Before the 2012 NFL Draft, the Eagles were adamant that they would remain true to the board and select the best player available.
There was no surprise that the Eagles selected a defensive tackle in Fletcher Cox in the first round. It's not a surprise that strongside linebacker Mychal Kendricks was picked in the second round. But when Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry was drafted with the Eagles' second pick in the second round, which was acquired after trading down with Green Bay, that signaled the Eagles stuck to their pre-draft mission.
"There's no way we could pass him up," said head coach Andy Reid of Curry.
The Eagles have two Pro Bowl defensive ends in Jason Babin and Trent Cole. They have a 2010 first-round pick in Brandon Graham. They have veteran Darryl Tapp and a promising young player in Phillip Hunt.
Reid insisted that using the team's first three picks on defense wasn't the plan. He said that it's simply the way the draft played out.
"However, it's welcomed," Reid said.
The Eagles have added three athletic players who will boost a defense that greatly improved towards the end of the 2011 season.
With Kendricks, Reid said that the Eagles are "getting a phenomenal pass rusher off that strong side. You're getting somebody who can cover the tight end. His pass cover skills are really strong."
Kendricks was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Even though Kendricks is 5-11 and will battle against taller tight ends, Reid said that the ball was thrown around quite a bit in the Pac-12 and that area of his game is strong.
"He's the type of player that doesn't present you with a lot of weaknesses," Reid said.
With Curry, Reid said the Eagles had a late first/early second-round grade on the Neptune, N.J. native, who is a die-hard Eagles fan.
"He's got one speed and that's 100 miles an hour," Reid said. "That's how he plays."
The Eagles didn't "need" a defensive end. But now the Eagles have increased the competition greatly on the defensive side of the ball. It will only make training camp, and eventually this team, that much improved.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider