How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch

April, 15, 2010
4/15/10
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NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

Marcus Spears, Cowboys DE: After the '09 season, owner Jerry Jones indicated that Spears had a long-term future with the club. But he has a funny way of showing his devotion to the restricted free agent who recently signed his first-round tender. Spears, who would've been an appealing player on the open market, is scheduled to make less money than backup defensive ends Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher. All three players could be unrestricted free agents after next season.

I think a team such as the Redskins would be wise to make a move for Spears during the draft. The Cowboys would probably move him for a mid-round pick. For whatever reason, the team has soured on Spears, who's actually one of the better leaders on the team. It's not like the defensive end in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme is going to have a lot of sacks. I'm not quite sure why Spears' stock has fallen so much, but it's at an all-time low at this point.

Rising

Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung going to the Redskins at No. 4 overall: Mock drafters across the country will at least get this one right. When the Skins traded for Donovan McNabb, it all but guranteed that they'd select Okung in the first round. I've watched the guy in person several times over the last few years and he's a refined athlete who doesn't have many holes in his game. Barring injury, he'll start at left tackle for the next 10 years. In the past, Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder neglected the offensive line in the draft. But Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen won't make that mistake.

I had a long conversation with Okung at the combine. He's a no-nonsense guy who seems to have a bit of a mean streak. That will go over well in Washington. If not for those two great defensive tackles, Okung would have gone even higher in this draft. He's a more refined player than last year's No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith, although he's not quite that athletic.

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