16 hours and 253 picks later, the 2012 NFL Draft has come to an end. The Philadelphia Eagles used all nine of their picks to address the problems on the roster, but how well did they do? For one, I feel the Eagles came out of the draft with a smile on their face. Each player selected had to have stand out to the organization, and their picks will reveal some definite gems in the future. With the 2012 season only a few months away, let’s check out the entire draft for the Eagles and see how well they did.
1 (12). Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
Let’s face it, we all saw this coming. It came as no shocker that Fletcher Cox was going to be called for the Philadelphia Eagles once they traded up to the #12 spot with the Seattle Seahawks. With Ryan Tannehill and Mark Barron already taken off the board, the Eagles decided it was their time and swoop in before any other team selected another defensive tackle. Fletcher Cox will be a great fit for the Eagles and will have an immediate impact on the team. At 6′ 4″ and weighing 298 pound, the big man will be the perfect fit in between Trent Cole and Cullen Jenkins. Cox ran a 4.76 at the NFL Combine, and that athleticism for someone of his size is rare. Jim Washburn, defensive line coach, will love to have him apart of the wide-nine scheme. Loving to rush the passer, Cox is able to play both inside and outside. This versatile athlete was the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week four separate times last season for Mississippi State, and now the Eagles have another skilled player to add to the scary D-line. Adding to his impressive array of abilities, something that sticks out most is his ability to penetrate the offensive line and add immediate pressure. During his time at Miss. St., Cox blocked five field goals. That proves his dominance on the field, and I feel bad for any opposing quarterback having to face this big guy.
Overall, I give the pick an A-. Cox is definitely the best DT taken in the entire draft, but it’s rare to see a player come into the league and make things happen. In this case, I think Cox will prove many people wrong and have an impressive year. He’s no Suh, but that’s quite okay with me. I would’ve loved the Eagles draft a player like Morris Claiborne or Mark Barron, but I will not complain once I see him on the field.
2 (46). Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
Boy do I absolutely love this guy. With Brian Westbrook honored to announce the Eagles’ 46th overall pick, Mychal Kendricks destined to be a Bird. Kendricks is a freakishly athletic player and was labeled one of the best picks in the draft. He is a little on the shorter side, standing at 5′ 11″ and 239 pounds, but he resembles London Fletcher and uses his size to his advantage. Mychal had a strong 2012 NFL Combine, recording a time of 4.47 in the 40-yard dash that equaled the fastest combine time by a linebacker since 2007 … tied for fifth and eighth overall, respectively, in the vertical jump (39.5″) and broad jump (10’7″), while adding a time of 4.19 in the 20-yard shuttle that was the fifth-fastest for linebackers and 24 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press that was tied for 11th at his position. Yes, that was a mouthful, but it is nothing short of excellence. During his time in California, Kendricks played in all 51 games for the Bears. He finished his career with 259 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss (-144 yards), 13.5 sacks, seven fumble recoveries, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), five pass breakups and a forced fumble. Again, another mouthful, but that’s what Kendricks brings to a team.
I give this pick an A+. Mychal Kendricks is going to be a name everyone knows within the upcoming years and I have a feeling he will be quite the fan favorite. There’s just something about the guy that turns heads and his athleticism is something teams don’t often come by. Many say he could’ve been a late second to early third-round pick, but I admire the Eagles and their keen eye for not letting him slip away. He will be a starter for the Eagles this season, right along side DeMeco Ryans and opposite Brian Rolle. Mychal Kendricks…remember who said it first.
2 (59). Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
I’ll be honest, this pick kind of surprised me. It is no doubt the Eagles took Vinny Curry because he was the best player available at the time. Curry was predicted to go fairly early in the second-round, and the fact he was still on the board was something the Eagles couldn’t let go. The 6′ 3″ defensive end has a relentless motor and reminds me of a young Javon Kearse. The life-long Eagles fan was thrilled to be apart of the Eagles, and now so are we. Over the past two seasons at Marshall, Curry recorded 40 tackles for a loss with 23 sacks. With Trent Cole in his seventh season, he is the perfect guy to train and learn under. Curry will be in the mix along with Cole, Babin and 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham, but I expect he will be the one to get the reps when the starters are out.
This pick is worthy of a B. The scenario at this point was to put off their needs and go with him while he’s available, and I don’t think the Eagles will regret it. His motor is constantly going and has serious potential. With 32.75″ arm range, it is easy to say he will be taking anything within his range down with him. Check out this video of Curry and his ultimate highlights.
3 (88). Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
Do I like this pick? No. Do the Eagles love this pick? Yes. Now let me reiterate. I, for one, am not a quarterback kind of guy. However, I do like Foles as a player and boy does he have an arm! Even though he had to deal with his head coach being fired mid season and led Arizona to a 4-8 record, the Philadelphia Eagles see something special in the guy. First off, Nick Foles is an absolute monster standing at 6′ 5″ and 243 pounds. Having a quarterback that tall means he will be very hard to bring down and also has excellent vision of the field. Many experts downgraded him because they did not like his footwork, but Andy Reid, the one guy who knows most about quarterbacks, says he has no problem with the way Foles plays. Nick stated that he already knows he was not brought to Philadelphia to replace Vick, but to be the steady backup when he goes down.
