In arguably the most competitive division in the NFL, Washington has fallen behind the rest of the NFC East and QB play has been a major piece of the problem. Over the past decade, the skins have been mediocre at best under center with the likes of Rex Grossman, Donnie Mac, Jason Campbell, Mark Brunell, Patrick Ramsey, and Brad Johnson leading the offense. Landing RG3 with the #2 overall pick in April’s draft should bring about an uptick in production for the entire Washington passing game namely free agent addition Pierre Garcon and TE Fred Davis. On the flip side, the tandem backfield of Hightower/Helu could be hard pressed to gain consistent production with a projected timeshare combined with RG3 stealing some goal line touches.
The anemic Jets offense can bear much of the blame for a 2011 season that ended without a trip to the playoffs. Mark Sanchez will enter his 4th NFL season in what many deem to be a make or break year (especially with Tim Almighty breathing down his neck). The Jets passing game ranked 21st last season but should get a shot in the arm with the addition of WR Stephen Hill (2nd round pick from Georgia Tech). We expect Santonio Holmes and Mark Sanchez (too a lesser extent) to benefit from the addition of the speedy rookie WR as he should be able to stretch the field.
The Dolphins have been searching for a franchise QB since Dan Marino hung up his cleats in 2000 and became the spokesmodel for Isotoner gloves. With the #8 pick they hope they found one and at the very least they locked down a signal caller with a smoking hot wife. The trade of Brandon Marshall and his multiple personalties to Chicago left a gaping hole at the WR position that Miami failed to address this offseason. By default WR Davone Bess and rookie RB Lamar Miller (might be moved to WR) could emerge as fantasy relevant. Bess and Miller are worth considering with a late round pick (especially in PPR leagues).
Fans of the other NFC East teams were once again subjected to watching the Giants celebrate a Super Bowl victory. Why do the Giants win? The New York Giants know how to draft. Jerry Reese is a man with a plan. Take for instance the decision to part ways with Brandon Jacobs and the selection of David Wilson. Out goes a high priced headache and in comes a young rusher who, if all pans out as planned, will replace Ahmad Bradshaw and his troublesome feet in the not-to-distant future.
Out with the old and in with the new is the strategy with the rebuilding Colts (2006 Super Bowl win is a distant memory). First ballot hall of fame QB Peyton Manning will be under center in Denver (joined by former colt TE Jacob Tamme), TE Dallas Clark is in Tampa and WR Pierre Garcon got a monster contract from Washington. First overall pick Andrew Luck will have his Stanford security blanket (TE Coby Fleener) paired with fellow rookie TE Dwayne Allen (Clemson). With an upgrade in QB play, we expect veteran WR Reggie Wayne to enjoy a bounceback 2012 as he enters his 12th NFL season.
The Texans surprised by going defense with Whitney Mercilus in the first round. They had bigger needs, like a play maker at wide receiver, but apparently they were looking to replace Mario Williams and/or they went with their highest ranked player on the board. Mercilus has impressive pass rush skills, but the Texans passed some talented pass catching talent and that may hurt later on.
The Bengals added multiple pass receiving weapons via the draft as they selected Rutgers Mohamed Sanu in round 3, Georgia TE Orson Charles (more of a receiver) in round 4, and Cal WR Marvin Jones in round 5. All three of these players have a chance to make in impact in their rookie seasons. Things are looking up for QB Andy Dalton as he enters his sophomore season.
The Vikings lost for winnning last season as their week 16 meaningless victory in Washington was very costly in multiple ways. Minnesota lost all everything RB Adrian Peterson to an ACL/MCL injury and dropped to the #3 draft spot (one spot behind St Louis which got multiple picks from Washington in the RG3 sweepstakes). Despite playing in the loaded NFC North, 2nd year QB Christian Ponder should be smiling entering his sophomore season following a solid draft that included OT Matt Kalil and WRs Jarius Wright/Greg Childs as well as free agent signing WR Jerome Simpson (expected to start once his 3-week Marijuana suspension ends – gotta love those Bengals).