12. DT Fletcher Cox A
Fletcher Cox would have been a minor reach had they traded up to somewhere like 7 to grab him, but at 12, he makes a lot of sense. He was 13th on my board and fills a primary need.
46. OLB Mychal Kendricks B-
How much rope did it take to tie up Andy Reid so this pick could be made? He never takes linebackers early. They definitely needed one, however, but I had a 3rd round grade on Kendricks. Zach Brown is a more natural outside linebacker and a much better value at this point.
59. DE Vinny Curry C-
I don’t see this as the phenomenal value that many see this pick as. I had a mid 2nd round grade on Curry, so while the late 2nd round is a good value for him, I didn’t see the need for another defensive lineman. They had 50 sacks last year. Trent Cole and Jason Babin combined for 29 and Brandon Graham might finally be healthy in 2012. Cox can also play end. Where does Curry fit?
88. QB Nick Foles C
They needed a quarterback behind an aging and injury prone Vick, but Nick Foles didn’t make a lot of sense over Kirk Cousins. Foles is a mess of a prospect and probably won’t ever be a capable starter in this league. I had a 5th round grade on him.
123. CB Brandon Boykin A
What an excellent value! If Boykin were a few inches taller, I might have had a borderline 1st round grade on him. Instead I had him as a high 3rd rounder so he’s an excellent value in the 4th round and fits very well with the Eagles. They traded Asante Samuel, not just because of his salary, but because they had 3 outside cornerbacks and no one who could play on the slot. Boykin will play there, where his size won’t matter as much and he’s one of the best pure cover cornerbacks in this draft class so he should excel there. That will move Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the outside, where he should bounce back from a career worst season. Remember, this guy once made the Pro Bowl. The Eagles could have one of the best secondaries in the league last season.
153. OT Dennis Kelly C
I had Kelly outside of my top 250. That would be fine in the 6th or 7th round, but this is the 5th round. They did need another tackle behind Demetress Bell, but I don’t think Kelly offers much help there. King Dunlap probably remains the superior option in case of another annual Bell injury.
194. WR Marvin McNutt A
The Eagles were considering signing Plaxico Burress in free agency to add size to their receiving corps. Now they don’t have to sign the washed up Burress. McNutt fills that role well and is an excellent value in the 6th round. I had a 3rd round grade on him.
200. G Brandon Washington A
Another excellent value in the 6th round. Washington doesn’t fill a need whatsoever, but who cares when the value is this good. You can always use more offensive line help.
229. RB Bryce Brown A
I didn’t have Brown in my top 250, but I get this pick. Brown is a former top recruit who was kicked off of two major college football programs. He’s the type of boom or bust pick it’s absolutely fine to take in the 7th round. Dion Lewis looks entrenched as the #2 back behind LeSean McCoy, but Brown can compete to be the 3rd string with undrafted free agent Chris Polk among others.
The Eagles’ #1 priority of this offseason had to be fixing their linebacking corps. I don’t know how much Mychal Kendricks helps, but he could be a decent starter on the outside and remember, they did trade a 4th rounder from this draft for DeMeco Ryans so that factors into this grade as well. They also had to sort out their secondary and they did that by trading away Asante Samuel, albeit for pennies on the dollar, which factors into this grade, moving DRC to the outside, and getting an exceptional value on Brandon Boykin in the 4th round. He should make an impact right away on the slot. Overall, I think they’ll have a very good secondary next season.
Their first round pick was Fletcher Cox. He was a fine value and filled a need at defensive tackle with Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. Vinny Curry in the late 2nd didn’t make as much sense. There’s already a logjam at defensive end. Curry might not see the field very much in 2012 if Brandon Graham is healthy. Nick Foles and Dennis Kelly were also reaches, but they made up for those with excellent value picks in the late rounds. This was a solid draft.