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April 28, 2018

A look at what the other NFC East teams did on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft

With Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft in the books, here's a look around at the rest of the NFC East, and what the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Dallas Cowboys did to improve their rosters.

New York Giants

Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (Pick No. 34, Round 2): The Giants seem to be transitioning from a pass-heavy team to one that is going to try to pound the run. Hernandez is a mean, nasty human being who moves defensive linemen in the run game. The Giants have holes galore on their offensive line, and Hernandez will solidify one of those spots. This is a really good pick for what the Giants seem to want to do offensively, though what they may want to do offensively may not be the best idea.

Lorenzo Carter, Edge, Georgia (Pick No. 66, Round 3): At 6'5, 250 with a 4.5 40, Carter is a size-speed freak, and a former five-star recruit out of high school. However, his sack numbers at Georgia were unimpressive. In four seasons there, he had just 14 total sacks, though he does have upside. In James Bettcher's aggressive, blitzing 3-4 scheme, Carter makes a lot of sense on the edge. I liked Carter's value in the second round.

B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State (Pick No. 69, Round 3): NC State's defensive line was absolutely loaded with talent in 2017, making it difficult for Hill to stand out. While Hill is athletically gifted and more of a disruptive type than a stout point of attack guy, he had just 8 sacks over a four year career. He is also thought to be deficient against the run, which could be problematic in a division with three excellent run-blocking offensive lines in the Eagles, Cowboys, and Redskins.

Washington Redskins

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (Pick No. 59, Round 2): This is one of those picks that looks amazing on paper. Guice averaged 7.8 yards per carry during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Obviously, that is excellent. His 5.3 yards per carry average in 2017? Not nearly as impressive, though Guice battled through some injuries. Additionally, in three seasons, Guice had just 32 career receptions, although that could be a symptom of LSU not using their backs much in the passing game. Guice is a violent runner with good cutting ability in the hole, as well as great balance and change of direction at top speed. In my view, he was the clear-cut No. 2 running back in the draft, talent-wise.

Guice would have been a slam-dunk first round pick, if not for personality concerns. For him to have fallen all the way to pick No. 59, a lot of teams shared the opinion that he is not worth the trouble. The Redskins could either have an absolute steal here, or fool's gold. If it's the former, the Redskins could instantly have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL, as their offensive line is a talented run blocking unit that previously didn't have anyone compelling to block for.

Geron Christian, OT, Louisville (Pick No. 74, Round 3): There's an argument to be made that the Redskins have the second-best pair of offensive tackles in the NFL in Trent Williams and Morgan Moses, both of whom are signed through at least 2020, so why would the Redskins draft an offensive tackle this high? 

Well, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are great examples of why offensive line depth is so important. When Jason Peters went down last season, Halapoulivaati Vaitai filled in and played well enough to keep the offense afloat. When Tyron Smith went down, the Cowboys' offense went into the toilet. Christian is a LT-RT versatile tackle who can be a backup at either spot, and I believe that swing tackles are undervalued pieces to the puzzle. 

Dallas Cowboys

Connor Williams, OT/OG, Texas (Pick 50, Round 2): After missing a big chunk of the 2017 season with a knee injury, and then not playing at his best once he did return, some of the shine was clearly off of Williams, who was at one time being projected as a top 10 pick. Williams had mixed results at the Combine. His athletic measurables were fantastic, but the tape measure revealed his 33" T-Rex arms, which will scare off teams who may not view him as a viable tackle prospect as a result. If Williams pans out as an offensive tackle in the NFL, great. If not, I believe his floor is as an athletic quality starting guard or center. I'm very surprised he lasted until pick 50.

Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State (Pick 81, Round 3): Gallup put up some serious numbers in 2016 and 2017, his only two years on the football field at CSU. He put up stat lines of 76-1272-14 in 2016 and 100-1418-7 in 2017. He also had at least one reception of 30+ yards in 16 of 26 career college games, catching passes at every level of the defense. 

On the downside, Gallup doesn't offer much in the way of enticing measurables. This felt early for him. Perhaps the Cowboys felt they needed a receiver to account for Dez Bryant's release. In my view, once the first two rounds were in the books, they shouldn't be drafting for immediate need any longer. I believe there were better prospects available at other positions.

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