Draft review: Philadelphia Eagles

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After analyzing the draft needs of all 32 teams, PFT will review how well each team addressed those needs. Up next: The Philadelphia Eagles.  

What they needed: Offensive tackle, quarterback, outside linebacker, cornerback, wide receiver.

Who they got:
Round 1: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma.
Round 2: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford.
Round 3: Bennie Logan, DT, LSU.
Round 4: Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California.
Round 5: Earl Wolff, S, North Carolina State.
Round 7: Joe Kruger, DE, Utah.
Round 7: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State.
Round 7: David King, DE, Oklahoma.

Where they hit: The Eagles simply had too big of a need at offensive tackle to pass on Johnson, who has exceptional athleticism for the position. If nothing else, the value of the position Johnson plays made him worth the No. 4 overall pick.

The Eagles made another logical decision in trading up for Barkley. If Barkley pans out, he will be well worth the pick. If he doesn’t, the Eagles surrendered just a seventh-round choice to move up to take the former Southern Cal star. What’s the risk?

Where they missed: The Eagles didn’t add an outside linebacker in the draft. Instead, they added more players along the defensive line (three) than at any position group. All things considered, this seems a reasonable move. The Eagles should be able to get enough out of Connor Barwin, Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Phillip Hunt at outside linebacker in 2013. Barwin has plenty of experience in a 3-4, while Cole has long been a tough, productive player.

Impact rookies: Johnson could begin at right tackle and eventually replace Jason Peters on the left side. Ertz seems a good bet to contribute in 2013, too, as does Logan, who bolsters the depth at nose tackle. The wild card is Barkley, whose chances of playing early would be enhanced if Philadelphia moves Nick Foles.

Long-term prospects: This was a good foundation draft class for the Eagles, one very clearly marked by Kelly’s vision for his new team. Johnson has considerable upside and could be a long-time starter if he continues to develop. Now, let’s see who emerges at quarterback in Kelly’s system. Does Michael Vick recapture his best form, or will Barkley or Foles challenge for time right off the bat?

26 responses to “Draft review: Philadelphia Eagles

  1. I seem to be the only person in Philadelphia who thought the draft was pretty bad. I love the Lane Johnson pick, but after that I thought it was either a bunch of reaches or there were positions of greater need (and value) still on the board.

  2. While it’s always too early to tell if it was a good draft or not, the Eagles had a great draft. They addressed their O-Line, which is what they needed to do. Johnson and Ertz will make an immediate impact. Barkley in the 4th could prove to be a good move. Wolff was a steal at Round 5 and could even be a starter by the end of this year. Logan is a little bit questionable, but then again, you never know what any of these guys will turn into. OLB wasn’t a dire need, they can get that next year in free agency or in the draft.

  3. I am happy with the Eagles draft. I think Chip Kelly is much more than a college coach with a gimmicky offense. I think he will fit in well with the way NFL offenses are evolving. Best case scenario could be Chip Kelly being the next Jimmy Johnson, however as a tortured Eagles fan I am not gonna get too ahead of myself just yet.

  4. I’d give them a B+. I’d rather have seen them take a safety or corner (or even OLB) than Barkley, but then again he very well might be a steal at the price. Don’t forget last year he would have been a top first round pick if he came out early (without Luck and RGIII he’d prob go #1). Slipping that far was pretty amazing.

  5. Great draft. The only downside to Ertz was the immediate run on CBs after he was picked and the bulk of the good crop was gone by the time the Eagles picked again. Ertz is going to be a great NFL player. Stanford has a really good program and their TE crop has produced Fleener (2nd rounder last year to the Colts), Ertz was a 2 this year and his team-mate, 6’8″ Levine Toilolo, went in the 4th round to the Falcons to be Tony Gonzalez’ understudy.

    OLB will be an interesting position, for sure. I’m not sure if that fits Trent Cole’s talent, unfortunately. We’ll see about Graham.

    The drafting of Barkley made me think this team will end up looking more like the Patriots than U of Oregon. Lots of tight ends, up-tempo pace, prolific pocket passer.

    Should be fun, if nothing else!

  6. The D-line picks indicate that they do not plan on doing a lot of 2-gapping. Taking Logan rather than Jenkins emphasizes that. So it would be either the 4-3 Under like Seattle or the 3-4 one gap like Houston or some variation of that type of defense.

