2014 NFL Draft: NFC East grades for every pick from rounds 1-3

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Sep 28, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores wide receiver Jordan Matthews (87) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers during the second half at Vanderbilt Stadium. The Commodores beat the Blazers 52-24. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t like assessing players right after they’re drafted. But I will give out grades — and they’ll be based on if I thought the pick was a reach, or if the player doesn’t fill a team need as well as other players would fill the same need or other needs.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (B-)

Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford (B-)

I don’t really understand this pick, as outside linebacker is one of the strongest positions on the team. Maybe Murphy will be insurance for Brian Orakpo leaving next offseason, and Murphy would line up across Ryan Kerrigan — but the team didn’t draft Brandon Jenkins for nothing last year. Murphy is a talented player with a good motor, but this was somewhat of a reach even though the Skins traded down and took him.

Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia (A)

Moses was such a steal in the third round. He probably should’ve been taken in the late first or early second round, but luckily for the Redskins, he slipped to the third. Moses will take over for Tyler Polumbus at right tackle and should be an immediate starter. There’s no doubt that this was the Redskins’ best pick.

Spencer Long, G, Nebraska (C)

I’m not sure what Bruce Allen was thinking here. Yes, I know some scouts believe he can be a long-term starter at center or guard, but I would’ve taken Gabe Jackson, who has first-round value. The Redskins’ offense would be stacked with an offensive line consisting of Jackson, Trent Williams, and Morgan Moses, along with the receiving options they have with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Andre Roberts, and Jordan Reed. And, not to mention, Alfred Morris would have field days out there. While Long might turn into a solid player, he was a reach in the third round, and I think the Redskins could’ve improved the offense to perhaps the best in the division with Jackson. I still don’t know how he fell that far. Again, I don’t dislike Long as a player, but there was more value in other players in the third round.

Overall: B-. I didn’t feel very satisfied with the Skins’ draft as they haven’t addressed the biggest need on the team — secondary.

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (B-)

Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville (C+)

This pick screamed “reach” to me. I thought Dominique Easley and Kony Ealy are both better defensive ends. The Eagles did move back and get another pick, but I don’t think it justifies picking Smith so early. The defensive line isn’t as much of a need for the Eagles as the secondary — safety Jimmie Ward was available; cornerback Bradley Roby was as well. I don’t necessarily like this pick as Smith was a reach and there were better players at different positions where the Eagles had more of a need.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Oregon State (B+)

Matthews is essentially DeSean Jackson’s replacement. He may even start across from Jeremy Maclin; Riley Cooper and tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek will work over the middle. Again, the Eagles do have greater needs at other areas, especially the secondary, which won’t allow me to give this pick an “A” grade, but it’s still a very good pick.

Josh Huff, WR, Oregon (B+)

Huff going to Philadelphia shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he and Chip Kelly knew each other at Oregon. I liked this pick for the Eagles, as 60th seemed about right in terms of overall players drafted. It seems like Kelly is loading up on offense — Jordan Matthews and Huff, and Jeremy Maclin is coming back from injury. Huff may not have an immediate impact, but Chip Kelly will find a way to utilize him in some way.

Overall: B-. I don’t see why Kelly and Howie Roseman wanted two receivers. I actually wouldn’t have drafted any — Maclin coming back from injury should be good enough to replace Jackson. The team needs to address the secondary in rounds 4-7.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys New York Giants NFL Draft Philadelphia Eagles Washington Redskins