The Philadelphia Eagles addressed arguably their biggest positional need in the first round of the 2012 draft, trading up three spots to select Mississippi State standout defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, a highly versatile lineman who will fit well in the Eagles’ wide-nine defensive scheme.
The Eagles have two picks in the second round and another in the third, meaning the Eagles have three opportunities on Friday night to upgrade even more positions to get the team back on track in the NFC East.
The Eagles should look for help at linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, tight end and safety, although if the best player is available at another position, Andy Reid may choose whichever position he feels will help the most.
Character concerns knocked Janoris Jenkins out of the first round, but he is so talented as a cover corner that the Philadelphia Eagles should consider him with one of their two second-round picks.
Jenkins gave the best receivers in college football trouble, and he could step in opposite Nnamdi Asomugha in 2013 and start—especially with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie entering his contract year.
Brandon Boykin is undersized and not durable enough to have a long NFL career, but he is blazing fast and can jump out of the room. Boykin would be a good nickel corner for the Philadelphia Eagles, as his ball skills would make him a good fit against opposing slot receivers.
The Eagles could probably get Boykin with their second pick of the second round; he may even fall to the third round, which would be a steal.
If the Indianapolis Colts don’t grab Coby Fleener with the 34th overall pick, the Philadelphia Eagles should jump on Fleener with their first pick of the second round. Re-signing DeSean Jackson was huge for the offense, and drafting another tight end who can get open and stretch the field will make the Eagles offense even more competent.
The two-tight end set is the new thing to do in the NFL, and Fleener and Brent Celek would be a good combination.
As a second-round pick, Marvin McNutt would be a stretch, but he would be a good grab with the Philadelphia Eagles’ third-round pick.
Riley Cooper has done very little as a fourth receiver, and Chad Hall shouldn’t be back in 2012. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are terrific on the outside, and Jason Avant is a good slot receiver. McNutt is a promising enough fourth receiver. He is a big, physical receiver and should complement Jackson well. He has excellent leaping ability, fits well in a West Coast offense and could be a promising third receiver for the Eagles within several seasons.
Lavonte David projects best at the NFL level as a weak-side linebacker, and he would be a good addition to a Philadelphia Eagles corps that got subpar play from the linebackers all season in 2011. David has good instincts and competitiveness, and he compares favorably to Daryl Washington.
David is very coachable, he’s a film junkie, and even though Andy Reid doesn’t like linebackers, I think he will like David if he takes a chance on him.
Edwin Baker wouldn’t be a good fit in the second round, and the third round may even be a stretch for the Michigan State running back, but I like Edwin Baker a lot.
He is built like a brick wall, benching 400 pounds and squatting 600. Baker is a power runner and should be able to complement LeSean McCoy well. Baker is strong and competitive, he can handle a workload and has been compared to a poor man’s version of Ray Rice.