2012 NFL Mock Draft: Full 7 Round Philadelphia Eagles Mock Draft
With 10 picks in the the 2012 NFL Draft including three in the first two rounds, the Eagles are in prime position to come away with a solid draft this upcoming April.
The Eagles have done a good job of loading up on young talent in the last few drafts but they still have needs–middle and strongside linebacker, a kick returner and some depth at offensive tackle and running back.
But without any major holes in their roster, the Eagles will look for players with high ceilings and select the best talent available.
1st Round: Luke Kuechly MLB, Boston College
Outside of the Indianapolis Colts selecting Andrew Luck with the first pick, this is the most obvious pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Eagles need a middle linebacker who can add stability to their defense, especially against the run. Luke Kuechly is projected to be a mid-first round pick and should be available at No. 15.
Kuechly is everything that the Eagles aren't at linebacker.
He is a consistently good tackler who maintains great position on defense against both the run and the pass. He also has the ability to shed blocks and come after the play rather than waiting for it to come to him.
He is the best player at the Eagles' biggest need.
Unless the Eagles sign a veteran middle linebacker in free agency, which seems unlikely unless the Falcons can't resign Curtis Lofton or the Lions don't want to resign Stephen Tulloch, the Eagles will have to go middle linebacker with the first pick.
2nd Round: Chase Minnifield CB, Virginia
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With the Eagles pretty much assured to move cornerback Asante Samuel this off-season to free up cap space and move Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie back to the outside, the Eagles will be a little thin at CB.
Joselio Hanson is an outstanding slot corner in the nickel defense but he hasn't proven to be a worthy starter on the outside. The Eagles other two corners, Brandon Hughes and Curtis Marsh, are unproven and could be a major liability if either Rodgers-Cromartie or Nnamdi Asomugha miss time due to injury in 2012.
Chase Minnifield is an NFL-ready corner that could develop under Asomugha and serve as a reliable backup.
Minnifield is one of the most well rounded corners outside of the first round. He plays both man and zone coverage well with good ball skills. He is an outstanding tackler with excellent form. He rarely misses tackles, even in the open field against speedy receivers.
This will make Eagles fans happy after watching Samuel struggle to make tackles all year.
2nd Round: Vinny Curry DE, Marshall
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On paper, the Eagles don't have a huge need at defensive end.
But with Brandon Graham still recovering from a torn ACL in 2010 and Juqua Parker on the wrong side of 30, drafting a defensive end that could make an immediate impact doesn't sound like such a bad idea.
Vinny Curry is an impressive player coming out of Marshall.
His intangibles are through the rough, and he has a rare strength and explosion combo that should make him a good pass-rusher right away. Add the fact that he would get to work under one of the best defensive line coaches in the league, Jim Washburn, and you've got a player that could really thrive in the Eagles' rotation with the likes of Jason Babin, Trent Cole and Phillip Hunt.
Curry doesn't have any major weaknesses. He plays the run and the pass.
He explodes off the line and can bull-rush linemen that have 50 plus pounds on him. He was a dominant player at Marshall where he racked up 39.5 tackles for loss and 23 sacks the past two seasons.
3rd Round: Kirk Cousins QB, Michigan State
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This isn't a round where the Eagles go for need.
The only need they have left at this point is a 3rd running back who can also return kicks and a strongside linebacker. This is a pick where the Eagles see a player like Kirk Cousins that can develop into Michael Vick's eventual replacement–similar to what the Patriots are doing with Ryan Mallet or what the Packers did with Aaron Rodgers.
Cousins doesn't have first round ability physically, but he can still make all the throws needed at the next level.
He has good arm strength and steps into his throws. His footwork is outstanding, and he leads his receivers.
His intangibles really stands out. His leadership skills and composure under pressure are through the roof. Think Tom Brady when he was coming out of Michigan. Both players have a knack for leading their teams in the fourth quarter, and both are players that can take control of a huddle and a locker room.
Cousins should develop into exactly what you want in a quarterback. He would be mentored by Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg for a couple seasons and turn into something special.
4th Round (Via Tampa Bay): Markus Zusevics OT, Iowa
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The Eagles really need to go out and draft an offensive tackle to add more depth on the offensive line. Markus Zusevics is a solid pick out of Iowa who is a Howard Mudd type of linemen.
Zusevics is a competitor who really like to finish his blocks.
He has very good feet and lateral quickness and would do really well in Howard Mudd's blocking scheme. He is quick off the snap and takes good positioning.
Zusevics could come in and backup Todd Herremans and develop for a couple years and possibly even replace Herremans down the road.
4th Round: Ladarius Green La-Lafayette
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The Eagles have plenty of speed in their offense with LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and of course DeSean Jackson, but what they don't have is plenty of length.
Drafting a player like Ladarius Green gives the Eagles another athletic tight end to improve the Eagles' red zone woes.
Green isn't much of a blocker at just 236 pounds, but his 6'6'' frame make him an excellent jump ball target in the end zone. His speed makes him dangerous in the open field after the catch, and he is an underrated route runner.
Teaming Green up with Brent Celek along with McCoy, Jackson and Maclin will truly make this Eagles offense dynamic.
5th Round: Chris Rainey RB, Florida
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Chris Rainey is exactly what the Eagles need in the fifth round.
The Eagles need a speedy third running back to compliment LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis. They also need someone who can compete as a kick returner and someone who can contribute on special teams.
Chris Rainey is all that and then some.
He blocked six punts in college and was a dangerous return man. He is also a capable speed back and slot receiver as well. He won't get more than maybe two or three touches on offense per game but he can contribute in so many ways and is the type of player that special teams coach Bobby April can play around with to give his unit a major boost.
6th Round: T.J. Graham WR, North Carolina State
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T.J. Graham is a pretty simple pro-prospect.
He is a speedy wide receiver with really good return ability. Outside of that he doesn't offer much. Fortunately for the Eagles they really just need him to improve on their abysmal kickoff return.
Should the Eagles lose DeSean Jackson after giving him the franchise tag, if that's the route they decide to go, then Graham could develop into a more complete receiver who can contribute on the Eagles in his second season.
He doesn't catch the ball well and at just 180 pounds he can't really absorb too many hits at the next level either. He does have good potential as a speedy slot receiver and should be able to help the Eagles right away in the return game and possibly even as a slot receiver in four receiver sets.
6th Round (Via Denver): Damien Jackson FS, Mississippi
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The Eagles are pretty set at safety right now with starters Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman along with second year backup Jaiquawn Jarrett, but they could use another player to add depth and contribute on special teams.
Damien Jackson could fight for a spot on the 53-man roster as a backup free safety.
Jackson has good, but not great, speed. He has a very strong work ethic–can be a violent hitter at times but is not very good in pass coverage. He has some room to grow into his 6'2 210 pound frame.
He will have to make an impact on special teams to earn a roster spot.
6th Round (Via New England): Logan Harrell DT, Fresno State
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Logan Harrell is a good fit for Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn and his scheme. He won't make the 53 man roster but should make the practice squad with a chance to make the team the following year.
Harrell is the type of player that always plays to the whistle and has an outstanding motor.
He has a knack for making plays behind the line of scrimmage where he racked up 18 tackles for loss in 2011.
He doesn't have great size at just 6'2, 278 pounds but he has room to grow and has a really good burst off the line. He would add a great deal of competition in training camp and preseason and would be a fine addition to their practice squad in 2012.