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NFC East Draft Winds: Rumors connecting players, NFL teams

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College Football 24/7 takes a look at the buzz surrounding the NFC East teams leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

Dallas Cowboys

First-round spot: 16
» Cowboys' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

The safety position has been a conundrum for the Cowboys for quite some time. That isn't the only area on defense the Dallas might address in the NFL's upcoming annual selection meeting. Cornerback and defensive could also be areas of focus for the Cowboys.

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
April 16: Barr believes Cowboys see him as defensive end
Barr visited with the Cowboys and defensive coordinator Rob Marinelli, who Barr believes sees his as a defensive end on a 4-3 team. Presumably, Barr would have to add significant weight to do so.

Howard Jones, DE, Shepherd
April 16: Jones visits with Cowboys
Jones is among the prospects who has visited with the Cowboys, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said. Jones is vying to be the first Shepherd player selected in the NFL draft since 1979.

Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
April 16: Versatile lineman visiting Cowboys
Martin (6-foot-4, 308 pounds) might be the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft, which is a reason he is expected to go in the first round. The biggest reason: He is talented. Martin played left tackle for the Irish, but he looks to fit best at right tackle or at guard in the NFL. Dallas picks 16th in the first round, and finding a defensive starter along the line or at safety would seem to be the highest first-round priority. But Martin's versatility is appealing and putting him at guard would improve the Cowboys' interior.

Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
April 15: Disruptive DT visited with Cowboys
Dallas needs to continue to upgrade its defense (it signed DT Henry Melton in free agency), and Donald (6-foot-1, 285 pounds) is the most disruptive interior lineman available in the draft. Donald is solid against the run and puts a quick first step and good leverage to use as a top-notch interior pass rusher. The concern for the Cowboys -- and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli -- is whether he will be there when Dallas picks 16th. Donald and Florida State's Tim Jernigan (who also is meeting with the Cowboys) are the top two tackles available. Will either, both or neither be off the board at No. 16? And if both are there, do the Cowboys go with Donald?

Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
April 14: Run-stuffing DT to meet with Cowboys
Jernigan (6-foot-2, 299 pounds) is a load in the middle and could appeal to the Cowboys as they attempt to improve their run defense. Dallas picks 16th in the first, which is in line with where Jernigan should go. It's expected that Jernigan and Pitt's Aaron Donald will be the first defensive tackles off the board. Jernigan isn't as active as Donald, but he also can play nose tackle, which is appealing to some teams.

James Franklin, QB, Missouri
April 10: Mizzou QB working out for Cowboys
Missouri quarterback James Franklin said he is expecting to go unchosen in the NFL draft next month, and would consider it something of a bonus to be picked. But that doesn't mean he's not planning on making the most of a training-camp opportunity. And the Dallas Cowboys are making the most of a chance to evaluate him. Franklin told he has a workout scheduled for next week with the Cowboys.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
March 26: Cowboys among teams set to meet with Fiedorowicz
Fiedorowicz was worked out by Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes at Iowa's pro day, but will perform private workouts on the Iowa campus for the Cowboys and Texans. He has scheduled visits in the coming weeks with the Buccaneers, Falcons, Lions and Patriots, too.

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
March 26: Barr set to meet with Cowboys
Last week it was reported that Barr would have a private meeting with the Atlanta Falcons. Now we have learned that he's got a pretty busy schedule in the coming weeks. Barr has several meetings set up in addition to the one with the Falcons. "There have been a couple teams that have reached out," Barr told FOXSports. "I have a couple visits. I'm going to Pittsburgh. I was going to go to Detroit, but I met with their GM the day before the pro day, so I don't know if they think it's necessary. I'm also meeting with the Cowboys, Titans and Vikings."

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
March 19: Cowboys among 12 clubs interested in Murray
A dozen NFL clubs have shown more interest in Murray than others, and the Cowboys are among them. Brandon Weeden, who was recently jettisoned by the Browns, is now with the Cowboys, who could be on the lookout for competition behind starter Tony Romo.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Feb. 28: Could Cowboys pair Romo with another EIU alum?
It's clear that the Cowboys are enamoured with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, but the team was doing homework on the other quarterbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine, including Garoppolo and San Jose State's David Fales. Garoppolo adds intrigue, since he hails from the same school as Tony Romo.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Feb. 24: Cowboys VP: Manziel is going to be a star
Manziel being drafted by the Cowboys is a virtually impossible scenario, but this much is clear: The club likes Johnny Football. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, in fact, predicted NFL stardom for the former Texas A&M quarterback in an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

New York Giants

First-round spot: 12
» Giants' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

A brutal 7-9 season made the Giants' recent run to a Super Bowl triumph seem like a distant memory. Some rebuilding needs to be done on defense, with linebacker and cornerback as the most pressing team needs. An interior offensive lineman could also be in the offing in New York.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
March 25: Giants scout witnesses UNC's pro day
A scout from the Giants was among the representatives on hand for North Carolina's pro day, where Ebron worked out and solidified his first-round draft status, according to NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt. Ebron recently singled out the Giants as the team he would most want to be drafted by.

