2013 NFL Draft grades, NFC East: Offensive linemen bring mixed reviews

Al Bello

NFL Draft grades for the NFC East range from great to meh.

The Philadelphia Eagles didn't shock anyone with their No. 4 pick. Philadelphia's division rivals, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, did turn a few heads when they opted for picks that most weren't expecting. In the end, all three took offensive linemen, to mixed reviews, while the Washington Redskins dealt away their 2013 first-rounder in 2012 to get Robert Griffin III.

Let's take a peek at how experts and fanbases reacted to the NFC East's selections. We looked at four graders: Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft, Rob Rang at CBS, Pete Prisco at CBS, Chris Burke at SI as well as various SB Nation sites.

Philadelphia Eagles, No. 4 overall: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Kadar: B+
Rang: B
Prisco: B-
Burke: A-

The need for the Eagles was clear after a season where their fragile quarterback was sacked 48 times. If Philadelphia is going to execute Chip Kelly's offense the way he wants, he'll need players capable of holding blocks for more than a quarter of a second up front. The problem? At No. 4, the Eagles had already missed out on the top two offensive linemen in the draft , Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel, who went No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The fact that there were already two players at his position off the board doesn't make Johnson a bad pick; he just happened to be in a strong draft for tackles. Plus, he's a good athlete for his position, which makes him appealing in Kelly's offense.

The Eagles stuck to their guns and took the best player who fit a team need, and nobody will blame them for that, even if it is sort of a bummer on paper to get the third-best offensive lineman with the fourth pick. Better that than to panic and go for somebody unexpected.

New York Giants, No. 19 overall: Justin Pugh, OT/OG, Syracuse

Kadar: B-
Rang: B-
Burke: B
Prisco: C

With six offensive linemen already off the board, the Giants opted to go for the seventh. It's more of a questionable decision than the one the Eagles made. For starters, there isn't as much of a need there. The Giants already have a pair of very suitable guards -- Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee -- and many have questioned whether Pugh, who has the dreaded "short arms," is capable of playing tackle in the NFL. Pugh projects to be the Giants right tackle, but he might struggle there. And regardless, there are questions about whether this was the right spot for Pugh, whose stock waned his senior season.

Immediately after the pick, Big Blue View wondered whether Pugh will ever be a game-changer in the NFL, which is a good question, especially considering there were players with dynamic potential still on the board. That said, Pugh has a good chance of being a productive player for a long time. All this shows why there are mixed reviews. It wasn't the most exciting pick -- in fact it's a little bit confusing considering team needs -- but Pugh still has a good chance of panning out.

No. 31, Dallas Cowboys: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

Kadar: C-
Rang: C-
Prisco: B
Burke: C

Those C's are not an homage to Frederick's position, but rather a criticism of a somewhat confusing evening at the draft for the Cowboys. They had the No. 18 pick, but a few of their targets were gone. So they traded it to the San Francisco 49ers -- they used the pick on safety Eric Reid -- and got the No. 31 and No. 74 picks. They used the No. 31 pick on Frederick, probably the best center in the draft, but not expected by many to go off the board in the first round.

In essence, they gave up a valuable first-round pick where they could have taken a helpful player -- Sharrif Floyd was a guy expected to go in the top ten but was still available, and Justin Pugh or Kyle Long could have filled the Cowboys' need at guard -- and in return got a guy they could have taken in the second round and an extra third-round pick. That leaves most a little bit confused, including Blogging the Boys, who called their post-draft reaction "damage control." It seems as if Frederick was a bit of a stretch, especially considering the team could have picked No. 18 overall.

More from SB Nation:

NFL mock draft: Who goes in the second round?

Geno Smith's nightmare becomes reality

NFL draft results: First-round picks and analysis

The NFL draft's best available players

The Drafty Hour: First-round reactions

NFL draft grades: Reviewing the first round

Recapping the NFL Draft's Day 1 trades

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