With the 2012 NFL Draft less then three weeks away, teams are gearing up for their annual infusion of young talent. The draft has become the highlight of the off-season, as it is the easiest way for teams to compile large numbers of young players. Here you will find a breakdown of the NFC East teams and their most glaring positional needs. Each team will also be given some potential players from this draft class to fill those needs.
Team Needs: OL, LB, RB
We start at the top of the NFC East with the reigning Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants.
The Giants proved they can overcome some deficiencies on the offensive line, but that does not mean the problem should be ignored. David Diehl is the strongest part of this unit, but he does not belong at left tackle. Many feel that the Giants' greatest weakness is the tight end position, but don't expect the G-men to be drafting one early after signing Martellus Bennett.
The Giants will need to invest premium draft resources in an offensive guard or tackle in order to succeed this year.
Mike Adams LT (Ohio State), Cordy Glenn LT/G (Georgia), Amini Silatolu LT/G (Midwestern State)
Team Needs: OL, S, LB
The Philadelphia Eagles have taken the most devastating blow so far this off-season with the injury to left tackle Jason Peters. Peters, a perennial Pro Bowl tackle, suffered a torn Achilles while training this offseason, and his return date is unknown at this time. In an attempt to fill the void, the Eagles signed former Buffalo Bills left tackle Demetress Bell to a five-year contract.
Even with the addition of Bell, this O-line struggled last year, and the Eagles need to keep quarterback Michael Vick healthy. The Eagles could also use help at the safety and linebacker positions, but the addition of DeMeco Ryans and Andy Reid's draft history make a linebacker selection in the early rounds unlikely. At No. 15, the Eagles are in a good spot to take the best player available that will fill one of their needs.
Jonathan Martin LT (Stanford), Riley Reiff LT (Iowa), Mark Barron S (Alabama)
Team Needs: S, OL, DL
For the first time as the Dallas Cowboys' owner, Jerry Jones made the bold move and selected an offensive lineman in the first round last year. Tyron Smith proved to be a worthwhile selection at No. 9 overall and may be asked to shift to left tackle this coming season.
Still, the Cowboys need help upfront if they have any hopes of keeping Tony Romo healthy. At the same time, the Dallas secondary may be the area of greatest need. Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick performed inconsistently (and that's putting it kindly) last season, and while the addition of Brandon Carr will help, more talent is needed.
Also, do not rule out a defensive tackle in the first round, as Jay Ratliff seems to be the only player worth mentioning of that group. Just as with the Eagles, the Cowboys are in a great position (No. 14 overall) to pick the best player available that fits their needs.
David DeCastro: G (Stanford), Mark Barron S (Alabama), Fletcher Cox DT (Mississippi State)
Team Needs: OL, S, LB
The most obvious team need not listed for the Washington Redskins is the quarterback position, but that need is all but filled.
The Redskins traded away first round picks in 2013 and 2014, along with this year's second round pick to move up to No. 2 overall. This move was done for one reason: to select Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III and eliminate the need at quarterback.
RG3 fixes one need for the Redskins, but there are still several others that must be addressed. The offensive line is in desperate need of a minimum of two new starters and possibly as many as four. The Redskins also lost both starters at safety, Laron "Muscles" Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe, and they have failed to resign London Fletcher so far.
With their first round pick tied up at quarterback, and no second round pick this year, the Redskins will need to find some late round picks to start this year.
Possible Selection: (3rd Round since we all know what will happen in rounds 1 and 2)
George Iloka S (Boise State), Lucas Nix G (Pittsburgh), Andrew Datko T (Florida State)