Ed Reynolds, FS, Stanford
March 21: Reynolds would welcome return to NYC
The Giants could use an upgrade in their secondary, and it might come from Reynolds, whose dad, also named Ed, is a former Giants linebacker. The younger Reynolds served as a Giants ball boy during three training camps. In addition, the younger Reynolds is close with Giants coach Tom Coughlin's children, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, and the elder Reynolds said Coughlin's offspring have told their dad he needs to draft the younger Reynolds.

Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Feb. 20: Mayock: Giants in a good spot
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Giants' options at pick No. 12 in the first round of the draft, saying, "If all three (top tackles) were gone, you could still make a case for Zack Martin. I think he's a better. He's very similar to Justin Pugh, who they took a year ago, but I think he's a better prospect."

Philadelphia Eagles

First-round spot: 22
» Eagles' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

The Eagles rode a high-octane, fast-break offense to the NFC East crown, and the team appears to be in good shape on that side of the ball. The defense, however, is still a WIP (Work In Progress). Outside linebacker, cornerback and safety might be the positions most closely monitored on the team's draft board.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
April 18: Big WR could fit into Kelly's offense
In a teleconference Thursday, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he could see Benjamin (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) as a potential fit for the Eagles. Jeremiah said Benjamin was "a little bit of a polarizing player" because of his inconsistencies and lack of focus at Florida State. But Benjamin obviously is a big, physical receiver who could develop into a legitimate red-zone weapon in coach Chip Kelly's offense. The Eagles pick 22nd in the first round; Benjamin is seen as a guy who could go in the 20s or early 30s.

Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
April 9: Eagles meet with big Rutgers WR
Coleman (6-foot-6, 225 pounds) has a nice mix of size and speed -- he was clocked in 4.56 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine -- but his production dropped considerably in 2013 from 2012. He had 43 receptions and 10 TD catches in 2012 but just 34 catches and four TDs in 2013. But he also worked with some really bad quarterbacks in a simplistic passing attack, and he has an intriguing upside because of his size. The Eagles need some wide receivers and could be interested enough in Coleman to grab him in the fifth or sixth round.

Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
April 8: Robinson has standout pro day in front of Eagles coach
In a draft that's deep on wide receivers, one receiver who often is overlooked is Robinson. Perhaps his pro day will change that. One interested observer surely would have been Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly, whose team is likely to draft a wide receiver or two this year.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
April 7: Benjamin brought in for a visit
Benjamin visited the Eagles on Monday as the team continues to weigh whether it will use its No. 22 pick on a wide receiver or a defensive player. Receiver became a bigger need for the team following the release of DeSean Jackson on March 28. The Eagles have already met with Texas A&M WR Mike Evans; Indiana WR Cody Latimer is also scheduled to visit the team.

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
April 7: Latimer has busy month with team meetings
There is a deep pool of wide receivers in this year's draft, and Latimer appears to be one of the fastest-rising prospects at the position. NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said Latimer already has met with Buffalo, is visited with Philadelphia and has meetings set up with Carolina, Detroit, Oakland, Seattle and San Diego.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
April 3: Cooks would like chance to replace Jackson
The Eagles recently cut their top wide receiver in DeSean Jackson, and Cooks believes he could make Eagles fans forget about the abruptly-departed Jackson and his 1,332 receiving yards rather quickly. "A lot of people will wonder, 'Can he do it like DeSean Jackson?'" Cooks said. "In my opinion, I can do it like him and do it better."

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
March 31: Evans visits Eagles
The Eagles have a void at wide receiver following the release of DeSean Jackson, and Evans certainly has the potential to fill it. He met with the Eagles on March 31, PFT Live reported. It's unlikely that Evans, a potential top-10 pick, will be available at No. 22, where the Eagles are slated to pick, but if he's the prospect Chip Kelly wants, it wouldn't be a surprise if the team moved up in the first round to get him.

Jaylen Watkins, DB, Florida
March 31: Eagles to host Florida DB Watkins
The Philadelphia Eagles will host Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins, according to The Eagles have the No. 22 pick in the first round, which is too early for Watkins, who is the half-brother of Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. But using a third- or fourth-round selection on Watkins would be in line with his talent level. While he probably fits best at corner in the NFL, Watkins moved to safety from corner as a senior at Florida and played at a high level. He measured 5-foot-11½ and 194 pounds at last month's NFL Scouting Combine and ran a 4.41 40-yard dash, faster than Sammy (4.43).

