The NFL Draft is always a peak time for fans of all 32 teams. Not only to see how their teams improved and the new faces they are bringing aboard but how their rivals fared as well.
The New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins have been grouped together in the NFC East since the NFL-AFL merger of 1970. Over that time, each franchise has has taken their turn at dominance.
At this point in time, Philadelphia and Dallas are more poised to compete for a postseason berth than the Redskins and Giants and their offseasons were more about fine tuning rather than rebuilding.
Now that the draft is over, here’s a quick look at some of the new faces that the Giants will have to contend with starting this season.
Haskins had been rumored to be on the Giants’ short list to replace Eli Manning for months before the draft. When they passed on Haskins this week in favor of Daniel Jones, Haskins took it personally. And now that he knows the Redskins had Jones ahead of him as well, he has extra incentive to beat the Giants.
The former Buckeye star has his limitations but projects to be an excellent pocket passer at the pro level, and if the Redskins can protect him and surround him with the proper weapons, Haskins just might be able to exact his vengeance against Big Blue for many years to come.
A 6-foot-2, 225 pound receiver that the Eagles didn’t really need but was too good to pass up. Arcega-Whiteside is another big target for Carson Wentz to utilize in the short and mid-range passing game along with Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert.
The Eagles re-acquired Giant-killer DeSean Jackson in March and could not trade Nelson Agholor this week, so they have a crowded — and talented — bunch of pass catchers in house for the revamped Giants’ defense to contend with.
The Cowboys’ return game needed a boost and Pollard will give them that and more. At Memphis, Pollard — who as 4.42 speed — tied an FBS record by bringing back seven kicks to the house in his three seasons there. He also excelled as a changeup back behind Darrell Henderson, racking up impressive numbers through the air and on the ground.
The Cowboys have been riding Ezekiel Elliott hard the past few seasons and may want to alleviate his touches to make him more effective. Pollard can be that change-up guy. He appears to be ready to make an impact on both specials and the Boys’ offense right away.
Another player that was likely on the Giants’ radar until his false heart diagnosis backed teams off. Sweat’s size (6-foot-6, 260) and speed (4.41) are a scary combination for opposing tackles to handle and the Giants have to be concerned about this addition because they are already perplexed on how to contain the Skins’ other outside linebacking rusher, Ryan Kerrigan.
Sweat is pure energy off the edge and the Giants’ tackles — Nate Solder and Chad Wheeler (soon to be Mike Remmers?) — will have their hands full trying to keep these two out of Eli Manning’s face. Considering the Giants didn’t add a tackle until Round Seven in this draft, this has to be worrisome.
Former Nittany Lion Sanders is not quite Saquon Barkley, but that doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous. Quite the contrary. He’s very dangerous. At Penn State, Sanders picked up where Barkley left off and is being compared to such players as Dion Lewis and Devonta Freeman.
That’s bad news for the rest of the league, especially the teams that have to face the Eagles twice each season. Sanders joins a backfield that includes the newly-acquired Jordan Howard, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Corey Clement. They are ready for another run at the Super Bowl this year.