Eagles Win the Night With First-Round Pick Fletcher Cox
Last night while you were juggling channels to figure out who the Flyers would draw in the second round of the NHL playoffs and pretending to actually care about who the Sixers would face in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Eagles drafted Fletcher Cox.
Cox is a defensive tackle who left Mississippi State after his junior year. At six-foot-four, 298 pounds, the guy has the size to be an interior run-stopper and the speed to move outside and add to a quality pass rush.
The first round of the NFL draft is usually a crapshoot. Typically, Mel Kiper’s hair and Todd McShay’s checkered shirt argue on screen for about 362 days leading up to the thing and then everybody’s draft boards are all jumbled up and busted by the 10th pick like George Mason just stormed into the Final Four. Luckily, in 2012, everything seemed to work out perfectly for the Birds, who were able to swap first-round picks with Seattle—they had to dump a fourth and sixth in the process—so that they could move up and draft Cox.
Fletcher Cox was ranked as a top-seven prospect in this year’s draft. The first two picks were set in stone with Andrew Luck trying on Peyton Manning’s cleats in Indianapolis and Robert Griffin III resigned to playing football for a team owned by Dan Snyder. The Browns took running back Trent Richardson at three and the Vikes took stud OL prospect Matt Kalil in the four-spot. Then, things start to get interesting. The Jags traded up to draft Justin Blackmon, the top-ranked wideout in the pool. Dallas swapped picks to take LSU’s Morris Claiborne (it’s not going to be fun watching him shut down wideouts in the NFC East), even though they had never spoken to the man. The Buccs drafted SS Mark Barron to give them some help in the secondary now that Ronde Barber is 127 years old.
The Dolphins helped out in the eight-hole by selecting Texas A&M’s quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Carolina took linebacker Luke Kuechly, the Bills took CB Stephen Gillmore and suddenly the Chiefs were on the board and Philadelphia’s guy was still available.
Impressively, the Birds were convinced Kansas City would select Dontari Poe before they’d pick Fletcher Cox, because the Chiefs needed a DT better suited to play nose tackle. So, the Iggles waited it out, traded up to the 12th pick behind Kansas City, and selected the guy they wanted coming in. It was pretty astonishing how it all worked out so that the best defensive tackle in this year’s pool was available for Philadelphia at that spot in the first round.
So, consensus was that the Birds had done good. High-fives were thrown, there was a deep (too deep?) embrace between Cox and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the Twitterverse erupted with phallic innuendos and Eagles praise.
On a night that saw the Sixers draw a favorable matchup with the Bulls, and the Flyers learn they won’t have to get on a plane until the first away game of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Eagles won the night with an impressive selection of a defensive tackle with size and speed who should fit perfectly into Jim Washburn’s wide-nine scheme. Oh, and in case you haven’t seen…