NEW YORK - Mississippi State three-year standout defensive tackle and 2011 All-American Fletcher Cox was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall. Cox is the 10th first-round pick in school history and the second in the last two years.
"I am so proud of Fletcher for the tremendous honor of being a first-round draft pick tonight," Head Coach Dan Mullen said. "He has worked for everything he has earned and is the epitome of what being a Bulldog is all about."
A native of Yazoo City, Miss., Cox was a three-year letter winner on the defensive line and aided the Bulldogs to seven wins and a bowl victory during the 2011 campaign. An early entry into this year's NFL Draft, he was named to both the AP and Coaches' All-Southeastern Conference teams following his junior season and was a prominent figure on the Mississippi State defense throughout his career.
Cox helped lead the Bulldogs to Egg Bowl victories in each of his three seasons, as well as victories in the 2011 Gator Bowl and the 2012 Music City Bowl. Over the last two seasons, Cox paved the way for the Bulldog defensive front that allowed less than 20 points per game, good enough to finish among the top 25 nationally both years. Cox led the team in 2011 with 14.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.
A prized recruit in high school, Cox burst onto the scene at Mississippi State by receiving Freshman All-Southeastern Conference honors in 2009. He went on to start in 25 games throughout his decorated career with the Bulldogs, racking up 24.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and a school-record five blocked kicks.
Cox is the first defensive lineman chosen from Mississippi State in the first round since Glen Collins was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 26th pick in 1982.
Many more Bulldogs hope to hear their names called as the 2012 NFL Draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds and concludes Saturday with rounds four through seven. For more information on the MSU draft picks, follow the program on Twitter at Twitter.com/MStateFB and like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateFB
All-Time MSU Players Selected in the First Round
Pick Year Pos. Name Team
2 1982 LB Johnie Cooks Baltimore Colts
5 1956 RB Art Davis Pittsburgh Steelers
8 1983 RB Michael Haddix Philadelphia Eagles
8 1959 DB Bill Stacy Chicago Cardinals
10 1975 DT Jimmy Webb San Francisco 49ers
12 2012 DL Fletcher Cox Philadelphia Eagles
13 1996 DB Walt Harris Chicago Bears
24 1996 WR Eric Moulds Buffalo Bills
26 1982 DE Glen Collins Cincinnati Bengals
32 2011 OL Derek Sherrod Green Bay Packers
All-Time MSU Defensive Lineman Selected in the NFL Draft
(Since AFL/NFL Merger in 1970)
Pick (Overall) Round Year Pos. Name Team
12 (12) 1 2012 DL Fletcher Cox Philadelphia Eagles
19 (215) 8 1992 DT Nate Williams Pittsburgh Steelers
5 (116) 5 1991 DT Robert Young Los Angeles Rams
13 (264) 10 1989 DT Anthony Butts Denver Broncos
7 (284) 11 1986 NT Pat Swoopes New Orleans Saints
2 (26) 1 1982 DE Glen Collins Cincinnati Bengals
2 (113) 5 1981 DE Tyrone Keys New York Jets
12 (290) 11 1978 DT Larry Gillard Cleveland Browns
10 (10) 1 1975 DT Jimmy Webb San Francisco 49ers
Mississippi State Football Draft Notes:
Ten Bulldog players have been selected in the opening round of the NFL Draft. A breakdown on those selections includes three running backs, three defensive linemen, one wide receiver, one offensive lineman, one linebacker and one defensive back.
Mississippi State has had a player drafted in the first round in back-to-back years for the first time since 1982 and 1983 when Johnie Cooks and (2nd overall) and Glen Collins (26th overall) were chose in the 1982 draft, and Michael Haddix (8th overall) was chosen in the 1983 draft.
A MSU defensive lineman has been drafted in three of the last five years. In all, there have been 18 Bulldog defensive linemen selected in the draft. Cox is the highest MSU player drafted since Michael Haddix was chosen eighth overall by the Eagles in the 1983 NFL Draft.
Under Head Coach Dan Mullen, Mississippi State has had seven players taken in the NFL Draft (as of the end of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft), including two first-round draft choices. The seven overall and two first-round selections are the most by any university in Mississippi since Mullen arrived in 2009.
Cox became the 15th Bulldog drafted by the Eagles and the first MSU defensive lineman chosen by Philadelphia. He was the first State player selected by the organization since Jamar Chaney was a seventh-round choice in 2009.