I’ll give this pick a C. Like I said, Foles has a cannon for an arm and his size is something rare for a quarterback. Originally recruited to Texas, Baylor and Georgetown for basketball, Foles possess all the right characteristics you want in a player. Kirk Cousins was rated the better quarterback out of the two, but the Eagles took Foles instead and you just can’t doubt what Reid and the rest of the organization see in him.
4 (123). Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
After the Eagles recently traded Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons, it was obvious they were going to need to find another cornerback in the draft. In the fourth-round, the Eagles took Brandon Boykin, an all around athlete that can do whatever he is asked. I say that because Boykin has also spent some time on offense as a slot receiver and return man, which makes him an intriguing multi-dimensional weapon for the Eagles. He is rather short at only 5′ 9″, but that can be an advantage and only adds to his superior speed. The Eagles have been looking for a solid return man, and Boykin may be that guy. For one, I love the way Boykin plays defense. He has a great feel for the game and is a great tackler, something the Eagles desperately need.
Even though he’ll be a backup, I give him a C-. His only real downside is his size, and that’s not his fault. His ability to play multiple positions is a plus and finding a potential kick returner will boost the Eagles’ special teams. If you want to see him lay on some big hits and return a few kicks to the house, check out his highlight reel.
5 (153). Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue
This was a big pick for the Eagles, and I mean big. Dennis Kelly out of Purdue will be an immediate candidate to fill the void of Jason Peters who will sit out 2012 entirely due to a possible career-ending injury. Now when I said this was a big pick, I say so because Kelly towers over anyone on the field at 6′ 8″ and 304 pounds. The Eagles most love their big men, because Kelly is in the mix with 6′ 9″ King Dunlap. It’s hard to fully analyze a player at the tackle position without seeing him fend off NFL-sized players, but I do think his presence will be felt.
I give this pick a C+. When Peters went down, the Eagles didn’t panic, but signed Demetress Bell to a 1-year contract and re-signed Dunlap. Landing a guy like Dennis Kelly will be great, as he can flourish and learn so much under the offensive lineman guru himself, Howard Mudd. If you want to see just how big a player Kelly is, check out this interview.
6 (194). Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
Looking to give Mike Vick some extra weapons, the Eagles drafted wide receiver Marvin McNutt in the sixth-round. The 6′ 4″ and 215 pound McNutt had 82 catches for 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior in Iowa. He gives the Eagles a sizable receiver that could make an impact inside the red zone, something they’ve been missing for some time. This pick does surprise me in a way, however, because Tommy Streeter out of Miami was still available and he’s taller and quicker. What I think makes him stand out is his strong and powerful stature that makes him a great guy for blocking. He has potential to develop into a steady third receiver who will most likely take over for Jason Avant in a year or two. As an alternative, I would’ve liked to see the Eagles look for a tight end.
I say drafting McNutt is worth a C-. Again, I would’ve preferred Tommy Streeter as he fits more appropriately into this speedy Eagles offense. McNutt does have favorable size that makes him a great red-zone target and that is what the Eagles admire most.
6 (200). Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
In a constant effort to look for a guy to keep Michael Vick healthy, the Eagles decided to draft Brandon Washington to the offensive line. Washington is quite the versatile lineman after playing every position on the line at Miami except center. What I like about Washington is his high IQ for the game and the fact he only committed eight penalties in almost 2,000 career snaps. He is on the shorter side in Philly at 6′ 3″, but he is a great guy to have in that mix with Howard Mudd showing him the way.
I give this pick a D because even though I like Washington as a player, I think the Eagles should’ve drafted a safety with this pick. The instability at defensive back in Philadelphia will prove to be a problem.
7 (229). Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas St.
This is a very interesting pick. With their last pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Eagles selected a running back. Bryce Brown is a 6-foot, 223-pound physical runner. His size is unlike any running back the Eagles have been used to the past couple years, as they typically go for the smaller, quicker option. I do like the pick because it adds a new dimension to their running game behind LeSean McCoy.
I give the addition of Brown a D as well. I like the fact that he is different than what Philly is used to, and he may be used in those third-and-short or goal-line situations that we as fans dread to see. However, a man by the name of Chris Polk was a much better option and was projected to be a second-round prospect, but fell due to injury worries. Polk was still available and went undrafted before signing with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent.
So there here you have it, a complete recap of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2012 NFL Draft. Many people say the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers stole the spotlight with their bold picks, but you certainly can not overlook the Eagles in this situation. Overall, I give the Philadelphia Eagles an A-. They picked some solid players that will make a difference on the team immediately, and I think how the Eagles revamped their defense in the draft will be noticed in 2012. While some picks did have me a little skeptical, there is no overlooking the potential and the overall quality of their entire draft.