Philadelphia Eagles 2012 NFL Draft Review

Fletcher Cox

The Eagles have only missed the playoffs three times in the last 12 years. The turnovers on offense had as much to do with a 4-8 start as did the lack of an off-season to install a new defensive system. Trading for middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and signing left tackle Demetress Bell after the loss of Jason Peters, have filled a gaping hole on each side of the ball. The 2012 draft was again good to Philadelphia as they swooped in and drafted the best defensive tackle in Fletcher Cox, a productive linebacker in Mychal Kendricks, and a big play pass rusher in Vinny Curry. Corner Brandon Boykin was a value pick as was receiver Marvin McNutt and guard Brandon Washington. Boykin will give the Eagles an upgrade in the return game if DeSean Jackson falters like he did last year. Fletcher Cox was lining up with the first unit during OTAs and should be one of the rotating starters once the season is underway. Possibly the best pure 4-3 defensive tackle in the draft, he can also give you reps at defensive end with his athletic ability and explosiveness. He plays with strong hands and hip snap. Country strong, he is quick with a sudden surge to burst by an offensive tackle. He changes things up with good hand use of a rip or arm over. He can stop and stack the run at the point of attack. Mychal Kendricks has been a standout in OTAs and projects to be the Eagles’ starting strong side linebacker over Akeem Jordan. An outstanding athlete, he is versatile and has finish effort. He has good anticipation and instincts, quick movement out of transition to break on the ball, and excellent football aptitude. Ultra competitive, he has quick reactions to his keys. Kendricks has good flexibility and knee bend to stack the run at him. Vinny Curry was a three year starter with 26.5 sacks, 49 tackles for loss, and 10 forced fumbles in his career. Physical in his play, he is intense and uses a quick arm over to rush the passer. The talent is there to split a double team, take a seam, and burst to the second level. Relentless in his play, he is quick to disengage. Curry doesn’t stay blocked. He is a quick twitch end who is disruptive and finishes the play. He plays well on his feet. Nick Foles will head into camp behind Michael Vick and Mike Kafka. He will be working on adjusting his footwork from a spread formation thrower to a drop back passer from under center. He has an NFL caliber right arm and good pocket awareness. He stands tall reading coverages, then delivers a catchable ball to a variety of receivers. His timing is good and is accurate with a good touch when he has a clean pocket. Brandon Boykin somehow lasted until the fourth round and could very well be a major player in the Eagles’ secondary and return game. The quick-footed corner is a natural slot cover man who will compete with 31-year old Joselio Hanson and Curtis Marsh. Boykin is athletic with good instincts and is fully recovered from a broken fibula. Dennis Kelly was a Howard Mudd pick. A developmental offensive tackle, he will have a tough time making the 53-man roster. He was a four year letterman and a team co-captain at Purdue. As a junior he was the Boilermakers’ offensive MVP. He is smart and heady in his play. Marvin McNutt is a classic big-bodied physical go-over-the-middle West Coast type receiver. A big target with better than average speed and hands, he has courage and toughness. He will assert himself in traffic and can adjust well to the ball in flight, finding the ball quickly. He possesses good eye/hand coordination and has the strength to step out of a tackle. He will compete for the fourth receiver spot with Riley Cooper. Brandon Washington’s talent level warranted a higher draft selection, but his inconsistencies let him fall through the cracks. He opted to come out as a junior after starting for two years. He has good athletic ability and position flexibility, playing both guard and tackle. He can bend at the hips and knees. To make the Eagles’ 53-man roster he will need to play with more urgency. Bryce Brown is a running back who was an underachiever at Tennessee and then Kansas State where he carried the ball just three times. He ran a 4.41 at his pro day and the combination of big, fast, and quick was worth the Eagles’ roll of the dice. GRADE: GOOD.

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