2023 NFL Draft: What does each team in the NFC East division need? Projected picks
With the 2023 NFL Draft now just days away, teams are scrambling to organize themselves. With that, here’s a look at the wish list for teams in the NFC East.
From ‘America’s Team’ to the high-flying Eagles of Philadelphia. Then, we’ve also got New York’s Giants who are attempting a rebuild and of course the Washington Commanders who are about to be a new build altogether with the coming sale of the franchise, the NFC’s Eastern division promises to be as intriguing as it will be intense. That’s precisely why we’re taking a look at how the teams are likely to reinforce in the coming Draft.
NFC East Wish List
Fresh off a trip to the Super Bowl, the Eagles and their fans will likely feel hard done after losing to the Chiefs. Indeed, Philadelphia was essentially the best team in the league all year long and unfortunately lost to Kansas City on a few plays. At any rate, that’s the past and here we are now looking towards the future. As you can imagine, as a team that almost won the Super Bowl, the Eagles have very few weaknesses. So, the fact that they’ve got two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft is a luxury to be honest. In terms of what we can expect, if we go with previous years the Eagles will likely prioritize both the offensive and defensive lines. Now it’s worth mentioning that the Eagles aren’t young on either side of the ball. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if we see that 10th overall pick used on the defense. Someone like Lukas Van Ness comes to mind and as a 6-foot-5, 276-pound edge who can play three-technique, you can probably guess why.
Of course, there is the possibility they go offense. Consider for a moment that Jason Kelce at 35, Lane Johnson at 32 and Isaac Seumalo are no longer on the roster. Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski comes to mind as a player who can play guard if needs be. Ultimately, as mentioned before the Eagles are in a position of luxury with their two first round selections, which is to say someone like Bijan Robinson could in fact be a player they pursue. Robinson is an outright star and quite possibly one of the best running backs we’ve seen in years.
Given that everyone wants to see the Cowboys select Bijan Robinson, it would be quite the steal if the above-mentioned Eagles were able to get him. The trick here is whether they can get him at 26th overall. This is no disrespect to Tony Pollard who is as good as it gets, but the Cowboys have long stated that they would like to add a second running back who is bigger in stature. Either way, expect Dallas to address the position i.e., if it isn’t Robinson, it could well be somebody else, like UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet in the second or third round. A 6-footer weighing in at 215 pounds, Charbonnet has more than enough bulk to be the compliment to Pollard that ‘The Boys’ are looking for.
Aside from the running back, Dallas will want to think about the defensive line and more specifically its interior. Mazi Smith and Keeanu Benton are both great options for this team. Smith has incredible strength and could plug the holes that we saw in Dallas’ run defense during the last campaign. Consider for a moment that 13.3% of the runs against the Cowboys last season gained 10 or more yards, which ranked as the eighth-highest rate in the NFL.
New York Giants
Last season was Brian Daboll’s first as head coach in New York and it would be fair to say that it was a successful one. A playoff berth and a win on the road were testament to that fact. As they look to improve in 2023, addressing the wide receiver position will be essential. While they do have arguably the best slot receivers in the league like Sterling Shepard who they re-signed, Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder - remember they already had Wan’Dale Robinson - they are still in need of a WR1. With that in mind, look for the Giants to go wideout in the Draft. As such, we’re thinking someone like Jordan Addison out of USC. Arguably the best of his class, Addison played a career-high 253 snaps this past season and only dropped two passes.
In addition to their concerns out wide, the Giants have got to think about the center. Currently, they’ve only got Ben Bredeson on the roster, so look for them to Draft a center in the second round unless they know something that we don’t. As such, keep an eye on names like Luke Wypler from Ohio State or John Michael Schmitz from Minnesota. In nearly 500 pass-blocking snaps last season, Wypler allowed just one sack and seven quarterback hurries. There is also the question of the secondary, which New York should definitely consider modifying. Clark Phillips III out of Utah comes to mind and his 68.4 passer rating in coverage across 12 games last year should tell you why.
Given what’s gone on with the team off the field, you can imagine that the Commanders are in catch up mode at this point. Suffice it to say it’s going to be a difficult season for them, but a strong showing in the Draft would go a long way towards starting down the right path. Truth be told, there are a number of ways in which the Commanders could move. Firstly, there’s tight end Dalton Kincaid who makes sense at 16. Now, it’s true that the Commanders do in fact have playmakers, but adding a player like Kincaid with his unbelievable athleticism would just be the cherry on top. 6-foot-3 and 254 pounds, with moves like a wide receiver, Kincaid is something to behold. In Utah this past season, he had the third-most deep receptions of all tight ends and his 187 deep yards ranked sixth. If the Commanders were to land him, he could be one for the ages.
Of course, there are other needs in this team, like the secondary which could be filled by someone like Joey Porter Jr. or Deonte Banks. Where Banks is concerned, who could forget his combine performance with a 4.35 40-yard dash, while also posting a broad jump of 11′4″ which is just silly stuff. Lastly we’ve got to imagine that the Commanders will sort out the interior of the offensive line - guard or center - and that’s where Steve Avila comes in. The TCU product can play both positions extremely well, meaning he would be the perfect one stop shop for the team.