    The Ertz pick and the Barkley pick hint that rather than replicating the Oregon offensive system, the Eagles may prefer to do something that looks a little bit more like New England does, particularly with the tight ends.

    When you have as many things to change as the Eagles do, you can’t expect to turn everything around in one draft. But there are a lot of good parts here.

  7. wegonefunkwichamind April 30, 2013, 6:17 PM EDT

    I seem to be the only person in Philadelphia who thought the draft was pretty bad. I love the Lane Johnson pick, but after that I thought it was either a bunch of reaches or there were positions of greater need (and value) still on the board.
    Yup, its just you. Ertz went right where he should’ve and wasn’t a reach at all. Benny Logan was one of only 2 questionable picks but still one with solid potential. I think 2-3 years from now, he will have surprised us. Barkley I wasn’t big on before the draft but snagging him in the 4th round is an unbelievable steal as he would have been a top 10 pick last year. How you judge that a reach defies logic. Wolfe had a 3rd round grade so again, snagging him in the 5th defies logic when called a reach. Kruger I don’t know anything about so this is my other “questionable” pick simply because I don’t know him, I’m assuming Kelly made this pick due to familiarity. I would have preferred a CB with this pick but we got a steal at that position later in the 7th with Poyer, who had a 4th-5th round grade. Again, how is this a reach? Lastly, King. He may have gone undrafted but at this point in the draft the picks don’t really matter so are you really upset at taking a huge DE from Oklahoma?

    So almost every pick was a guy rated to go higher yet you think they were all reaches. Please explain your logic…we’re all confused.

  8. Lane Johnson is a project, who was not even projected into the first round until the combine. Not sure if he is ready and definitely do not think he was worth fourth pick overall. Erstz is good pick, but they already have two tight ends. This draft seems weak to me.

  9. the talking heads do not think that Foles is involved in this discussion – just sayin’…
    Let us just say their level of improvement is quite under the radar for now – I don’t know anyone who is sweating the new look eagles on their schedule.

  10. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles’ jinx continues. Since 2006, whenever they have drafted the same position as the Giants before the Giants pick, the Eagles pick has not measured up.

    From the Star Ledger – – –

    2006 – d-line
    Eagles – Broderick Bunkley 156 tackles, 58 assists, 8.5 sacks, 3 FF , 1 fumble recov.
    Giants – Kiwanuka 250 tackles, 85 assists, 30 sacks, 9 FF 3 fumble recov.

    2009 – WR (closer stats which surprised me)
    Eagles – Maclin (#19) 258 catches , 3,453 yds avg. 13.4 ypc 26 td
    Giants – Nicks (#29) 255 catches, 3,726 yds 14.6 avg. ypc 27 td

    2010 – DE
    Eagles – Brandon Graham (#13) 8.5 sacks, 4 tackles for loss
    Giants – JPP (#15) 27 ½ sacks, 18 tackles for loss

    2013 – OT
    Eagles – L. Johnson (?)
    Giants – J. Pugh (?)

  11. The selection of Barkley tells us a couple things:

    1. Chip Kelly wasn’t kidding when he said he didn’t need a mobile QB, that he’d tailor his scheme to personnel.

    2. Adding in the fact the Eagles had an opportunity to trade Foles before the draft and didn’t, and that Vick is effectively on a one year deal, Chip Kelly isn’t married AT ALL to Michael Vick.

    The Eagles didn’t have interest in trading Foles before the draft, so they aren’t going to trade him now. If anyone should be worried about the Eagles drafting Barkley, it’s Mike Vick.

  12. I love the draft, and I don’t always love Eagles drafts. This team had so many needs that they were never going to fill all of them. But what they did well is stick to their board instead of reach for need (the Temple safety Jawquan Jarrett ring a bell). Lane Johnson is the athletic offensive lineman Chip needs for screens and quick hitting plays. Ertz is a TE that can be used all over the field. The media has wrongly framed the debate saying Kelly needs a running QB, where that is not what Kelly has been saying. Barkley proves it. For a 4th round pick, could be a steal. Poyer was a corner that could have went in the 2nd or 3rd round. And Kruger may be a steal at DE.

