2012 NFL Draft: Philadelphia Eagles Trade Up in 1st Round, Select DT Fletcher Cox

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The Philadelphia Eagles have traded up in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft to select Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

The Eagles originally had the 15th pick in the draft but traded with the Seattle Seahawks to select Cox at the 12th pick.

Cox, 21, is projected by most as the best defensive lineman in the entire draft. The fact that the Eagles could get him in the middle of the first round is extremely impressive.

The 6’4, 298-pound Cox runs a 4.79 40-yard dash, which is as fast as you can get for a defensive tackle. He benches 225 pounds 30 times. He can line up at defensive tackle and end, and he is regarded as the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the league.

According to CBSSports.com, Cox was the seventh best draft prospect. He left after his junior year, and was a two and a half year starter at Mississippi State.

This marks the fourth time that Andy Reid has selected a defensive tackle in the first round of the draft (Corey Simon in 2000, Mike Patterson in 2005, Brodrick Bunkley in 2006).

This is also the fourth time that Reid has traded up in the first round for a draft pick. He did so in 2003 (defensive end Jerome McDougle at 15), 2004 (guard Shawn Andrews at 16), 2009 (wide receiver Jeremy Maclin at 19), 2010 (defensive end Brandon Graham at 13), and 2012 (defensive tackle Fletcher Cox at 12).

He will immediately be put into a defensive tackle rotation with Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Derek Landri, and Antonio Dixon. Heading into next season, I expect Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson to remain the starters, but I think Cox will take away the starting job from Patterson midway through the season.

However, the Eagles also use a rotation as much as any team in the NFL, so Cox will probably play between 40 and 70 percent of plays next season.