With the 2012 NFL Draft in the books, it’s time to do what every single writer loves to do — hand out grades and break down a team’s performance. Philadelphia had a very strong draft, but to be honest, I really liked other picks much more than others. These grades are based off of the overall selection of the player, and also if the Eagles had a need at the position. Let’s break it down:
Round 1 – Fletcher Cox, DT: A
This was the Eagles go-to guy, and Philadelphia’s front office is absolutely ecstatic that he fell as far as he did. Cox should make an immediate impact as a starter next to Cullen Jenkins in the middle, both in the running and passing game. With the addition of Cox, Philly arguably has the best defensive line in football, and the wide-nine technique should excel beyond all of our wildest dreams.
Round 2 – Mychal Kendricks, LB: B+
Philadelphia’s biggest need coming into the draft was at linebacker, and the team addressed it on very early by drafting Kendricks. The former Cal stand-out is fast as a bullet and is quite simply a total tackling machine. He’s a great addition next to DeMeco Ryans, and the Eagles have now made two major upgrades at the linebacker position. The only downside to Kendricks is that he kind of undersized to play linebacker, but he makes up for it with a really high motor.
Round 2 – Vinny Curry, DE: B+
Although Curry was a best player available pick, he is still a great fit for Philadelphia. The former Marshall stud is one of the best pass-rushers in the entire draft, and also plays the run quite well. By no means will he be competing for a starting job over Babin or Cole, but he is a crazy good addition to come off the bench. The depth on the defensive line with Curry is just getting better and better, and it should pay dividends next season.
Round 3 – Nick Foles, QB: C+
Andy Reid’s newest project has arrived. It’s too tempting for Reid not too draft a new quarterback to develop and groom every few years, and this Arizona star is projected to be the next Kevin Kolb in the Eagles scheme. I wouldn’t bank on Foles being the long-term answer at quarterback, but he does have great potential and could excel in the right situation. The only issue with drafting Foles is that Mike Kafka is likely on his way out, without ever really getting a shot in Philly.
Round 4 – Brandon Boykin, CB: A-
Philadelphia shipped off Asante Samuel for pennies on the dollar and needed to add depth at corner behind DRC and Nnamdi — hence the selection of Boykin. I love this pick, as Boykin was a total star at Georgia and should fill-in perfectly as a solid and playmaking nickel corner in the Eagles scheme. Given the right chance, I’d say that he could surprise the entire team, and maybe even work his way into a starting job by beating our DRC for an outside job.
Round 5 – Dennis Kelly, OT: B
Very unknown guy, but Howard Mudd knows how to make total garbage linemen look like Pro-Bowlers. I don’t know much about Kelly, but he really was drafted just to add depth following the Jason Peters injury. Hopefully, he doesn’t have to see the field and Demetress Bell gets the job done.
Round 6 – Marvin McNutt, WR: A+
Steal. Steal. Steal. McNutt is like Jason Avant 2.0 and should have almost no trouble becoming an instant weapon in Philadelphia’s already explosive offense. This kid was nearly impossible to cover at Iowa, and he’s going to be an absolute monster in the slot. This could easily be the best pick of the draft for the Eagles, and I expect really big things from McNutt next season.
Round 6 – Brandon Washington, OG: C
According to a few scouts around the NFL, Washington was projected to go anywhere from the fourth to undrafted, but again, Mudd probably saw something in him. More depth on the offensive line, because after all, a team can never have enough guards and tackles on the roster.
Round 7 – Bryce Brown, RB: B+
This kid is a really interesting prospect, as he has played almost no college football. He started his career as a freshmen at Tennessee as a higher ranked running back prospect than Trent Richardson, but he transferred to Kansas State for his Sophomore year, sat it out due to NCAA rules, and then entered the NFL Draft. He’s a power back that is an absolute monster out of the backfield, but he is a really raw prospect that’s going to take some time to develop. But the potential is totally there. His role behind LeSean McCoy is going to be really interesting.
Undrafted Free Agent Honorable Mention – Chris Polk, RB: A+
Scouts were hesitant to draft Polk after rumors swirled that he had a serious shoulder injury, despite the fact that he was cleared by multiple doctors. Coming into the draft, pre-shoulder rumors, Polk was projected as a high second-round pick, and Philadelphia managed to swoop him up as an undrafted free agent. This kid can flat out run, and during his tenure at Washington he was a machine in the backfield. If he can stay healthy, then he is the perfect back-up behind Shady McCoy.
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