The Eagles focused on defense in the 2012 NFL Draft and so far have earned high marks from various draft analysts for their work. Obviously, these grades are almost totally meaningless as it's impossible to "grade" a draft class without seeing the players actually perform... but we all love the validation of seeing our team graded well don't we?
As we noted over the weekend, Mel Kiper was very high on the Eagles draft giving them an A, tied for the highest grade of any team.
"One of the best drafts in terms of lining up needs and getting guys at spots where I didn’t think they’d still be around," said Kiper. "They moved up to get Fletcher Cox, an immediate starter. Mychal Kendricks is a perfect fit, and at No. 46, a really good value. The Eagles look a lot better up the middle after this weekend"
CBS Sports' Rob Rang also gave the Eagles an "A" for their effort.
"So much of the focus of the Eagles' wide-9 defense is placed on the outside pass rushers," said Rang. "For this scheme to work effectively, however, the team needs penetrating interior defenders -- just like Fletcher Cox, the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the draft, who could prove a steal at No. 12 overall. The Eagles landed arguably the draft's most explosive linebacker in Cal's Mychal Kendricks, the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and an ideal wide-9 edge rusher in Marshall's Vinny Curry in the third round"
John Czarnecki of Fox Sports also liked the Eagles draft, handing them a "B."
"Coach Andy Reid took a lot of heat last season for naming offensive-line coach Juan Castillo his defensive coordinator," Czarnecki wrote. "Well, this year Castillo has run out of excuses, because they drafted some tremendous defensive talent. Fletcher Cox can anchor the interior of Philadelphia's wide-nine approach with its pass rushers. Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks was the second-best middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme."
Pete Prisco's came in between the others at "B+"
"The Eagles landed three good defensive players with their first three picks, including top pick Fletcher Cox. They had to improve that side of the ball. After that, they picked up some quality players in the latter rounds. It was a good weekend for the Eagles."