The Eagles have made it a theme to pretty much find a rookie who can come in and contribute (and likely start) right from the get-go. I don't think that this year will bring us anything different along those lines.
Now obviously the answer to this question is likely Kendricks since he's easily a guy starting day 1. However I don't want the obvious pick so I'll leave him out of this.
After the jump we'll get into some of the more recent rookies to come in and play for us then we'll move into who I think will make the biggest impact for us in 2012.
2008 Draft: Desean Jackson.
As everybody knows Desean came in and played well his rookie year, he started 15 of 16 games accumulated 912 receiving yards on 62rec with 2 TD's. Not only did Desean help make an impact of offense from his first day but he brought a pop to our Punt Return game that we haven't had since Mitchell was back there making people look stupid.
2009 Draft: Jeremy Maclin.
Maclin made an immediate impact early his rookie year, due to injuries he was thrust into action a few weeks into the season and he didn't disappoint. He gave the Eagles 56 rec for 773 yards and 4 TDs and since then has developed into the Eagles best WR and one of the more consistent players on the team.
2010 Draft: Nate Allen.
Nate had an up and down rookie year, he started every game up until week 13 when he got injured. However Nate definitely made a big impact in his rookie year with 48 tackles, 2 sacks, 8 pass defenses and 3 INT's. He made a huge impact and seemed to be the guy to sure up the terrible safety situation.
2011 Draft: Jason Kelce.
Kelce seemed primed to take the starting Center position right from the beginning, I think Mudd pretty much had him tagged as the Center of the future before he was even drafted. He started all 16 games last season and fit right in with guys like Peters and Herremans. The jury is still out on whether he's the next big thing at Center for us but it's looking really good for now.
Who is poised to make the biggest impact in 2012?
Option #1: Vinny Curry, DE.
Curry simply fits our scheme along the DL, he had 22 TFL, 11 sacks and 8 QB hurries his senior year. The underrated thing about Curry is he has a knack for causing fumbles with 7 last season. Adding a guy who has the ability to get after the QB to this defensive line is something any team would be excited about. The reason I think Curry can make a big impact is because after Trent Cole and Jason Babin we have Tapp who's a career role player (and a very good one at that), Graham who hasn't done anything since tearing his ACL and Hunt who's in his second year after coming from Canada last season. That's great depth however if you take away one of the starters and Graham we're severely depleted at DE.
Option #2: Fletcher Cox, DT.
If there was ever a player made for the Wide-9 I think you're looking at him. Cox is simply a monster on the inside who has the potential to become one of the best players Washburn has ever coached, just think of what would've happened had Washburn had Cullen Jenkins in Tennessee at 22-23 years old. With Patterson's AVM and age and with Cullen Jenkins' age and tendency to taper off towards the end of the season I think Cox will end up a starter very soon, not to mention he's in the same boat as Curry right now and is only an injury away from not only starting but becoming a vital piece to our defensive system.
Option #3: Brandon Boykin, CB/KR.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Joselio Hanson; Those are the 3 guys I'd list ahead of Boykin right now. Nnamdi and DRC are simply more talented than he is and Hanson has some seniority to his name, the rest of the guys are pretty much in the same boat as Boykin but I don't think they're as talented as he is. So it's not inconceivable to think that Boykin will have to play a bunch this season, he may even surpass Hanson if he has a good training camp and preseason.
In the NFL good Corners are hard to come by and even a quality Slot CB is a rarity but another aspect of Boykins game which will help us day 1 is his Kick Returning ability. We didn't have a good Kick Return game last season and that's a lot of hidden yardage that we didn't have, there's a big difference between starting at the 20 yard line every single drive and starting at the 30 yard line 50% of the time.
Option #4: Marvin McNutt, WR.
Our production out of the Slot WR over the last two years hasn't been that great, Avant's pretty much given us 103 receptions, 1252 receiving yards and just 2 TD's. I'm not sitting here knocking Avant, he's a valuable asset to have and is clutch on 3rd down but I just think that he can be improved upon. This is where I think McNutt can come in, he has similar speed to Avant but he's much bigger at 6'4 215lbs. McNutt would not only provide us with a big and physical Redzone threat as well as a big target for the middle of the field. This all depends however on if he can supplant Avant.
Which Rookie do you see having the biggest impact this season?
Vinny Curry (25 votes)
Fletcher Cox (159 votes)
Brandon Boykin (110 votes)
Marvin McNutt (7 votes)
Other (42 votes)
343 total votes