A group of Yazoo City students celebrate moments after hearing Fletcher Cox was selected by the Philadephia Eagles with the 12th overall selection. Yazoo City High School hosted a draft watching party for the former Indian that was filled with emotion with each selection.By TAYLOR MITCHELL
Four years ago when Fletcher Cox first came to Yazoo City High School, Leann Hardage never thought the “bean pole” of a student would be an NFL player.
“You could tell he was going to do something great,” Hardage, who taught Cox history all four years at Yazoo City, said. “But I never thought he’d be an NFL professional.”
On Thursday night that’s exactly what Cox became when the Philadelphia Eagles traded up two spots, from No. 14 to No. 12, to pick the ex-Mississippi State Bulldog.
“I couldn’t be prouder,” Cox’s former high school coach Tony Woolfolk said. “He didn’t go in the top ten like we thought, but he’s a first rounder and that’s great.”
Cox joins a defense that gave up 4.9 yards per carry against runs up the middle. The Eagles, who have traded up in the first round only five times under head coach Andy Reid’s 10 plus years at the helm, believe that Cox could be the answer to the middle of the defense.
“We talked about Philly during the scouting process,” Woolfolk said. “He’ll fit in there good. He told me about Philadelphia after he visited them and thought he would fit into their scheme perfectly. And he will.”
In the weeks and months leading up to Thursday night’s first of seven round draft, Cox had leaped up the position rankings and mock drafts to where he was thought to be a top ten pick. When the Jaguars traded up to the fifth overall pick, the crowd inside Yazoo City’s cafeteria went silent with anticipation.
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