2012 NFL Draft Grades: Why Fletcher Cox Is an A+ for the Philadelphia Eagles

Louis MustoContributor IIIApril 26, 2012

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 12:  quarterback AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scrambles away from pressure from defensive lineman Fletcher Cox #94 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs on November 12, 2011 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. Alabama won 24-7. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Butch Dill/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles wanted their guy, and they made sure to get him.

After the Kansas City Chiefs foolishly passed on the opportunity, the Eagles struck a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to acquire the 12th overall selection in the 2012 NFL draft and landed prized defensive tackle Fletcher Cox from Mississippi State.

The decision to add Cox is easily one of the best moves thus far in the draft and bolsters an already fearsome defensive line in Philadelphia.

To make matters better,  he comes at a premium after it was previously believed the Eagles would have to trade up much further in the draft to land him.

The former Bulldog is as versatile as they come, capable of playing nearly every technique that may be asked of him. He is a bit raw, according to National Football Post’s Wes Bunting, but is a top-flight talent who excels as a dominant pass-rusher.

He flew up draft boards this offseason, most notable for his fantastic measurables and explosiveness off the line.

His stats at Mississippi State back up the hype, tallying 114 tackles, 24.5 for a loss, 8.5 sacks and an impressive five blocked kicks during his collegiate career.

Alongside the likes of Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Trent Cole, Cox only adds to an Eagles pass rush that finished 2011 tied for first in the NFL with 50 sacks.

He is an instant upgrade to the Eagles' defensive line, as Bunting notes, and a valuable addition well worth the pieces he cost to move up and grab him before another team did.

Grade: A+