The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.
Elliott Harrison has released updated offseason Power Rankings as the first wave of free agency winds down to a trickle of news.
What does he foresee for the NFC East a month prior to the draft?
The Eagles have held onto their starting group on both sides of the ball, but they have lost a ton of depth and they pick at the end of each round of the draft — except for the 2nd & 3rd, where they have no draft choices. This is a roster that will be a LOT thinner in 2018 than it was in 2017. Lack of cap space and lack of draft picks are gonna strain Philly’s ability to maintain roster depth. That said, Howie Roseman has proven himself adept at the off season game of re-loading the roster. Who would’ve believed that he could have resurrected the roster that Chip Kelly left for dead in just two years? Maybe he’ll be open for business and trading away assets for draft picks between now and the end of April.
Unlike the Eagles, the Cowboys are loaded for the April college selection meeting. Their cap problems from last season will bring them rewards this year in the form of 4 compensatory draft picks. The Cowboys don’t have any real cap room for free agency, but they’ll have 10 draft picks — similar to what the Redskins had last season. This should be an opportunity for the Cowboys to add a couple of cheap starters and a lot of cheap depth. I think they’ll be a bit better than last season.
The Redskins have upgraded at QB and WR, the defense is likely to be improved due to players being healthy again, and the team still has the draft ahead to add a couple of key starters. Washington still needs one or two impact free agent signings (Pernell McPhee & Jonathan Hankins would go a long way toward making this a successful free agency year). A lot is going to hinge on the development of recent draft picks and UDFAs like Quinton Dunbar, Ryan Anderson, Fabian Moreau, Montae Nicholson, Anthony Lanier & Jeremy Sprinkle. If they progress, the Redskins have a chance to be a playoff team; if they don’t, it could be a long season.
I see Gettleman spending a season or two re-shaping the Giants roster. I think 2018 will be another year in the wilderness for the G-men, but I think that Gettleman is going to do a Howie Roseman, and rebuild this roster within two seasons. I think the Boys in Blue will be back in 2019. This season, with a new head coach, looks like a roster reload to me.
A peek at the broader league wide power rankings
I don’t see a lot of creativity here from Harrison, who has the four NFC East teams sitting pretty close to where they finished 2017.
He’s put the Colts in last place — the Andrew Luck era seems to be like a single engine plane that has gone into a mid-air stall... it’s not too late to save everyone, but things don’t look good right now.
Elliott Harrison also seems unimpressed with the Browns’ moves since the season ended, putting them just one spot above the Colts. I thought Cleveland would improve to a 6 or 7 win team last season, so what do I know, but they look like they could go 8-8 this season if they use their draft positions wisely. Maybe Elliott is waiting till after the draft to give them any “brownie” points.
The biggest surprise to me? Look what he’s done with the 49ers, playing in the tough NFC West:
Where will the Redskins finish in the NFC East this year?
This poll is closed