There were people who said Fletcher Cox was the best defensive player available in the draft, and some of those people were Eagles' fans, so there was little complaining, for once, when the Birds burned fourth and sixth-round selections to move up three spots. taking Cox 12th overall with the Seahawks' pick.
Cox would seem to be the difference-making defensive tackle the Birds so badly need in the middle of Jim Washburn's wide nine d-line. He is 6-4, 298 and has startling power and speed.
Cox told reporters on a conference call that he thought the Eagles were the best fit for him, that he prayed on it, and that his agents agreed with him about the fit. Washburn, the team's defensive line coach, came down to Yazoo City, Miss., and spent time with Cox before the draft. Cox said they watched tape together and he felt he could play Washburn's style with little adjustment needed.
"I'll bring excitement and a great attitude to Philadelphia," said Cox, who was a Mississippi State teammate of Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney. Chaney texted that Cox "will kill it in the wide nine."
Eagles coach Andy Reid said the Birds looked into moving up farther but didn't want to part with any second- or third-round picks. As other teams moved up to target players, they began to think they might really have a shot at Cox. The first five selections were offensive players. The Chiefs picked 11th, just before the Seahawks, but Reid said he figured they needed a nose tackle, which was what they got in 345-pound Dontari Poe. When that pick was made, the Eagles pulled the trigger on the deal.
Reid called Cox "one of those rare kids that size who can run," and said he would mostly play tackle but could move around.