Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State) as the 12th overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE
While the Eagles got production from the interior offensive line, mostly from Cullen Jenkins, overall it was pretty clear that the team was seen as soft up the middle. This offseason, they've obviously made it a priority to fix that. The first step was the trade for MLB DeMeco Ryans, the next step was getting Fletcher Cox.
Scouts Inc. says that the pair of Ryans and Cox makes for a "dramatic" upgrade to the interior of the Eagles defense.
Even though it initially looks like the Eagles are in pretty good shape on the inside of their defensive line, in this Wide Nine defensive scheme, where they really play their linebackers on the edge, it gives the interior of this defense a lot of space to cover. He should be an excellent inside penetrator and a lot of one-gap schemes and the Eagles love to use a deep rotation on the defensive line and come at offenses in waves. Andy Reid will never pass on a good interior player. With Cox upfront and newly acquired DeMeco Ryans at MLB coming from Houston as a free agent, the interior of this defense has dramatically been upgraded.
With Cox coming in and Brandon Graham returning healthy, the Eagles will be very young and talented on the defensive line next season and into the future.