Apr 27, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles first round draft pick defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State) addresses the media as head coach Andy Reid listens during a press conference at the Philadelphia Eagles NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Eagles have had their share of hits and misses under Andy Reid, but it looks like 2012 could end up being a big year for Philadelphia. The second in a series breaking down the draft classes of the Cowboys NFC East rivals.
As we continue to breakdown what our division rivals accomplished in the draft, our focus moves onto the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Andy Reid pretty much runs the show in Philly and basically has the final say on any football decisions. In my opinion, Reid is a good head coach who has a good eye for talent.
What I like about him the most is that he knows what type of players he wants for his system and he will go out and get them. Reid is a firm believer in drafting heavy on the offensive and defensive line, something I would like to see the Cowboys do more of.
Some of the Eagles' recent successful draft picks include LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and Trent Cole. There have also been some busts that include Shawn Andrews, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley and Winston Justice. 2010 draft picks Brandon Graham and Nate Allen still have yet to prove that they were worth high draft picks, and 2011 draft pick Danny Watkins didn't have a very good rookie season.
The draft isn't an exact science and nobody is perfect. Reid doesn't exactly have a perfect track record in the draft, but nobody can hit on every draft pick.
However, this year, I think the Eagles came away with one of the best classes in the draft. They landed premier talents across the board and stood true to their draft board. Let's take a closer look at their 2012 draft class:
Philadelphia traded a fourth-round and sixth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in order to move up for Cox. At 6'4, 298, he has the size to be a dominant player. He has a long and lean muscular frame that can still continue to grow. Cox can use his long arms to disengage from blockers and against offensive lineman when rushing the passer.
Cox is a very good athlete who has a tremendous upside, but he also played in the SEC. Playing in the best conference in college football definitely help prepared him for the NFL. With the addition of Cox, the Eagles defensive line is going to be a handful. Expect to see the Eagles play Cox all over the defensive line as a rookie because he has the versatility to play anywhere in a 4-3 defense.
Ultimate Fletcher Cox Highlights (2012 Draft 12th Pick - Philadelphia Eagles) (via TheVikingsworld2011)
One area that the Eagles have not spent a lot of draft picks on is the linebacker position. In 2012, they landed one of the best linebackers in the draft with the selection of Mychal Kendricks in the second-round. Kendricks blew up the NFL Combine when he ran a 4.47 40 yard dash and had a 39.5 inch vertical jump.
He isn't the biggest linebacker (5'11, 239), but he has a stocky frame. The 2011 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year was extremely productive in college. His career numbers include 259 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 7 fumble recoveries and 4 interceptions.
He has the range to cover tight ends and running backs, but he is a sideline to sideline player that will rack up tackles. The Eagles have lacked a playmaker at linebacker, so this was a fantastic pick for them. Kendricks is a great athlete that should become a big part of the Eagles' defense for a very long time.
Ultimate Mychal Kendricks Highlights (2012 Draft 46th Pick - Philadelphia Eagles) (via TheVikingsworld2011)
When I was looking at potential pass rushers for the Cowboys, Curry was a name that kept coming up. Once considered a fringe first-round prospect, Curry fell almost out of the second-round before the Eagles drafted him. This was a selection that Andy Reid used in order to add further depth to his defensive line. Instead of focusing on other needs, the Eagles clearly took the best player available and could not pass on a talent like Curry that late into the draft.
Ultimate Vinny Curry Highlights (2012 Draft 59th Pick - Philadelphia Eagles) (via TheVikingsworld2011)
Andy Reid loved Kevin Kolb so much that he drafted him to become the future at the quarterback position. Kolb never panned out for the Eagles, but Reid turned him into a great trade piece that brought the Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick.
Foles is a very talented quarterback that didn't necessarily have great success at the University of Arizona, but he has a strong arm and is a great developmental prospect. I believe that you should always draft a quarterback in the draft because you can always turn them into the next Kevin Kolb. The Eagles are thinking about the future of the quarterback position and they always have a talented prospect waiting to takeover.
The Eagles landed another premier talent when they picked up Boykin in the fourth-round. Boykin was considered to be a late first-round or early second-round pick, but he fell in the draft due to his lack of size and injury concerns. He is a physical cornerback with great athleticism and footwork. Boykin possesses great coverage skills because he is fast, but he also has very smooth hips when getting out of his backpedal.
You can never have too many cornerbacks and the addition of Boykin was a good move by the Eagles. Boykin should play a lot in the slot during his rookie season because he is actually a very physical player, but he must improve on his tackling in order to become a more complete player.
Ultimate Brandon Boykin Highlights (2012 Draft 123re Pick - Philadelphia Eagles) (via TheVikingsworld2011)
The Eagles also had one of the best undrafted free agent classes this year. Chris Polk, Cliff Harris and Chase Ford all have the talent to make an NFL roster. Overall this was a great haul for the Eagles, who were already one of the most talented teams in the NFL. I hate to admit it, but the Eagles just got a whole lot tougher to beat.