It has been over a week since the Dallas Cowboys began their venture down the 2023 NFL Draft rabbit hole and they came out of the other side of it with a brand new class of rookies. Odds are you feel better about at least one Cowboys pick than you did when it was initially announced, that is sort of the way that this type of thing tends to go. Ultimately the Cowboys got better which is the cause most worth celebrating.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys were not the only team to get better by way of adding players over last weekend as the rest of the NFC East did as well. Obviously the classes of each team were the main subject of this week’s episode of the NFC East Mixtape featuring Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton and myself. You can listen right above, but make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so you don’t miss any of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
While we talked about each class as a whole, we also chose one player that we were bummed/sad to see the rival squads draft. The spirit of this question is a player that you think will make the other team better, therefore making you sad. You get the picture.
These are the four that were selected.
Philadelphia Eagles: Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith
If it is not obvious, I picked the Eagles player that bummed me out the most and Brandon picked the Cowboys player that bummed him out the most. Onward.
While Jalen Carter is a very talented football player my logic behind not selecting him was that it wasn’t exactly a surprise (it was frustrating though) to see him making it down to Philly, even if they traded up a spot to land him. Many different mocks had Carter winding up with the Eagles.
Obviously mock drafts are not the end-all-be-all but you would be hard pressed to find one that had Nolan Smith making it all the way down to the Eagles at the end of the first round. Their pass rush is already incredibly stout and that they are able to replenish and reload it without breaking much of a sweat is highly annoying.
New York Giants: Minnesota C John Michael Schmitz
The Cowboys have mostly had their way with the Giants over the last decade but Brian Daboll has forced us to have to take them seriously. All good things eventually come to an end.
New York was in desperate need of a center of the future entering the draft and was able to walk away with a quality one in John Michael Schmitz. The Giants can build their new-look offensive line around him and finally begin to march forward as opposed to making passable lemonade with the ingredients left behind by the previous regime.
Am I worried about the Giants in the here and now? Not really. But they should not be underestimated any longer and were also a part of the Divisional Round last year. The division is more fun when it is competitive like this, but the G-Men getting their act together is a bummer in general.
Washington Commanders: Kentucky RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.
Being fully transparent, it was very difficult to come up with a player that Washington landed that left either Brandon or I feeling glum. The Commanders are in a weird holding pattern as they (seemingly) prepare for an ownership sale and did not really do much in the draft to cause concern around the division.
Consider that Washington did not draft a quarterback or a single tackle. Yes they came away with Emmanuel Forbes in the first round, but that pick was seen as a bit of a reach by some.
It is unfair to the prospects involved given that they are fighting against an impossible current, but our choice was ultimately Chris Rodriguez Jr. given that he was a highly-touted back and gives them another option out of the backfield.
Dallas Cowboys: Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn
As noted, Brandon Gowton made the selection for the Cowboys and while he was not too impressed by the class in an overall sense he was particularly alert about the Deuce Vaughn selection.
Given that Vaughn is a favorite draft pick by many Cowboys fans themselves, that lines up from a logic standpoint. The general assumption seems to be the Vaughn is going to add a fun and dynamic element to the offense and if that happens then it will come at the expense of our division rivals.
Perhaps Vaughn is the running back of the future for the team, or maybe he is just an alternative option in a backfield with another carrier. Either way, universal praise from the silver and blue side while nervousness from everywhere else is nice to see.