May 10, 2023
At this point in the offseason, NFL rosters are pretty much set, at least in terms of players expected to make any kind of reasonable impact. And so, let's take a look at the NFC East, and determine who has the best players at each position. We'll start with the offense.
Jalen Hurts was the MVP runner-up in 2022. There's little debate that he is the best quarterback in the NFC, much less the NFC East. Dak Prescott very clearly has the edge for second-team honors over Daniel Jones or whichever of Jacoby Brissett or Sam Howell wins the Commanders' starting job.
You can squint and make an argument for the Cowboys' Tony Pollard here given his impressive efficiency, but he is coming off a serious injury that required offseason surgery. Pollard is expected to be a full go by the time training camp rolls around, but it will still be interesting to see how he handles an elevated role in Dallas as "the guy" with Ezekiel Elliott gone (for now).
Barkley finished fourth in the NFL in 2022 with 1312 rushing yards, and was the Giants' most threatening weapon.
DeVonta Smith is deserving of recognition here as there are four dominant receivers in the division, but someone had to be left out. Brown (88-1496-11) outproduced Smith (95-1196-7) in 2022, so he's the easy choice between the two Eagles receivers.
Lamb is an obvious choice here as well. He caught 107 passes for 1359 yards and 9 TDs in 2022, and was the Cowboys' only real downfield threat. Lamb had 24 receptions of 20+ yards. The next closest Cowboy? Noah Brown, with 6.
And then there's McLaurin, who had similar production (77-1191-5) as Smith, but did it with with garbage at quarterback. He now has three straight seasons over 1000 yards.
On the second-team All-NFC East team (see below), I really struggled to come up with two players alongside Smith. With no conviction whatsoever, I chose Jahan Dotson (Commanders) and Darius Slayton (Giants).
Darren Waller (Giants) was a star player for the Raiders in 2019 and 2020, when he had 197 catches for 2341 yards and 12 TDs. That version of Waller would get the nod here. However, he had a pair of injury-plagued seasons in 2021 and 2022, when he had 83 catches for 1053 yards and 5 TDs over those two seasons.
Goedert missed time in 2022 as well, but he managed to produce 55 receptions for 702 yards and 3 TDs despite playing in an offense with Brown and Smith. In 2021, he had 76 catches for 830 yards and 4 TDs. Goedert is a yards per target beast, leading the league (not just tight ends) the last two seasons with 10.6 yards per target (minimum 60 targets), while also contributing in the run game as a good blocker.
After some early bumps in the road and constant comparisons to other offensive tackles in his draft class, Thomas has become one of the best left tackles in the NFL.
Johnson is the best offensive lineman in the NFL.
Martin is still a star player after 9 years in the NFL. Dickerson was a surprise Pro Bowl selection in 2022. There isn't much in the way of competition at guard from the Giants or Commanders.
Kelce earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. He is still at the top of his game despite his annual decision to continue to play, or not.
Quarterback: Dak Prescott, Cowboys
Running back: Tony Pollard, Cowboys
Wide receiver: DeVonta Smith, Eagles, Jahan Dotson, Commanders, Darius Slayton, Giants
Tight end: Darren Waller, Giants
Offensive tackle: Jordan Mailata, Eagles, Terence Steele, Cowboys
Guard: Tyler Smith, Cowboys, Sam Cosmi, Commanders
Center: John Michael Schmitz, Giants
We'll give two points for first-team nods, one point for second-team. Good? Good. I mean, who cares?
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