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NFC East Busy in 1st Round of 2019 NFL Draft

Though the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have a first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the NFC East was very active on the first day of the draft. The New York Giants finished the first round after making three selections, including a trade up from the second round. The Washington Redskins made two selections and the Philadelphia Eagles made one pick, but traded up to do so.

Let’s recap what the Cowboys NFC East Rivals did on the first day of the draft.

New York Giants

  • Daniel Jones, QB, 6th Overall
  • Dexter Lawrence, DT, 17th Overall
  • Deandre Baker, CB, 30th Overall after a trade with the Seattle Seahawks

Though they made three selections, the New York Giants made some questionable decisions with their three picks.

First, in taking Daniel Jones at number six overall, the Giants took a QB that most thought wasn’t a first round quarterback prospect. Many even had him outside of their top 100 players. Obviously it’s too early to tell if this decision will pay off or not, because he’s yet to throw a pass in the NFL, but taking him over Dwayne Haskins will be questioned for a long time to come. Dwayne Haskins was arguably the top quarterback in this class. Jones was probably fourth or fifth in the 2019 QB class.

Next, the Giants used the pick that they acquired from the Cleveland Browns in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade on Clemson Defensive Tackle Dexter Lawrence. Lawrence is a good player, but many thought he’d slide into the second round simply because he’s more of a 1-technique defensive tackle. In a draft that is deep at defensive tackle, it’s likely they could have waited on Lawrence or grabbed one later in the draft.

In moving up from the 37th overall pick to pick number 30 of the first round to take Deandre Baker, the Giants gave up number 37, 132 (4th round), and 142 (5th round). In most pre-draft cornerback rankings that I could find, Baker was ranked no higher than the third best cornerback. Greedy Williams was generally considered the best corner on the board by scouts and was still available.

Like I said before, it’s too early to tell if any of these picks are going to work out for the New York Giants, but Giants fans have reason to feel frustrated by these questionable draft decisions.

Cowboys fans get to relish in the possibility of Daniel Jones being Eli Manning’s heir to the Giant’s quarterback throne.

Washington Redskins

  • Dwayne Haskins, QB, 15th Overall
  • Montez Sweat, EDGE, 26th Overall after a trade with the Indianapolis Colts

On paper, the Washington Redskins had one of the best first rounds on the day.

They stayed patient and waited for their quarterback to fall them at pick number 15. Per reports, Dwayne Haskins was the guy they were targeting all along in the first round, though there was some speculation that they were considering a move up in front of the Giants to take Daniel Jones.

Is it possible that the Washington Redskins put it out in the media that they were considering moving into the top five for Jones just to make the New York Giants take him at six when the Giants probably could have waited to take him at 17? I don’t know, but as a fan of espionage and the draft’s misinformation, I’m going to believe that’s the case.

It worked out perfectly for the Redskins, who got their guy without having to trade assets to move up to get Haskins. This allowed them to move back into the first round by sending their 2019 and 2020 second round picks to Indianapolis to take EDGE Montez Sweat.

By most draft analysts, Montez Sweat was considered a top 10-15 prospect. He fell in the draft because or a medical check that discovered an enlarged heart, known as cardiomegaly. Anytime someone has a medical check that reveals a heart condition, it becomes worrisome. With regular check ups and proper management from a cardiologist, it can be managed and he can have a long NFL career.

The Redskins moving up to grab him late in the first round could end up being the steal of the draft when we look back a few years from now. He’s got elite pass rush potential.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Andre Dillard, OT, 22nd Overall after a trade with the Baltimore Ravens

When the Baltimore Ravens went on the clock at the 22nd pick, there had only been one other offensive tackle taken. Because of the age-related decline of All-Pro tackle Jason Peters and the age of Lane Johnson, the Eagles needed to look for a tackle to begin taking over at one of their tackle positions.

The Eagles had to move up three spots from number 25 to take him, but they get a player who can help keep Carson Wentz upright in an NFC East that has a plethora of impressive pass rushers, your Dallas Cowboys included.

Wentz has now suffered season-ending injuries each of the last two seasons, so maintaining his health should be priority one for Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office. In moving up for the Washington State product, the Eagles had to give up their pick in the first round, number 25 overall, 127 (4th round), and 197 (6th round).

It’s a small price to pay for security for your franchise quarterback.

Though we won’t know for a few years how well the first round went for these teams, on paper it looks like the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles got better. The New York Giants seem to have a long-term plan (though it doesn’t seem like a good one), and the Dallas Cowboys got to enjoy the fact that they have Amari Cooper.

There are still five rounds left to go and tonight, the Dallas Cowboys get to dip their toes into the NFL Draft waters when they go on the clock at pick number 58. There’s a lot of talent still on the board and they’ll get a guy they like, whether they stand pat or move up to get him.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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