The Philadelphia Eagles are having an outstanding 2012 NFL draft. On Day 1, they made a great move by jumping up three slots to snatch DT Fletcher Cox. On Day 2, the Eagles followed up with two good picks and a nice trade.
Notice I said two good picks? But, didn’t they take three players? Yes, they took three players, I’m just not thrilled with the Eagles’ third-round pick. However, more on that later.
At pick No. 46, the Eagles selected California linebacker Mychal Kendricks. He’s 5′ 11″, 240 lbs and has great athleticism. He was one of the players I was hoping the Eagles would target on Day 2 because I still saw linebacker as the biggest need.
Here is a great quote from Pro Football Weekly about Kendricks:
A fast, physical, powerful, high-motor stalwart, Kendricks smells blood in the water, hits with thump and has a desirable makeup. Is a scheme-versatile, seek-and-destroy ’backer who stands out on tape and could make an impact readily.
Hmmm, “smells blood in the water” and is a “seek and destroy” linebacker…sounds like exactly what this team needs!
Here’s what NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock thinks of the Eagles taking Kendricks:
“I thought he was one of the most productive and active linebackers in college football. He’s instinctive, he can run, and I think he fits what the Eagles do. They have DeMeco Ryans inside. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kendricks outside.”
Greg Cosell of NFL Films, an excellent evaluator of talent, had this to say:
Love Eagles pick of Kendricks. Clearly philosophy change re: LB with signing of Ryans + drafting of Kendricks. Fast + physical, + can blitz.
Best 4-3 LB in draft after Kuechly. As I said, an excellent blitzer. Great sidline-to-sideline range.
Clearly, the Eagles seem to have gotten a player at linebacker. With Kendricks and Demeco Ryans, the biggest weakness on the team in 2011 now may just be one of their biggest strengths!
Andy Reid has already stated he plans to put Kendricks at the SAM ‘backer spot, where he’ll likely compete with Jamar Chaney for the starting role. Though I preferred Luke Kuechly in the first round, I’m extremely happy with Kendricks.
The Eagles initially held pick No. 51 in the second-round as well. However, they made a nice trade with Green Bay that netted them the No. 59 pick as well as Green Bay’s fourth-rounder (pick No. 123).
We should have figured that Andy Reid couldn’t be without a fourth-round pick. After trading the only one he had so that he could move up to land Fletcher Cox, he probably started having delirium tremens from mid-round pick withdraw.
However, it was still a good trade.
At No. 59, the Eagles selected Marshall DE Vinny Curry, another player I was strongly hoping they’d target on Day 2. Curry is a 6′ 3″, 266 lbs highly productive player who posted 23 sacks, 40 tackles for a loss and nine forced fumbles the past two seasons.
Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner had this to say about Curry:
Curry is an outstanding fast-twitch, first-step athlete — he comes off the snap with lightning speed and is very good at finding or creating an opening right away. Total forward-motion player who is always looking for the ballcarrier in the backfield.
Even when he comes up late off the count, he’s fast enough to get going and create problems for opposing tackles. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Curry’s game is his upper-body strength; combined with his speed, he’s got a lot of pass-rush potential at any level because he doesn’t just vaporize when presented with power blocking.
He will bull-rush with consistency and can actually keep a blocker at bay with one hand at times while waiting for a play to develop. Very difficult to handle one-on-one when playing from a wide slanted position, because he will double back if he overplays the original rush.
Great edge-rusher in four-fronts from either side, though one of his best moves is the inside stunt from the LDE position. Quick enough from the line to blow up swing and screen passes before the back gets very far. Startling chase speed; Curry can be a factor on plays happening yards away from him because of his ridiculous speed and great motor.
Right now, Curry has two speeds: “Off” and “Kill.”
Farrar actually listed that last line about his two speeds of “off and kill” as a negative. However, I prefer to read it as when he steps off the field he’s “off”, and when he steps on the field he switches to “kill” mode.
Yeah, that’s it!
Either way, I love the addition of Curry. He will pair with Fletcher Cox to add even more punch to a defensive line that recorded 50 sacks last season. Once again, Andy Reid and the Eagles hold true to the notion that you can never have too many pass rushers.
At pick No. 88 in the third round, I was hoping for a cornerback or a punt/kick returner, or even better — a cornerback who could return punts and kicks. Players like Brandon Boykin, Chase Minnifield and Joe Adams were still on the board when the Eagles’ pick came up.
However, in typical Eagles fashion, they decided to use their third-round pick on a project player in taking Arizona quarterback Nick Foles.
I’ve been dead-set against adding a QB in this draft because the chances of any quarterback taken in rounds two and three becoming a productive starter are slim. In fact, only three out of 34 QBs taken in these rounds between 1996-2010 ever became a solid starter.
That’s about a 9% success rate, which obviously isn’t good. However, maybe Reid can perform his magic and transform Foles into another second-round pick in two or three years.
As for Foles himself, he’s huge for a QB at 6′ 5″, 243 lbs, which is about exactly the same size as Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger. As a senior last year, completed 387 out of a whopping 560 pass attempts for 4,389 yard, 28 TDs, 14 INTs and a pretty darn good 69.1 completion percentage.
However, he put these numbers up because the was playing in a spread offense that aired it out a lot, as well as playing in numerous shootout-type games. Here is a scouting report on him, courtesy of WalterFootball.com:
- Powerful arm
- Quick release
- Big pocket presence
- Gritty; fighter
- Excellent height
- Good bulk to take hits
- Improved accuracy
- Displays gunslinger mentality
- Experienced 3-year starter
- Field vision
- Lacks mobility
- Too many interceptions
Foles has the arm strength to be a starting quarterback at the next level. He also has big hands (10 5/8), measuring out with the largest hands of any quarterback in the 2012 draft class. However, he is going to need to become a more heady signal-caller who improves his accuracy in the NFL.
For Foles, it will be all about him landing with the right coaching staff and offensive system. If that falls into place, he could be a better pro quarterback than his draft slot would indicate. Foles could go as high as the third round or as low as the fifth round.
Most draftniks had Foles rated as a sixth-round player and someone that will need to develop. I didn’t like this pick in the third round as I felt there was much better value on the board at the time. However, if anybody can make a QB look good, it’s Andy Reid.
All in all, Day 2 of the 2012 NFL draft was another great day for the Eagles. Let’s see what Day 3 brings.