Meet the Notable Newcomers to the NFC East

When you don't make the playoffs like three teams in the NFC East didn't last season, there's a lot of work to be done. Here are some of the newcomers who will try to help elevate their new teams to playoff status in 2018.

Do they need to find Eli Manning's eventual replacement? Yes! But Saquon Barkley was just too good to pass up for an offense whose running attack was ranked 26th last season. Barkley is a big man (234 pounds) who can run over or away from defenders and will help in the passing game.

With their second pick, the Giants took UTEP guard Will Hernandez. Hernandez has a nasty disposition and is a road grader in the run game at 330 pounds. Adding him with Nate Solder is a big improvement for Manning up front.

Third-rounder OLB Lorenzo Carter was inconsistent at Georgia, but his upside is intriguing. Carter has legit 4.5 speed and a quick burst off the edge. He's not ready to make Giants fans forget about Jason Pierre-Paul, but before the season is over he could be a very productive starter.

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When your run defense was dead last (134.1 yards per game), you need to get stouter up front in a hurry. 'Skins first-round pick Da'Ron Payne is an instant upgrade at 6-foot-2 and 311 pounds. Payne joins his former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen in the trenches. If these two can stay healthy, trying to run against the 'Skins' front will be a lot more difficult.

Second-round pick RB Derrius Guice was graded as one of the top-three backs in the draft and a legit first-round pick, but rumors of character issues scared some teams off. There's no doubt he has the talent and size to be a feature back at 5-10 and 224 pounds with 4.49 speed. Guice runs angry. If he stays focused and plays up to his ability it will take a lot of pressure off QB Alex Smith.

Many thought it was a no-brainer that the 'Boys would take Dez Bryant's replacement in the first round, but they liked ILB Leighton Vander Esch from Boise State more. He is big, versatile, very good in run support and coverage, and can also play both strong and weak side. He will have a great mentor in Sean Lee.

Second-round pick OG Conner Williams of Texas is the perfect addition to the 'Boys' massive line. He's good enough to start from day one at either guard spot.

Third-round selection WR Michael Gallup from Colorado St. is one of the pass catchers I was watching closely to see where he would land. I love his footwork, ability to shed press coverage and is elusive in space. He will be a good complement to what is a tweaked Dallas pass game that will spread the wealth.

Side note: It will be fun to watch the NFC East's stable of thoroughbreds in Ezekiel Elliott, Barkley, Guice and Jay Ajayi gallop up and down fields.

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