By Don Banks
April 20, 2005
NFC East Five-Year Draft Grades
Dallas Cowboys
It's a mixed bag for the Cowboys, who have had only two first-round picks in the past five years. Safety Roy Williams (1st, 2002) has been a stalwart, but cornerback Terence Newman (1st, 2003) had a discouraging season in 2004. Tight end Jason Witten (3rd, 2003) and running back Julius Jones (2nd, 2004) have produced early, but guard Andre Gurode and receiver Antonio Bryant (both 2nd, 2002) weren't worth the price. Dallas released quarterback Quincy Carter (2nd, 2001) after getting just one solid season from him.
New York Giants
Another NFC East team with an up-and-down draft record. Cornerback Will Allen (1st, 2001) and tight end Jeremy Shockey (1st, 2002) have lived up to their billing, although Shockey needs to stay healthy to get back to his 2002 status. But there's running back Ron Dayne (1st, 2000) and defensive tackle William Joseph (1st, 2003), who belong on the other side of the ledger. As for Eli Manning (1st, 2004) -- the draft-day trade that brought him to New York currently favors San Diego. Last year, there were finds in both the third round (LB Reggie Torbor) and the fourth (S Gibril Wilson).
Philadelphia Eagles
Although they had an outstanding haul in 2002, landing cornerbacks Lito Sheppard (1st) and Sheldon Brown (2nd), safety Michael Lewis (2nd) and running back Brian Westbrook (3rd), there really hasn't been much to get excited about in the Eagles' past two drafts. Of their 16 picks, only one part-time starter has emerged -- tight end L.J. Smith. Guard Shawn Andrews (1st, 2004) got hurt last year but is being counted on in 2005. As for 2001, Freddie Mitchell (1st) has been a bust, while Correll Buckhalter (4th) and Derrick Burgess (4th) were decent hits.
Washington Redskins
The Redskins' revolving-door policy when it comes to personnel extends to their poor-to-mediocre draft record. Receiver Rod Gardner (1st, 2001), quarterback Patrick Ramsey (1st, 2002), running back Ladell Betts (2nd, 2002) and receiver Taylor Jacobs (2nd, 2003) have all been inconsistent at best, approaching non-factor status at worst. Even 2000's two first-rounders, LaVar Arrington and Chris Samuels, haven't changed Washington's losing ways. Safety Sean Taylor (1st, 2004) is an impact player if his maturity level improves.

You May Like