The 2022 NFL Draft is just a few short days away. It should be a very interesting draft for teams of the NFC East. Each team is looking to improve upon their 2021 finish.
Overall, the 2021 season was a down year for the division. Both the division champion Cowboys and the wildcard Eagles were eliminated in their first game of the playoffs. The Commanders and especially the Giants had particularly disappointing seasons.
The bulk of NFL free agency and several major, blockbuster trades have already happened. The teams still have holes to fill and need to find building blocks for the future.
Here are the biggest draft needs for teams of the NFC East:
New York Giants
OT, TE, Edge, S
The New York Giants are going into the 2022 season with a new coach and general manager. After a really disappointing 2021 season, the Giants can find immediate impact players with the fifth and seventh overall picks. New York will have nine 2022 draft picks overall.
The Giants should address their offensive line with one of their first-round picks. Starting OT Nate Solder was not re-signed, so this is an important hole to fill to protect QB Daniel Jones. The Giants also lost their starting tight end, Evan Engram. By filling these two positions, the Giants can evaluate whether Daniel Jones is the long-term starter or if they will be looking for a new QB in 2023.
New York’s defense was below average in 2021. The Giants will need help at the safety position and on the defensive line. Veteran pass rushers Jihad Ward and Justin Ellis were added but look for the Giants to add depth. The Giants currently have just two safeties on the roster, so they will likely add depth in the defensive backfield as well.
This will be an important draft for the Giants as the new coach and management are looking to get year one off to a good start.
S, LB, WR, TE
The Commanders own the 11th overall pick in the first round. They have six picks overall, but three of them are in the sixth round or later. Washington will need help in the secondary with starting safety Landon Collins being released. The team also needs depth at the linebacker position.
Washington addressed their quarterback need already by trading a couple of third-round picks for former Eagles and Colts QB, Carson Wentz. The Commanders will need to find players he can throw the ball to. Terry McLaurin will be the number one receiver, but who will be after him?
Wentz will also need a true pass catching tight end to throw to. This draft is important for Washington to build their offense for Carson Wentz to be successful.
S, CB, Edge, WR
The Philadelphia Eagles originally had three first-round draft picks but traded with the Saints to save one for 2023. Philadelphia has the 15th and 18th overall picks and ten selections overall. The Eagles did address a couple of defensive needs during free agency (Haason Reddick and Kyzir White), but the secondary remains a weakness.
Safety and cornerback are big needs for the Eagles though they may not get addressed until Day Two of the draft. Starting safety Rodney McLeod and starting cornerback Steven Nelson have signed elsewhere creating two holes for the defensive backfield that struggled in 2021. The Eagles will also look to add a younger defensive lineman with Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham getting older.
The other area of need for the Eagles is at the wide receiver position. It looks like Devonta Smith was a good pick last year, but 2020 pick Jalen Reagor has not panned out. The Eagles have ten picks overall, so this draft is a pivotal moment to set them up for future success.
WR, G, OT, Edge
The Cowboys go into 2022 under a lot of pressure after their first-round playoff exit last season. Dallas will have the 24th overall pick and nine selections overall. The Cowboys have four fifth-round picks, so it would not be surprising if they trade one of them to move up in the draft.
The 2022 offseason has been quite eventful in Dallas. Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson have found new teams, so Dallas will need to find new weapons for QB Dak Prescott. The Cowboys also have major needs on the offensive line. The o-line for Dallas was once a major strength, but they lost a starting tackle and guard due to free agency. Filling these offensive holes is the only way that Dak Prescott- and Ezekiel Elliot-led offense could remain one of the NFC’s best.
Dallas also has needs on the defense. Starting DE Randy Gregory left to sign with the Broncos, but DeMarcus Lawrence was retained. The Cowboys will need to add to the defensive line rotation.
Out of the NFC East teams, Dallas lost the most starters from 2021. This is an important draft if the Cowboys are going to improve from last season.