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NFC East draft roundup: The rich get richer

The Giants may have had a strong draft, but so did the main team they are chasing

Syndication: USA TODAY
Jalen Carter
Chris Kwiecinski / USA TODAY NETWORK

Sometimes, as picks happen in the NFL draft, you say to yourself, “How did the NFL let that happen?!”

That was the story of Thursday night when the Philadelphia Eagles made their first-round picks. Coming off a Super Bowl defeat that was engineered by the sheer genius GM’ing of Howie Roseman, the Eagles still had two first-rounders, including a top-10 pick. Obviously, they were going to end up with some good players.

Still, what happened in Round 1 of the draft was nothing short of cosmic injustice for the NFL, or at least the NFC East.

Let’s review the New York Giants' competitors' draft hauls, starting with the league’s best team.

Philadelphia Eagles

The crown jewel of the Eagles’ draft is Jalen Carter, whom they moved up one spot from No. 10 to No. 9 to select. Carter was a consensus top-three pick in the draft before an alleged car racing accident that led to an arrest back in March. Many consider him to be the best interior defensive line prospect since Aaron Donald himself.

For a team that nearly broke the NFL record in sacks but lost Javon Hargrave to the 49ers, this is an even more dominant replacement. The Eagles gave teams fits last year and are set to continue doing just that with Carter upfront.

Philadelphia doubled down on their terrific first night by selecting Nolan Smith with the 30th pick. Smith was the 16th-ranked prospect on the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board. Despite his 6-foot-1, 238-pound frame, he was a stout run defender as well as a productive edge rusher in college. Smith vaulted up draft boards when he posted a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, the best by an edge prospect since 2003.

The Eagles had already earned an A+ on Day 1. After losing Isaac Seumalo and Andre Dillard in free agency, they picked up offensive lineman Tyler Steen with the 65th pick. Steen played fairly well as Bryce Young’s blindside protector, though his sub-33-inch arms may project him as more of a guard at the NFL level. Either way, this is a potential long-term move for the Eagles, who like to stockpile replacements sooner rather than later.

Sydney Brown, selected one spot later, will replace C.J. Gardner-Johnson as the team’s free safety. He tested in the 90th percentile in many areas athletically and showed potential as a rangy free safety.

The Eagles rounded out their class with CB Kelee Ringo (105), QB Tanner McKee (188), and DI Moro Ojomo (249).

Adding to their haul, though, the Eagles traded for Lions running back D’Andre Swift. Swift was rendered unnecessary for the Detroit Lions after they stunningly grabbed Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick in the draft. They also signed former Bears running back David Montgomery in free agency.

Philadelphia gave up their 2025 fourth-rounder and this year’s seventh-rounder (No. 219) in exchange for Swift and Detroit’s seventh-rounder (No. 249). They now have a replacement for Miles Sanders and another former Georgia Bulldog on their roster.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys’ draft did not go nearly as well as the Eagles’, particularly on Day 1. It was heavily rumored that Dallas was interested in tight end Dalton Kincaid. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Buffalo swooped in with a trade to No. 25, one spot ahead of the Cowboys, to select Kincaid.

With Dallas left holding the bag, they selected Mazi Smith, a pure nose tackle who is an excellent run-stuffer. The Cowboys needed that after struggling with their run defense in 2022. They then took tight end Luke Schoonmaker at No. 58 overall, which was considered a large reach for need; he was ranked as the 101st prospect on the consensus big board and caught just 28.6% of his contested targets in college, per Pro Football Focus.

DeMarvion Overshown, taken at No. 90 overall, is one of those off-ball linebackers with two-way versatility. His abilities in coverage will make him a valuable add to the Cowboys’ defense.

At 129, Dallas took edge defender Viliami Fehoko, who dominated as a two-way defensive lineman in college. He has the ability to kick inside in pass-rush situations while offering nice edge-setting at defensive end.

Dallas’ other picks include tackle Asim Richards (169), cornerback Eric Scott Jr. (178), running back Deuce Vaughn (212), and receiver Jalen Brooks (244).

Washington Commanders

Washington’s selection of cornerback Emmanuel Forbes at No. 16 overall was somewhat surprising to many. Although he was a ballhawk in college, recording 14 total interceptions and displaying a nose for the football, his skinny 166-pound frame dropped him to the 30th-ranked prospect on the big board. He was often mocked to the Giants as the fifth cornerback off the board but instead was the second one picked.

The Commanders doubled up on cornerback in the second round, taking Jartavius Martin with pick 47. Martin is highly versatile, playing both outside and inside cornerback and at safety. Washington was clearly intent on improving their defensive backfield.

With the 93rd pick, Washington took Ricky Stromberg, who was ranked as the 153rd player on the consensus big board. Many were surprised that Stromberg went ahead of Luke Wypler (ranked 82nd, drafted 190th) and Olusegun Oluwatimi (ranked 131st, drafted 154th). Still, Stromberg could be a Day 1 starter at center or guard.

Washington also went offensive line in the fourth round, taking tackle Braeden Daniels. He played at both tackle and guard positions in college and offers pass-blocking upside. In the fifth round, they went for edge depth, selecting K.J. Henry at No. 137. Henry did not test well but put up some nice numbers in college.

The Commanders’ class rounded out with running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (193) and linebacker Andre Jones (223).

Giants fans, how do you think the Giants fared in the draft compared to their divisional rivals?