Commentary

Eagles, Packers shine on draft day

Philly, Green Bay make the best impression when reviewing NFC draft classes

Updated: April 27, 2009, 1:07 PM ET
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
They say it takes four years to truly evaluate a draft class, but that doesn't mean you can't get a first impression. Here's mine of the NFC's 2009 draft classes. (Click here for AFC evaluation.)

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

2009 draft class
Best pick: DE Brandon Williams, Texas Tech (fourth round, No. 120 overall)
Worst pick: OLB Jason Williams, Western Illinois (third round, No. 69)
Bottom line: When looking at Dallas' 2009 draft you have to consider WR Roy Williams, whom the Cowboys traded first-, third- and sixth-rounders to acquire during the 2008 season. His production is not great, but he is their primary receiver. In addition, the Cowboys traded out of the first day and failed to find any players who will make an impact in the future. Stephen McGee is a developmental quarterback who could turn into a good No. 2. Victor Butler is a nice situational pass-rusher, DeAngelo Smith can be a No. 3 or No. 4 corner, Michael Hamlin projects as an in-the-box safety, Jason Williams is a much better athlete than football player and Robert Brewster is big, but lacks toughness so we don't envision him as anything more than a backup in the NFL.

New York Giants

2009 draft class
Best pick: WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina (first round, No. 29 overall)
Worst pick: OT William Beatty, Connecticut (second round, No. 60 overall)
Bottom line: Considering that the Giants were, for the most part, drafting near the bottom of each round, they cleaned house a little bit. They got a potential No. 2 WR in Hakeem Nicks, upgraded their pass rush with OLB Clint Sintim, and TE Travis Beckum and RB Andre Brown could develop into midround steals in time. New York took Beatty about where we projected him, but he is a finesse player who has not played to his potential, and who just doesn't seem to have the same crafty, hardworking attitude the Giants value up front.

Philadelphia Eagles

2009 draft class
Best pick: RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh (second round, No. 53 overall)
Worst pick: OT Fenuki Tupou, Oregon (fifth round, No. 159 overall)
Bottom line: On paper, the Eagles appear to have one of best classes of 2009. Granted, Jeremy Maclin has a lot of developing to do as a route-runner, but his RAC skills project perfectly in Philadelphia's West Coast offense and should be able to at least help as a No. 3 wideout and return man this year. McCoy is the best pass-catching back in this draft and should pay dividends by initially taking the load off Brian Westbrook. Long term, McCoy should develop into the full-time starter two or three years down the road. TE Cornelius Ingram was a steal in the fifth round as was WR Brandon Gibson in the sixth.

Washington Redskins

2009 draft class
Best pick: DE Brian Orakpo, Texas (first round, No. 13 overall)
Worst pick: OLB Cody Glenn, Nebraska (fifth round, No. 158 overall)
Bottom line: It looked for a while as though the Redskins would land QB Mark Sanchez, but after failing to do so, they are now left doing damage control with returning starting QB Jason Campbell. The good news is Washington's first two picks -- its only two in the first four rounds -- should both become good starters. Orakpo fits better as a 4-3 defensive end and should help immediately upgrade the Redskins' feeble pass rush. CB Kevin Barnes is an underrated corner who, when healthy, shows the potential to develop into a good starter.

To find out which teams did well and which teams made some questionable decisions, become an insider today to read Todd McShay's breakdown of the rest of the NFC's draft classes.


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