Wednesday, December 23, 2009
NFC East draft rewind
By Dan Graziano
» NFC Draft Rewind: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South
» Draft class lists: Dallas | N.Y. Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
Examining the draft classes of each division team:
Biggest surprise: In what has been a largely disappointing class, kickoff specialist David Buehler has probably been the best find. He's a touchback machine and that's allowed the Cowboys' kick coverage unit to be among the best in the league.
Jury is still out: This can be said about pretty much the entire class. It looks like outside linebacker Victor Butler has made the most immediate impact, but he certainly didn't hold up well against the Saints. I think everyone's anxious to see how Michael Hamlin progresses at safety. He definitely has some skill, but no one's been able to see it in a game. When he's healthy next season, I think former Texas Tech star Brandon Williams could be an effective pass-rushing specialist.
Bust alert: We haven't seen enough of him to call him a bust, but there are certainly questions about third-round LB Jason Williams. We're told he's coming along in practice but he's a guy who should've broken through as a special-teams player by now. An injury held him up.
Biggest surprise: The Eagles may have found a player in seventh-round pick Moise Fokou out of Maryland. He's now cracked the starting lineup at linebacker and he's capable of being a beast on special teams.
Jury is still out: We expected WR Jeremy Maclin and RB LeSean McCoy to make immediate impacts and they have not disappointed. Macho Harris cracked the starting lineup early in the season and he recorded 10 tackles against the Raiders. He's also helped out in the return game. I think the Eagles are still trying to determine whether he helps them more as a safety or as a cornerback.
Bust alert: I hate to call him a bust, but let's watch tight end Cornelius Ingram's knee injury. He's a very talented player out of Florida, but folks are worried that the injuries could always follow him around. But the Eagles knew what the risks were when they took Ingram.
Biggest surprise: I don't think it's been a surprise to see Hakeem Nicks crack the starting lineup. He's a big-time receiver who had some injury setbacks in training camp. The play of rookie right tackle Will Beatty has been pretty impressive. He was taken No. 60 overall and I think he's poised to replace Kareem McKenzie next season.
Jury is still out: I think we're still learning about Clint Sintim. He has long arms and he's shown flashes of being a pretty good pass-rusher. But he has to be more consistent on the field.
Bust alert: I would by no means call Ramses Barden a bust at this point, but it's a concern that he can't play well enough on special teams to grab a weekly roster spot. I think Barden could help the Giants as a red zone receiver, but apparently he's not trustworthy on special teams.
Biggest surprise: I knew Brian Orakpo would be good, but I thought it would take him a little while. Playing out of position at linebacker, Orakpo has made a nice transition. Just keep the guy out of coverage and let him rush the passer.
Jury is still out: I like cornerback Kevin Barnes' range and size, but we haven't seen enough to know if he'll be a longtime starter in this league. He needs to keep improving in terms of awareness.
Bust alert: After his infamous Twitter debut, linebacker Robert Henson hasn't been heard from much. I thought he was an excellent player at TCU, but he hasn't brought a lot to the table in Washington.