As of late, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has been a common pairing with the Eagles in mock drafts. The defensive tackle position seems to be an area of serious consideration for the Eagles first round pick, and Cox is one of a number of defensive tackles who projects to be taken in the first round.
Cox decided to leave MSU early in order to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. He stands at 6-4, 298 pounds and as viewed as a player who has the potential to put on some bulk at the next level. His athleticism has been a key driver to his success in college but it seems some added strength to his frame could help him when he enters the NFL.
Adding bulk to his frame is just one of the reasons many scouts see a lot of potential in Cox. He has a lot of raw ability that can still be coached up. When he enters the league, he won’t be able to rely as heavily on his athleticism, so he will need to really hone his technique.
In college, Cox showed a lot of versatility. He was able to play any position on the defensive line, including moving out to defensive end. Cox wasn’t used as the big guy in the middle to stuff the run. Instead, he is more of a high-motor type player that gets up the field quickly and has the ability to rush the passer from up the middle.
He is good at getting off the ball quickly and many offensive lineman have had trouble dealing with his quickness. Cox is also good with his hands, so coupling this with his quickness, he is able to get into the backfield without hesitation and this was a key factor in his 14.5 tackles for loss last year.
Check out this video of Cox against the National Champion Crimson Tide this season, via DraftBreakdown.com.
As I mentioned, Cox has been a common pairing with the Eagles among mock drafts. I believe one of the key contributors to his match is the fact that he fits the Eagles system well. With Jim Washburn at the helm, the Eagles defensive line has the key goal of getting upfield and penetrating the backfield as quickly as possible.
Cox has shown to be a talented player in college, but he doesn’t appear to be anywhere near his ceiling which makes him a very attractive prospect. In the Eagles wide-nine system, Cox seems to be a good fit with his natural pass rushing ability.
In terms of his draft projection, the Eagles do have the firepower to potentially move up earlier in the first round to go after a player they like. I think Cox could be a good option at the 15th overall selection, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with them moving to get him.