When all four teams in a division finish .500 or better, as was the case in the NFC East last season, none of those clubs figure to play prominently into the top end of the draft. So it came as no surprise that the Redskins, Eagles, Cowboys and Giants did not make any major news on draft day. The Redskins and Eagles both traded out of the first round and added picks later in the draft, while the Cowboys and Giants stood pat with their first-round selections and got the players they had targeted.
Safest pick: Safety Kenny Phillips (Giants). New York filled a void at safety by taking Phillips, the only Miami Hurricane to go in the first round. He has size and speed and will replace Gibril Wilson, who signed with the Raiders as a free agent.
Riskiest pick: Wide receiver Mario Manningham (Giants). The productive wideout from Michigan fell to the end of the third round after a poor combine performance in which he ran slow and lied about failing a drug test.
NFC East draft recaps
|Matt Slocum / Associated Press|
|Cowboys coach Wade Phillips and owner Jerry Jones were busy on draft weekend, making a series of trades, including one that netted CB Mike Jenkins.|
The Cowboys only had six picks, but they made them count by choosing several promising prospects. RBs Felix Jones (first round) and Tashard Choice (fourth round) are accomplished running backs with complimentary styles and they can back up starter Marion Barber and provide insurance should Barber, a free agent in 2009, decide to go elsewhere after this season. They traded up to grab Mike Jenkins with the 25th pick and the South Florida product should boost a secondary that struggled at times last year. Many thought Jenkins was the best corner in the draft. The team did not take a wideout and may look at filling that hole via trade.
See Dallas' complete draft
As the Super Bowl champions, the Giants were stuck with the last pick in many rounds, but they still were able to make some great value picks. Phillips, second-round CB Terrell Thomas and fourth-round LB Bryan Kehl all have great potential and should contribute as rookies. Manningham was worth the risk in the third round and fifth-round LB Jonathan Goff is a very smart player who can step in on special teams right away. A year after drafting one of the better rookie classes the league has seen in some time, GM Jerry Reese seems to have brought in another great haul.
See New York's complete draft
None of the Eagles' draft picks were particularly noteworthy, but they did address their need at wide receiver by taking DeSean Jackson with the 49th pick. The speedy player can also return punts and gives Donovan McNabb an explosive threat on the outside. Trevor Laws, Quintin Demps and Bryan Smith provide quality depth to a solid defense and McGlynn and sixth-rounder Mike Gibson will add an infusion of youth to an aging offensive line. Fourth-round CB Jack Ikegwuonu is a wild card as knee injuries will likely prevent him from playing this year.
See Philadelphia's complete draft
The Redskins have traditionally eschewed the draft in favor of free agency, but this year they changed course. The club made 10 picks, including three in the second round. They decided to use a "take the best player available" philosophy instead of drafting based on need. They selected two WRs and a TE with those three second-round choices and chose a punter and quarterback on the second day. They finally addressed their most pressing needs -- defensive end and safety -- in the sixth and seventh rounds. Third-round OT Chad Rhinehart is a player to watch.
See Washington's complete draft