Let me first apologize as this will be somewhat of a lengthy commentary on the Philadelphia Eagles draft. While I’d prefer to give my readers the cut and dry of each pick – there is no cut and dry – and if you’re reading my take on things I assume there is some masochism in your DNA. Expect my normal tangents, raves, rants and lunacy.
12. Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State 6-foot-4, 298 pounds
Fletcher’s best days are ahead of him. I honestly believe that statement and at the same time, this is the most excited I’ve ever been over a player the Birds have selected in the 1st round. Cox is a 300-pound athlete at defensive tackle and that’s a rarity in the NFL. He’s also a player that could end up seeing time at nose tackle, under tackle and left defensive end for Philadelphia.
If you’ll humor me and look him up on YouTube the only thing you need pay attention to is this young man’s feet at all times. Look at him once he has penetrated and is forced to change directions in the backfield. Players like Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, Michael Brockers and even Dontari Poe have to stop, change direction and then move again. Fletcher makes that transition seamlessly and has the movement skills of an athletic end.
This is where I see him being a special player down the road. Right now he is not special. Jim Washburn can turn him into a dynamic pass rusher though and that’s something the Eagles have lacked inside since Corey Simon was in his prime – or before he ate fellow lineman Paul Grasmanis – whichever came first.
46. Mychal Kendricks, LB Cal 5-foot-11, 240 pounds
The pick confused me as I’ve never seen this short of a SAM linebacker, however in terms of value it was spot on. Juan Castillo has been screaming for athleticism at the position though and Kendricks has it. Before I even touch that I want to take exact quotes from my notes in several games I studied on him.
“Tackling machine” – “Nose for the ball” – “Very surprising strength for short guy” – “Stout at point of attack” – “Bit of a catch tackler” – “Is he in on every play?” – “Great at filling gaps/meeting RB in hole” – “reads and reacts well” – “Very smart”
So, my only complaints were that he “caught” people sometimes and that he was short. That’s a heck of a lot better than Philadelphia’s current SAM corps.
Kendricks was also a Combine freak. The Eagles didn’t draft him simply because of his numbers there though. It’s on the film. I had him as a 3rd rounder before the Combine as you didn’t get to see how fast he was on film being up at the line of scrimmage so much. Once he lit the Combine on fire – 2nd rounder.
Worst case scenario, he kicks to WILL and eventually replaces Ryans in the middle.
59. Vinny Curry, DE Marshall 6-foot-3, 266 pounds
Vinny Curry nearly had a 1st round grade from both Tommy Lawlor and I. The Top 100 on our page was a projection for The Huddle Report, not our rankings. Next year we’ll provide both lists. This isn’t just a steal, it’s highway robbery.
Mike Mayock compares Curry to Cliff Avril of the Detroit Lions and I see the similarities. Curry isn’t a tremendous athlete, but he uses a quick burst and leverage to get in a tackle’s grille real quick and put them on roller skates. We’re talking a relentless, non-stop guy here. He’ll also play disciplined football and make very good plays against the run.
I expect him to come in the rotation as a starter and make an impact immediately and then eventually move up, eventually being one of our top sack guys. Brandon Graham really has a fire under his cheeks now.
88. Nick Foles, QB Arizona 6-foot-5, 243 pounds
I commented during the draft on Foles that I thought the Eagles had made a huge reach for him even though he was a quarterback that I really liked, even more than 2nd round pick Brock Osweiler. If you look at my notes on the site you’ll see my comments that “I’d start to value him in the 5th round”.
While I won’t reverse my field on my attitude that the Eagles did in fact select Foles too high, I will relay that I’m much more comfortable with the value discrepancy after two things happened. First, Howie Roseman and Andy Reid landed Brandon Boykin in the 4th round who is in my opinion a Top 40 talent. Unless he’s had his leg amputated, he had no business falling that far.
Second – and this was really just as important – I got to watch Foles sit down with Jon Gruden for his QB Camp. There were plenty of things I took away from this experience that really taught me something and that’s an integral part of scouting – understanding that you can learn more from everyone.
Gruden spent a lot of time talking with Foles about some of my biggest concerns which are his footwork (which tie into his arm strength), the amount of sacks he takes and his propensity to turn the ball over. For part of the segment Jon brought in Brad Johnson and the three talked about Foles’ lack of propensity to check down and dump the ball off to receivers. This was huge for me and crazily enough, it looked as if they had just given Foles the Holy Grail by his reaction.
