Jamar Chaney has a Fletcher Cox story. Chaney, the Eagles' linebacker who helped recruit Cox to Mississippi State, played one year there with Cox, the Eagles' first-round draft choice Thursday night. Then the next spring, Chaney started making the rounds of NFL teams, before being drafted by the Eagles in the seventh round in 2010.
"I was visiting the Patriots, and they were having me break down some film of our (Mississippi State) defense," Chaney recalled Friday. "As we were watching, they stopped me and asked, 'Who is No. 94?' I said, 'That's Fletcher Cox. He's a true freshman.' "
So Chaney, who said he still talks to or texts Cox about once a week, and shares the same agent group, knew the big, smooth defensive tackle was going to follow him to the NFL. Like a lot of Birds' fans, Chaney hoped Cox would follow him to the Eagles, didn't know if it would happen.
"I knew we wanted him. I didn't know he was going to be there. I thought he would go in the top 10," Chaney said the day after the Eagles traded up from 15th overall to 12th for Cox, making Cox their highest selection in the first round since they took another defensive tackle, Corey Simon, sixth overall in 2000.
Chaney recalled that Cox was a huge recruit for Mississippi State, could have gone anywhere he wanted, including talent-laden Alabama, but wanted to stay near his Yazoo City, Miss., home.
"He's a natural pass rusher," Chaney said. "He came to Mississippi State as a defensive end ... He's not just a workout warrior, he'll get to the ball."
Chaney compared Cox's skill set to that of Eagles defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. Chaney said he spoke with Cox after the Birds drafted him Thursday night.
"I just told him he's going to love the scheme," Chaney said.