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Philadelphia Eagles 2012 Draft Recap: From Fletcher Cox to Bryce Brown it Was a Strong Draft

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The Philadelphia Eagles' drafts have become the butt of many jokes over the past few years. The selections of Brandon Graham, Danny Watkins, and Jaiquawn Jarrett have given fans and critics plenty of reason to question the football acumen of GM Howie Roseman and the Eagles' scouting department.

Brandon Graham might go down as the Eagles' worst draft selection ever, if he once again gives the Eagles zero production this season, and finally gets cut.

When you consider that the Eagles traded their 24th overall pick and two 3rd round selections to move up from the 24th spot to 13, it looked like a good move at the time, when they picked Graham in the 2010 NFL Draft. It's not a heavy price to pay when you relinquish a pair of 3rd rounders, so you can move up from the bottom of the 1st round to select a player in the top 13. However, the player they could have and should have selected was Jason Pierre-Paul (selected two spots later) who might be the most dominant defensive end in the NFL. He had 16.5 sacks this year and helped the New York Giants win their second Super Bowl in the past 5 years.

Brandon Graham has produced a measley 17 tackles and 3 sacks in 2 seasons and suffered a major knee injury in his young career. Right now he appears to be the next Jerome McDougle, who is easily one of the three biggest draft busts in Eagles history. The Eagles also traded up for McDougle way back in 2003. He appeared to be their answer for replacing Hugh Douglas. Instead he had such a miserable and pathetic career, that he made Mike Mamula look like Bruce Smith. McDougle had just 3 sacks and 29 tackles in the 3 seasons he actually played in. He missed an entire season and was out of the NFL by 2009.

Suffice it to say the Eagles don't have a good history when it comes to trading up for defensive linemen in the 1st round. This year they moved upfletcher cox eagles a few spots in the first round to select the guy many people wanted them to pick - Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle from Mississippi State. On paper it appears to be a solid move. Most draft pundits ranked Cox as the best defensive linemen in the entire draft. Ray Didinger also praised the selection.

The Eagles had a brutal defense last year. Despite what ESPN's Jon Gruden said about their defense, which ranked "ranked 8th total yards", it was a mess. Their defense blew 4th quarter leads like Allen Iverson blew through his fortune. They allowed 24 or more points 7 times and were sitting at 4-8 and dead last in a mediocre NFC East. They had to make moves on defense in the draft this year. And, by all accounts they made some very good picks - on paper. To be fair, we have to give these selections 2-3 seasons before we can judge them. If you are making good selections 55 percent of the time in the NFL, then you are really doing well.

Here's a run-down of their picks:

Round One 12th overall: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

Cox was rated as a potential top-six pick by many. For the Eagles to get him at #12 is a bargain. The 6'4" 298 pound tackle from the SEC is as sure of a thing there is at this position. Fletcher Cox can run a 4.79 in the 40 and is projected to be a future pro bowler at the position. He has a chance to be the Eagles best defensive tackle since Corey Simon or dare I say - Jerome Brown.

Round Two 46th overall: Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California

Apparently the Eagles are finally listening to the fans and analysts who have seen them get burned by tight ends in coverage, year after year. California's Mychal Kendricks is an inside linebacker who ran a 4.47 at the combine and has great coverage skills.

Round Three 59th overall: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall

Trent Cole is the first name who comes to mind when you look at Vinny Curry's pedigree. He comes from a smaller school, has a similar frame, and gets tons of production. Curry had 11 sacks and 7 forced fumbles last year. He was ranked 43 overall by NFLDraftscout.com.

Round Three 88th overall: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

Foles was the first questionable pick by many. Ray Didinger spoke about Foles on 94 WIP this weekend and pointed out his major flaws, which are his inability to make accurate throws, and clutch play. Foles has a huge arm, but will be a project.

Round Four 123rd overall: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

The cornerback out of Georgia was ranked 52 overall by Scout.com, but fell in the Eagles' lap. This gives them a young corner, who can learn from the likes of DRC and Nnamdi. Another solid pick by the Birds.

Round Five 153rd overall: Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue

The loss of Jason Peters this offseason was devastating. While the Eagles found a viable replacement in Demetress Bell, they needed to pick some linemen.

Round Six 194th overall: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa

The 6'3" 216 pound receiver provides the Eagles good value in round six. He was rated in the top 100 on many boards.

Round Seven 200th overall Brandon Washington, G/OT, Miami

The Eagles add more depth on their offensive line with a player who was rated as a 4th-5th round pick by many.

Round 7 229th overall: Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State

Bryce Brown could be the steal of the draft. He entered college with much hype from his high school days, but never really put it together in college. Character issues overshadowed the gifted running back who once ran a 4.3. The Eagles risk very little here and have everything to gain.

All in all, the Eagles focused on defense and made some very strong selections in the first four rounds. Afterwards, they added depth to their offensive line and got a potential steal in the 7th round with Bryce Brown.

The Eagles deserve an A for this draft.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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