These NFL mock drafts are comprehensive in that 1) They cover all 32 teams and 2) I spend way too much pondering which player will land where. Seeing as the Washington Redskins are the team of my youth and the team that I cover, the NFC East receives more of my attention than the other divisions. With that in mind, here are some key burning questions for the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins with the NFL Draft less than a month away.
Should the Cowboys draft a quarterback at No. 4
This really comes down to the health of Tony Romo for 2016 and beyond. The quarterback's busted collarbone and recent surgery is of immediate concern, though Romo claimed Thursday's he'll be good to go for a full offseason.
If true and Dallas believes, as owner Jerry Jones previously stated, that Romo's reign isn't ending any time soon, then the Cowboys should pass on quarterback in the first round and go for immediate help. If we give everyone around the division truth serum, most probably say the Cowboys win the NFC East last season if Romo remained healthy. That's because he's good and their backups weren't. There's also Romo's positive impact on Dez Bryant; the impressive offensive line; and a sturdy defense that kept Dallas in games last season. However, that said of the ball could use a pass rushing force like Ohio State's Joey Bosa or a defensive back ace like Florida State's Jalen Ramsey. Add those pieces and keep Romo in one piece, and Dallas competes not just for the NFC East title but the bigger prize.
But should the Eagles draft a quarterback at No. 8
Yes, yes they should if top prospects Carson Wentz or Jared Goff are available. Philadelphia kept Sam Bradford around and added veteran Chase Daniel. That's a serviceable 2016 tandem, but they're not scaring anyone over the long haul. This season is about purging all memories of the failed Chip Kelly era while moving forward with new coach and former Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. Philly should take the reboot opportunity and, if possible, start by adding their QB of the future with Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott or left tackle as the backup plan. Speaking of Elliott...
Should the Giants target Ezekiel Elliott in the first round?
No doubt the trend goes against selecting running backs early in drafts, though Todd Gurley was a wise exception for the Rams last season. Some view the 225-pound Elliott as a top-5 overall prospect after the Big Ten offensive player of the year rushed for 1,821 yards and 23 touchdowns last season with the Buckeyes. Running back aren't considered great long-term plays because they wear down quicker than most other positions. The thing is New York doesn't have another 10 years with Eli Manning at quarterback. We'll see what the Giants look like post-Tom Coughlin, but they have a playoff-worthy roster and that was before they spent a gazillion dollars in free agency. Going with Elliott at RB rather than repeat of last season's four-headed monster of mediocrity is logical.
Should the Redskins spend their first round pick on defense?
Yes, but not to the degree every draft talker in the world would have you think. Washington desperately needs a talent boost and youth along the defensive line. Safety is a concern. Adding depth at inside linebacker and cornerback also makes sense. Then again, center isn't exactly a strength of the offensive line and draftniks are warming up to the idea of Alabama's Ryan Kelly going off the board in this range. Line him up with Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses and Washington's OL could join the league's elite soon enough. The Redskins are essentially good to go at receiver for 2016, but who knows what happens next season seeing as Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson will be free agents. TCU's Josh Doctson would provide red-zone size now and a potential No. 1 target going forward. Based on this draft, the Redskins can get defensive line and safety help in round two and three. That's why adding a piece on offense at 21 isn't such a bad idea.