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
March 23: Report: Eagles interested in Cooks
The Eagles could soon be looking for a wide receiver to replace DeSean Jackson with reports indicating the team will part with him even if it can't find a trade partner. Cooks, a speedy threat, could be available when the Eagles are on the clock with the 22nd overall pick, and Philadelphia has expressed in him, according to

March 19: Eagles' Kelly at Virginia Tech's pro day
Eagles coach Chip Kelly and his staff have been very busy attending the various pro days around the country. Kelly attended Virginia Tech's pro day, where he could have been following cornerbacks Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller, defensive end James Gayle and quarterback Logan Thomas.

March 18: Eagles' Kelly at FSU's pro day
Eagles coach Chip Kelly attended Florida State's pro day, where he could have been keeping close tabs on receiver Kelvin Benjamin, safeties Terrence Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner, and inside linebacker Christian Jones.

Washington Redskins

First-round spot: None
» Redskins' 2014 draft picks | Draft history

The Redskins are still feeling the affects of their gutsy trade with the St. Louis Rams to move up in the 2012 NFL Draft and select Robert Griffin III. A first-round pick would have handy this year, since the Redskins have a host of holes to fill. The team could use help at every spot on defense, and the offensive line is in need of an upgrade. The Redskins' first draft pick comes in the second round at selection No. 34.

Demarcus Lawrence, DE-OLB, Boise State
April 18: Boise State pass rusher to meet with Redskins
Lawrence (6-foot-3, 251 pounds) is a candidate to potentially sneak into the end of the first round. While he held up relatively well against the run at Boise State, Lawrence's main selling point is his pass-rushing ability, which seemingly means a move to outside linebacker in the NFL. He had a combined 20 sacks and 34 tackles for loss in 2012 and '13 at Boise State. Washington, which doesn't have a first-round pick, would seem to be set at end and outside 'backer, but what team couldn't use a young pass rusher? The Redskins' first pick is No. 2 in the second round (No. 34 overall), which is about in line with where Lawrence is expected to go.

Jeremiah Attaochu, DE-OLB, Georgia Tech
April 17: Touted pass rusher to visit with Redskins
Attaochu (6-foot-3, 252 pounds) played both end in a 4-3 and outside linebacker in a 3-4 at Georgia Tech, and one trait that came to the fore in both schemes is that he can get to the opposing quarterback. He had 31.5 career sacks, the most in school history, and he also did a solid job against the run. He has some work to do on his coverage skills, but you don't draft him to play pass defense; you draft him to get to the passer. The Redskins would seem to be well-stocked at end and outside 'backer, but Attaochu is an intriguing second-round prospect. The Redskins pick second in the round (34th overall); they don't have a first-round selection.

Dez Southward, S, Wisconsin
April 17: Versatile safety visited with Redskins
Southward (6-foot-1, 212 pounds) was a two-year starter at Wisconsin but was unable to work out at February's NFL Scouting Combine because of a medical issue. Speed supposedly was a concern, but he blazed a 4.38 in the 40 at Wisconsin's pro day and also had a 42-inch vertical jump, which opened some eyes. He can play both safety positions, but likely is better-suited for strong safety in the NFL. Southward, who played just one season of high school football at powerhouse Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, could be a nice addition to a Redskins secondary that needs a young safety; he seems likely to go early on the draft's third day. Washington picks second in the fourth round (102nd overall).

Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford
April 15: Physical OT visited with Redskins
Fleming (6-foot-5, 323 pounds) left Stanford after his junior season but probably could have improved his draft stock (i.e., become a better pass blocker) had he played one more year of college ball. Still, he is physical and his run-blocking ability makes him a likely second- or third-round pick. He strictly played right tackle for the Cardinal. Washington doesn't own a first-round selection and has former first-rounder Trent Williams at left tackle and Tyler Polumbus at right tackle. Improving their defensive back seven would seem to be the Redskins' priority on the draft's second day.

Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
April 10: High-motor DE visiting Redskins
Crichton (6-foot-3, 273 pounds) looks to be a second-round pick and he could appeal to the Redskins, who don't have a first-round pick and select second in the second round. Washington signed free-agent DE Jason Hatcher, but needs more young depth at the position. Crichton had 22.5 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in three seasons with the Beavers. He's also good against the run.

Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
Feb. 20: Mayock: No first-round pick presents challenge
NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock could see the Redskins and first-year coach Jay Gruden really coveting one of the top receivers, "He sits there early in the second round and who is going to be there, (Jarvis) Landry? I would sprint to the podium if I could get Landry at 35. (Odell) Beckham, Brandin Cooks from Oregon State, there are really good football players and wide receivers who can contribute immediately."

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