The Eagles started their rookie workouts this weekend at the Nova Care Complex, so I got the chance to take a good look at the Birds first round pick, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
Cox gets off on the ball. His first step quickness jumps out at you. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn demands that out of his defensive linemen but the innate quickness of Cox is noticeable because he’s both big and extremely quick.
I’ve seen that type of quickness at the defensive end position, but you rarely see it at the defensive tackle spot. Cox does a great job with his hands, which is unusual for rookies. Still, it’s not time to get all worked up about Cox beating other rookies in shorts.
Of course Washburn was getting after his prize pupil with his loud voice during his first workouts. This wasn’t anything new to Cox.
“It was like working with Coach Wilson back at Mississippi State. They’ll both get after you and coach you really hard. They’ll get right into you”, Cox said.
Washburn had Cox playing both defensive tackle and defensive end, which is also nothing new for him because he did the same thing at Mississippi State.
“He moved me to end to today, both sides to see what I could do. He asked me if I wanted to go to end and I told him it really didn’t matter”, Cox said after the practice on Saturday.
The youngster is off the ball like a shot at either spot. His combination of size, strength along with tremendous speed and quickness will give the centers and guards in the league major problems. If they can get to this kid to play up to his ability, it will make the Birds defensive line of Jason Babin, Trent Cole and Cullen Jenkins, very difficult to deal with.
The Eagles should have an outstanding pass rush this year because you can’t double-team everybody. With Babin, Cole and Jenkins absent from the rookie workouts, the Eagles offensive line double-teamed Cox on just about every play during the 11-on-11 segment of practice.
“It wasn’t a big deal. They’re there to compete, I’m there to compete against them”, Cox said.