Looking Back at the 2012 NFL Draft

Thus far the 2012 NFL draft is looking like one of the stronger ones in recent franchise history.  In recent memory the Eagles have had very mixed results with the players they drafted under the Andy Reid Era.  Let’s take a look back at who the Eagles drafted in the first draft involving General Manager Howie Roseman.

Of the nine players taken last April eight of them made it to the active roster and appeared in at least four games a piece.  Five even managed to start at least one game or more.

Fletcher Cox, DL (Rd. 1, Pick 12) - Like most rookies Cox had his ups-and-downs his first year.  He started the year as rotational player but had earned a starting spot by the end of the year before succumbing to an injury in Week 15 against the Redskins.  He looked dominant at times and was coming into his own the second half of the season.  According to Pro Football Focus he graded out as the team’s second best defensive lineman and was arguably the best run defender along the front four.  He tied for the team lead in sacks (5.5) and tied for second in Tackles-for-loss (5) as well.  He looks like a player who is going to help anchor the defensive line for the next 10 years and is expected to move to DE in the team’s new 3-4 front.

Mychal Kendricks, LB (Rd. 2, Pick 46) - Kendricks was easily the most maddening, frustrating player on the Eagles roster last season.  He showed flashes of being a future star at times and at others he looked as though he had never played the game before.  His week five performance against the Steelers in which he missed six tackles started a downward spiral for Kendricks where he was downright awful for a four weeks stretch.  He finally got his mojo back when Reid shifted him over to the other side.  Kendricks is a very skilled player who can be a solid starter if he ever gets his issues with missed tackles under wraps.  There is talk that he may move inside alongside DeMeco Ryans in the 3-4 defense.

Vinny Curry, DE (Rd. 2, Pick 59) - Despite the fact that the Eagles kept singing his praises all season long Curry was inactive for most of it and did not step foot on the field until week 10 against the Panthers.  He showed flashes of what he could do when he got out there.  The jury is still out on how he fits into the teams schemes under Billy Davis’ defense.  He could be potential trade bait this summer.

Nick Foles, QB (Rd. 3, Pick 88) - One of the most polarizing rookies in recent memory.  He was thrust into the starting role after Vick went down with a concussion and held onto the job until he broke his end at the end of the season.  Foles played about as well as could be expected given he played behind a patchwork line and was typically missing several key skilled position players at various times.  He showed good leadership and toughness, however it remains to be seen how he fits into Chip Kelly’s offensive plans.  He could very well be dealt as well this summer.

Brandon Boykin, CB (Rd. 4, Pick 123) - Boykin played about as well as what was expected of him.  He graded out as the team’s top defensive back, not necessarily saying a lot I know, and he did tend to struggle a bit against some of the more elite slot receivers he went up against.  He generally held his own out there though and allowed only 54% of the passes thrown against him to be completed.  It remains to be seen if the Eagles attempt to move him outside or simply decide that he is a slot corner for life.  The consensus seems to be that he does not have the size or elite speed to be able to man-up on receivers on the outside.

Dennis Kelly, OL (Rd. 5, Pick 153) - Due to the myriad of injuries on the offensive line Kelly was thrust into action last year and he looked completely lost.  In his 10 starts he allowed five sacks and only Demetress Bell graded out as a worse player on the offensive line last year.  Kelly looked like a guy who still belonged on the practice squad looked like a player who had no business being on a NFL roster.  It would not surprise me to see him cut by the end of training camp.

Marvin McNutt, WR (Rd. 6, Pick 194) - McNutt was seen as a bit of a disappointment.  When the Eagles grabbed him in the 6th round it was thought they got a steal as McNutt was expected to come off the board in the 4th or 5th round.  He was supposed to give the Eagles some more size on the outside, but he did not make the active roster out of camp and only did make the active roster after injuries hit the receiving corps and they needed some bodies to fill spots on special teams.  He is another player that would not surprise me if he ends up being cut.

Brandon Washington, OL (Rd. 6, Pick 200) - Washington was, at the time, considered a steal as well.  Most experts said he likely would have developed into a first or second round pick had he stayed in school for another year.  Washington, however, failed to even make the active roster for the Eagles spending the year on the practice squad.  Given all the injuries they had on the offensive line last season it says a lot that he was never activated.

Bryce Brown, RB (Rd. 7, Pick 229) - Brown could end up being the steal of this draft.  He has the talent to be an elite back in the league as the 347 yards and 4 TDs he racked up in a two week stretch against Dallas and Carolina proved.  He has good speed and size and should only improve over time as he plays more.  The only thing potentially holding him back is his propensity to fumble.  If he continues to fumble the ball the way he did last season then nobody will want him on their team.