The 2012 NFL Draft is nearly upon us and it seems anyone with access to a computer and college highlights videos are making their own mock drafts.
But one to take note of in particular is from Wes Bunting of the National Football Post. His latest mock draft, Mock Draft 7.0, has just been released.
While he has made some changes to his picks in this newest edition, he still has the same player going to the Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
Bunting has been pretty stubborn about having the Eagles pick Cox, as he has them selecting the Mississippi State product in his past three mock drafts.
Here is what Bunting has to say about the selection:
Cox is the kind of potential three-technique who can create behind the line of scrimmage and stop plays before they start. The Eagles don’t have a huge need at DT, but Cox could still mature into a playmaker inside, at a position where Philly lacks an impact guy.
However, I think Bunting is wrong on this one.
Fletcher Cox is perhaps the best defensive tackle in this year's draft. He would absolutely make a great addition to a defensive line that needs help stopping runs up the middle.
Lately, however, Cox has been shooting up team's boards, and while he would have made a lot of sense for the Eagles with the 15th overall pick, I simply just don't see him falling that low.
Teams who pick before the Eagles who have a need at defensive tackle are much more likely to select Cox. The Carolina Panthers would be an obvious choice. Bunting has them taking Dontari Poe, but I think Poe isn't likely to be drafted that high based purely on his phenomenal combine performance. He has upside, but Cox is much more of sure thing.
There are rumors, however, that the Eagles may be looking to trade up in the first round. Citing several sources, Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated claims that the Eagles are looking to move up into the top-10 in order to nab Cox.
Barring a trade, however, it is unlikely Cox will fall to the Eagles. So if not Cox, then who?
LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers would make a ton of sense.
The second-highest-rated defensive tackle on many draft boards, Brockers would be a superb consolation prize if the Eagles can't land Cox. He is still a little raw, but Brockers showed a nice blend of pass-rushing and run-stopping skills during his limited time at LSU.
Much like with Cox, Brockers would provide immediate help to a team that had problems stopping runs up the middle last year.
Regardless of which one they take, however, the Eagles will still have selected a promising young defensive tackle with the potential to be an imposing force in the middle of the defense.