2019 NFL Draft: Best case scenarios for NFC East teams

With the 2019 NFL Draft less than a week away, what would a best case scenario for all four NFC East teams look like?

The NFC East is consistently in a state of turmoil. Who will win the division? It seems every year we have the answer, and every year we falter. A major area that can help with a team looking to compete is a strong 2019 NFL Draft class. The Washington Redskins used a great rookie class in 2015 to win the division. The Dallas Cowboys found similar success led by Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott their rookie season. This year’s division champion could very well be the one with the strongest draft.

I am going to look at the best case draft scenario for each team, limited to three rounds. These selections are based on where I value player on my personal big board and what I view each team’s needs as. I’ll be giving you the best case scenario along with who I believe the actual selection will be.

New York Giants

The Giants have two first-round picks and four top 100 picks in this year’s draft. The Giants have finished last in the division in two consecutive seasons. They need to dominate this draft. I liked what they did last year, adding a number of contributors and a franchise player in Saquon Barkley. Last year I defended the selection of Barkley saying that Barkley and a top QB this year is better than Sam Darnold and a top RB this year, and I still stand by that. However, with the recent reports that the Giants will likely pass on a QB at 6th overall, they may waste the chance to save their franchise.

New York would best be suited to draft a QB at six and the best available offensive lineman or defensive player at 17.  Even with the loss of Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants still possess deadly skill position players. I don’t expect them to contend much this year regardless of their class, but a strong draft to build for the future could be huge.

Best Case Scenario: 

Gettleman gets replacements for Manning, Olivier Vernon, and Beckham while also drafting an immediate starter a right tackle who can move to left tackle after the Nate Solder experiment has completed. Haskins is the QB of the future and is someone I think compares well to Eli. Meanwhile, Ferrell is a dominant edge defender who brings 10 sack upside, but his calling card is against the run. This draft would give the Giants a fresh new identity of blue-collar football players. Add this to their strong 2018 draft and the Giants are a year or two away from being serious threats in the NFC.

Matt’s Mock:

Washington Redskins

The Redskins have a stronger roster than the public likes to admit. The team has consistently finished around .500 over the past 4 years and were well on their way to winning the division before losing their starting quarterback. But now it’s back to square one: finding the QB. Josh Rosen has been the common answer and it’s the one I like the most. If the Redskins can get Rosen and keep their first it a strong step in the right direction for the franchise.

Washington has other holes as well, primarily right outside linebacker and an X wide receiver. Luckily this is a strong draft class for both those needs and I think with a good draft the Redskins could very well be competing in the NFC East.

Best Case Scenario:

  • Round 1 Pick 15: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida St.
  • Round 2 Pick 46: *Traded+Mid Round 2020 Pick for Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Round 3 Pick 76: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State.
  • Round 3 Pick 96: Nate Davis, iOL, Charlotte.

With this draft, the Redskins fill their three biggest holes. Brian Burns is one of my favorite players in the 2019 NFL draft and is a perfect fit in the Redskins 3-4 system. Rosen suits what Jay Gruden likes to run and is put in a better position than he was in Arizona. You may be skeptical that I have Kelvin Harmon falling to the third round, believe me, it’s not by choice. I have Harmon as the second best receiver in the class but rumors surfacing that most teams don’t even view him as a top 10 wide-out in this class. Nate Davis is a player the Redskins have been connected heavily to and fits in perfectly at that left guard spot.

Matt’s Mock:

  • Round 1 Pick 15: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss.
  • Round 2 Pick 46: *Traded+Mid Round 2020 Pick for Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Round 3 Pick 76: Nate Davis, IOL, Charlotte.
  • Round 3 Pick 96: Anthony Nelson, Edge, Iowa.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are the favorites to win the division going into the season. That goal depends primarily on the health of franchise QB Carson Wentz. However, GM Howie Roseman can help Wentz by bringing in talent and taking some of the pressure off the young signal caller. A team made to win through the air, the Eagles traded for running back Jordan Howard in order to help rejuvenate the run game, leading running back to likely be off the table in the first round.

Philadelphia’s biggest needs right now are defensive back and depth in both sides of the trenches. Jason Peters and Jason Kelce aren’t getting any younger. The Eagles defensive line, which was arguably the biggest part of their Super Bowl team, seems to have lost a step. It would be well advised to brace both of these position groups for an overhaul.

Best Case Scenario:

  • Round 1 Pick 25: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
  • Round 2 Pick 53: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi St.
  • Round 2 Pick 57: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

The Eagles might want to trade back as well and acquire more draft picks in the 60-85 range. But if they stay put I believe this is the best move as of now. Adderley has a high upside prospect who grew up in the Philadelphia area and stayed close to home when he chose to attend Delaware. Simmons is a top 10 talent in the class. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in the month leading up to the combine and had a very nasty domestic violence charge against him. I believe Simmons is an elite player, however, and the accident doesn’t reflect him as a person. He would be a dominant player next to Fletcher Cox. Meanwhile, Henderson brings a nice value in the late second round, my highest rated running back whose skill-set plays off of Jordan Howard‘s nicely.

Matt’s Mock: 

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys won the NFC East last season, which means that you shouldn’t bet on them to win it this year. Nothing against them, it’s just that no one has repeated as division winners in over 15 years. For context, that’s 75% of my lifetime. The Cowboys have some massive contracts coming up, and that’s after signing Demarcus Lawrence to a huge deal. If their smart, they’ll use this draft to take high upside players who can develop as starters down the road.

Best Case Scenario:

If Smith falls to the Cowboys it could be the steal of the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. I don’t think there is a massive space between Smith and the Iowa duo. Smith will transition as Jason Witten‘s successor and a perfect weapon for Dak Prescott. The Cowboys are also in need of defensive line depth due to the loss of Randy Gregory and David Irving. Wren is a high upside prospect who Rob Marinelli would have a lot of fun with.

Matt’s Mock:

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