The Eagles originally had the 51st pick, but traded it to Green Bay, who selected defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. The Eagles moved down eight spots, but picked up an extra fourth round pick.
Curry, 23, was originally projected to be a late first round pick or an early second pick. The 6’3, 266-pound defensive end has an explosive first step and has been compared to Trent Cole.
Head coach Andy Reid said that the selection of Curry is simply taking the best player available on the draft board, which has been the Eagles’ strategy so far this year.
Curry almost certainly won’t start next season, because the Eagles have a pair of Pro Bowl caliber defensive ends in Trent Cole and Jason Babin, but he is expected to compete for playing time with 2010 first round draft pick Brandon Graham, veteran Darryl Tapp, and former CFL sack leader Phillip Hunt. According to Reid, Curry has one speed: 100 miles per hour.
The current speculation on Twitter, and I would agree, is that Tapp is on his way out of Philly. He’s 28, and is expected to make $2.4 million next season, which is more than the Eagles need to pay a backup.
The Eagles ranked first in the entire NFL in sacks last season. In 2012, they will return Babin and Cole. They add a fully healthy Brandon Graham, a more experienced Phillip Hunt, and a rookie playmaker in Vinny Curry. They also return Cullen Jenkins, the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the NFL, as well as Patterson, Landri, a healthy Dixon, and rookie first round draft pick Fletcher Cox.
The Eagles are clearly focusing on defense in the 2012 NFL draft, and I love it. I absolutely love it. This is the first time in a while I can think of the Eagles keeping their fans happy (not that that’s the most important thing, but it’s still nice), and selecting players who are all considered to be steals.