Eagles draft recap

from insidetheiggles.com

by Alex Young

In my Eagles draft preview post that I wrote last week I said the Birds needed to improve their defense. I think they might be subscribed to my blog because that’s exactly what they did. They used four of their first five picks to take defense players, players that the “experts” loved, and I have to admit that I love them too.

It started with big trade in the first round as the Eagles moved up three picks to take Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox from Mississippi State. They did so without giving up either of their two second-round picks ( we’ll get to the importance of that later.) While I was advocating Michael Brockers last week, I can’t be upset that the Eagles took Cox with their first pick on Thursday. He might not be the run-stopper that Brockers is, but he fits perfectly into the Birds’ defensive scheme. Eagles’ defensive line coach, Jim Washburn, went as far as to say that Cox was born to play in the Wide-9. Cox will immediately become an important part of the Eagles’ defensive line rotation. Look for him to be on the field for passing downs this year before taking over for Mike Patterson as a starter down the road.

With two second round picks, the Eagles took two more potential starters, Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry. Kendricks, an outside linebacker out of Cal, will probably start right away given the current state of Eagles linebackers. He was the 2011 Pac-12 defensive player of the year and was touted by NFL Films Greg Cossell as the second best 4-3 linebacker in the whole draft. Not bad for the 46th overall pick.

With their third pick, their second in the second round, the Eagles took Curry, a defensive end out of Marshall University. This was a best-player-available pick but Curry should provide some valuable depth. Measuring up at 6’3″, 266 lbs, Curry is a tad undersized but he was a very productive college player, recording 23 sacks in the last two seasons.

The Eagles finished up their run on defensive players by taking Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin in the fourth round. He could compete for the slot corner spot and should at the very least be a good backup punt returner.

With their other picks, the Eagles took Nick Foles (QB, 88), Dennis Kelly (OT, 153), Marvin McNutt (WR, 194), Brandon Washington (OG, 200) and Bryce Brown (RB, 229.) Foles is a project. Don’t expect him to see the field for a few years unless there’s multiple injuries to the team’s other QB’s. Kelly and Washington give you some depth on the offensive line. McNutt could challenge Riley Cooper for a roster spot as the team’s token tall receiver. Of all the offensive players the Eagles took in the draft, Bryce Brown has the best chance to produce right away. LeSean McCoy is probably the best player on the team and will be the workhorse for the running game, but Brown is bigger than McCoy and Deion Lewis so he could see big plays in short yardage.

I don’t think I’ve been happier with an Eagles’ draft haul in a long time. They needed defense and they picked up some players that can either play right now or become big players in the near future. You can’t ask for much more than that.

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