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April 29, 2017

2017 NFL Draft: NFC East day two grades

Eagles NFL

There's a thinking that you have to wait three years to properly evaluate a draft pick, but does that mean we can't have opinions on how well each team did the next day? Hell no. With that in mind, here are some NFC East draft grades.

Yesterday, we handed out draft grades for round one. Here we'll cover rounds two and three.

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Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: Jones ruptured his Achilles at his pro day, killing his draft stock. Had that not occurred, he would have been a strong option for the Eagles at pick No. 14 overall. Some players come back from a ruptured Achilles and play at a high level. Some lose their effectiveness to some degree. Clearly, it's a risk. When he's healthy, Jones has outstanding ball skills and confidence. Howie Roseman stated clearly after making the pick that they will take their time in allowing Jones to recover fully from his injury, so this will very likely be a pick for 2018 and beyond.

I personally feel that the 43rd overall pick was too early for Jones. Roseman stated that the Eagles believe Jones can return to 100 percent health after rehabilitation and that they didn't think he would make it to pick 99 in the third round. I'd have just taken one of the many other highly talented healthy corners that were available at pick 43.

Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia: At 6'1, 208, Douglas has ideal size at the corner spot in the NFL, and he led the country in interceptions in 2016, with eight. Those two things alone will make Douglas an attractive prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. Douglas isn't always the most willing tackler in the run game, and he can tend to be a gambler in coverage.

The latter will be viewed by some coaches as a negative but is likely to appeal to Jim Schwartz.

Grade: C+

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• Ryan Anderson, Edge, Alabama: Anderson is a play-making pass rusher who had 9 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 19 tackles for loss a year ago. After snatching up Jonathan Allen in round one, the Redskins land another really good football player in round two.

• Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA: Moreau was among the biggest standouts at the East-West Shrine Game week of practices. During the game, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said that "worst case," Moreau will go in the second round. That no longer became the case soon after, as Moreau tore his pectoral muscle at his pro day. Moreau's college stats aren't very impressive, as he had just three interceptions and two forced fumbles over his career at UCLA. As a redshirt senior, he'll also be 23 years old when he's drafted, which is less than ideal. At 6'0, 205, he has very good size, and although his INT numbers are low, Moreau does a good job breaking on the football and batting down passes. He is also thought of as a physical defender in the run game.

Grade: A-

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• Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama: In high school, Tomlinson was the Georgia state wrestling champion three times, pinning some poor bastard in nine seconds in the finals his senior year. He anchors very well against the run, as you might expect from his wrestling background. He also does a good job of pushing the pocket, although he doesn't have much in the way of a pass rush arsenal. You'll also see his motor when you watch him, as he chases plays downfield from his defensive line spot. Tomlinson was offered a scholarship to Harvard for his academics, and to Alabama for his athleticism. How many people can say that? Ironically, the former may actually hurt Tomlinson's draft stock, as teams may worry that he's "too smart." Also of concern will be that Tomlinson has torn an ACL in both knees, although it's been a while since his latest tear, which was in 2013. I like Tomlinson, but personally felt that round two was a little early for him.

Davis Webb, QB, California: Webb is the only player drafted so far in the NFC East that I have not already profiled previously, so we'll let NFL.com's Lance Zierlein do the heavy lifting here:

System quarterback with more than 65 percent of his attempts coming inside of 10 yards. Webb has enough raw talent to be considered a developmental prospect, but his decision-making and accuracy issues beyond 10 yards is a big red flag that might be tough to overcome in the NFL.

I also thought this was funny:

"He obviously is going to need coaching after being in those offenses at Texas Tech and Cal. I think he has enough between the ears to unlearn some of his bad habits and start to get things right. I see another Nick Foles if you give him time to develop." 

-- AFC area scout

With good coaching, his ceiling is Nick Foles!

Grade: C-

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• Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado: Awuzie has good size and is a physical tackler who also contributed on special teams for the Buffaloes. He has an abnormal number of tackles from his corner spot over the last four seasons. At 6'0, 202, Awuzie can play inside or outside, but his style of play translates better to the slot.

• Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan: Lewis is small, at 5'10, 188, but it's extremely difficult to get separation on him, as he is as sticky a cover corner as there was in college football the last two seasons. In 2015, Lewis had a ridiculous 20 pass breakups. In 2016, despite opposing quarterbacks largely avoiding him, Lewis had 11 pass breakups. Lewis plays with confidence, and if you watch him play, it's pretty easy to see that when the ball is in the air, he thinks it's his. 

Of course, Lewis does have an accusation of domestic abuse that still has to play out, and no draft would be complete without the Cowboys taking some guy with a serious character concern.

Grade: B+


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