue that outside of Terron Armstead, he's the best pure athlete at the left tackle position in this draft class. Johnson will be coached, so he'll get better in terms of technique. He didn't always play to his athleticism, and there were a number of times in the run game where his feet didn't go with him. He fell off blocks, but that can be taught. He clearly fits what Chip Kelly wants to do offensively, which is the zone run game, and to play fast."
On the Washington Redskins' second-round pick, North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson: "He's a kid with really good size and length. In that first game of the 2012 season against Tennessee, he got beaten for two deep touchdowns. Now, both of them were very correctable mistakes, but people started to bail immediately on him as a first-round pick, and obviously, he wasn't a first-round pick. The [Cordarelle] Patterson play you're talking about -- he just had his eyes in the backfield. He's an off-coverage corner. In every game I watched, if memory serves me correctly, he didn't play one snap of press position. He played off coverage, and off coverage has a whole series of techniques, and much of that involves what we call 'eye discipline.' Where are your eyes?"
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