He had a certain attitude about him during the show that I really liked. Foles is a jovial, straight forward kid who is respectful, but for lack of better wording – isn’t kissing anyone’s butt. I don’t want to see a teenager in there. He didn’t show me one. Foles came off as an intelligent kid who was genuinely getting a lot out of the meeting, but also had a lot of confidence.
They passed the ball at the end with Gruden showing him some things and I didn’t see the floating or wobbling on deep balls I saw on film. It was simply a breath of fresh air.
In all, I still think 88 was high for the quarterback and won’t go back on that, but I liked Foles before the draft and like him even more now. Andy Reid, Marty Morhinweg and Howie Roseman know him much better than I do. Their track record as NFL coaches is better than mine – duh. This is a pick I’ll fully support going forward.
123. Brandon Boykin, CB Georgia 5-foot-9, 182 pounds
Boykin had some concussions in Athens and broke his leg at the Senior Bowl causing him to slide. I had a mid to high 2nd round grade on him, so unless he’s developed gangrene, is walking around like a pirate on a peg-leg and has a parrot on his shoulder – STEAL.
He’s a tremendous return man and makes the Eagles so dangerous on special teams with him on kickoffs and DeSean Jackson on punts. Some people make the mistake of thinking that he played slot corner because of a lack of talent – not true. He played on the outside, but was such a weapon on the inside that Georgia could leave him there.
Boykin is perfect for the stage of progression the Eagles’ cornerback situation is in right now. They need someone to really challenge Joselio Hanson in the slot and master that area. In the long term, they’ll need a young guy to be good enough to take over for either Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie or Nnamdi Asomugha.
If you switch Boykin to pick 88 and Foles to 123, this draft is absolutely PERFECT so far for me. I might have preferred a different linebacker to Kendricks, but he is still outstanding.
The only reason I bring this up is because I’ve never said that in seven years.
153. Dennis Kelly, OT Purdue 6-foot-8, 321 pounds
As you know, I don’t BS my readers. I have no idea what to say about Dennis Kelly other than he’s huge, he looks like a McQuistan brother with that long hair and apparently – Howard Mudd liked him.
I’m on board if Howard is.
194. Marvin McNutt, WR Iowa 6-foot-3, 216 pounds
McNutt isn’t the exact receiver I’d have picked here simply because I think he dominates poor corners and gets controlled by good corners. He finished his senior season with 82 catches for 1315 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Against Leonard Johnson from Iowa State – 4 catches, 61 yards
Against Alfonzo Dennard from Nebraska – 4 catches, 29 yards
Against Jamell Fleming from Oklahoma – 4 catches, 46 yards
Now, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player or he won’t work out with the Eagles, it’s just that he wasn’t my cup of coffee. What he does have is great hands and leaping ability. He’ll also give the Eagles a presence in the red zone with his size that they’ve been looking for.
200. Brandon Washington, OG Miami 6-foot-3, 320 pounds
This pick really surprised me. First, I didn’t think Washington would still be on the board in the 6th round. I knew some scouts had 4th round grades on him but of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll always go there. It was good value to me.
I was surprised because Washington doesn’t seem like a Mudd guy; he seems like a Castillo guy. The Hurricanes do run a zone-blocking scheme under Art Kehoe, but Washington isn’t a knee bender, plays upright and has always come off to me as more of a bully when playing inside. He has also played tackle too though, so maybe they liked that athleticism.
229. Bryce Brown, RB Kansas State 6-foot, 223 pounds
I’ve had to deal with this kid’s nonsense since he was a high school recruit. First he had a member of the family/street agent charging people for recruiting updates, then he plays games on Letter of Intent day and then finally ends up at Tennessee. After that he transfers to Kansas State and touches the ball three times.
Complete waste of a pick. I’m sure the Eagles see the upside in his workout numbers, but I just wouldn’t have touched him. His older brother Arthur Jr. was always the level-headed one to me and he’ll be in the draft next year at linebacker.
Good thing it was a 7th rounder.
I know many of you would love a draft grade on the Eagles. I’m not big into grading drafts, but I’d certainly have to give the Eagles an “A” this year. They threw away a 7th round pick, that’s my complaint. Usually they’d be picking a starting linebacker there – so I’m content with it.
Duce Staley got on the phone right after the draft and signed Chris Polk as a UDFA at running back, so Brown is out of here anyway.
Howie Roseman, Andy Reid, the scouting department and the coaching staff won’t be reading this, but if they ever did – I’d be congratulating them. I feel this is the best draft class they’ve pulled off since 2002 and we all know how that went.