  13. I am totally down with their draft. Feels like that they avoided the “we’re smarter than everyone else” picks like Watkins, Jarrett, etc. Ertz is gonna be the next Gronkowski at best, and the next Celek at worst, so on him they certainly did the right thing. I understand those that think there were other positions of higher need, but I have no doubt he was best available where he was picked.

  14. I think the draft tells me that the starting quarterback competition is between Barkley and Foles. If Vick showed what they liked in the pre draft camp I think they would have waited to the later rounds and taken a mobile Q.B. to train behind Vick and Dixon. I expect this offense to be fast operating, fast thinking which i think would be a problem for Vick

  15. I liked the draft. In a perfect world, I’d of rather seen them trade down, got star at 10-11, and picked up some extra picks. But I don’t know that deal was there. Judging by other deals, it probably wasn’t.

    Happy with Johnson, very happy with Ertz. Not so thrilled with Logan, but could be a good fit as a 3-4 DE. I didn’t want Barkley as a 1 or 2, but no problem with him as a 4. Seems like a very high ceiling pick. I think Wolff and Poyer are going to be steals when you look back on this in a few years. Kruger and King I don’t know much about, but they are 7th round picks

  16. dallascowboysdishingthereal says:
    Apr 30, 2013 8:32 PM
    I think their first 3 picks were solid. After that, not so good.

    The trade up to get Barkley was a bonehead move like Jerry Jones would make.

    The makings of a dream team, this draft is not.

    No, a Jones trade would be to get a 3rd to drop 12 slots, from 19-31, only to watch the Pats get a half a draft to drop from 30-48.

    The Eagles traded a 7th round pick to move up and get a guy with no downside in the 4th

  17. dallascowboysdishingthereal says:
    Apr 30, 2013 8:32 PM
    I think their first 3 picks were solid. After that, not so good.

    The trade up to get Barkley was a bonehead move like Jerry Jones would make.

    The makings of a dream team, this draft is not.
    Are you kidding me this was the best draft class the eagles have had in the past 3 or 4 years. By the end and quite possibly by the mid of this season at least 6 of the drafted players will be seeing significant playing time (granted I also think vick will realize that this isn’t his team by then either being 2nd string or another migraine)

    I think there is a bigger question we must ask: Why does it seem that the sports teams in philly wanna keep hold of players that keep getting concussions when it is obvious it makes them only good enough to play for dallas cowboys I mean anyone is better then romo?

  18. I had a very gloomy view of Chip Kelly going into the draft.

    But, I feel much better about Coach Kelly after the draft.

    Big supporter of Andy Reid but I grew weary of all the trading he did during the drafts he was in charge of.

    It was nice to see the Eagles not try to outsmart themselves and just draft solid and steady.

    Best draft in a while.

  19. the last two picks in this draft can almost define the entire mentallity and change of scope this organization is undergoing.

    in prior years, the last two picks would have either been 5’11 LBs or 230lb DE’s.
    The shift to big, mean, strong players is evident.

    That being said, no matter how you spin it, that #1 pick Lane Johnson, is a project player. The eagles used the #4 pick in the draft to grab the 3rd best player at the position. He better get coached up quick.

    The rest of the draft seems legit. All players had higher grades and only dropped because of earlier runs at each position.

    8-8 guaranteed.
    Divisional title or at least 2nd in the NFC East

  20. Lot’s of people are wondering what to expect from Chip Kelly’s Eagles and how the offense will look, what kind of crazy plays are used, and how much aggression we will have. Here is my take:

    The Eagles will look very similar to how the New England Patriots work, only we will run the ball a lot more. We will have the two headed tight end monster set, or even three if we can get Celek and Casey to split the reps at #2. I fully expect Ertz to be the starter.

    We also drafted Matt Barkley, who is very comparable to Tom Brady. Now I am not saying Barkley will have the success that Brady has had, but I feel as if Barkley can BE the NFC’s version of him. Brady and Barkley both throw the ball the same, and have very good accuracy and not the strongest of arms, but of course, they both get the job done. Drafting Barkley in the 4th round will prove to be one of the best draft steals in NFL History, remember that.

    We also have an elite offensive line. I know, I know, you must be saying that I am insane. But we get Jason Peters who is the best LT in the NFL back at 100%. We also get Jason Kelce back, who had an extremely successful rookie season as center, and also brings that fun a looseness to the locker room. We also get Todd Herremans back at health, who I believe is a very underrated guard. We added Lane Johnson who could just be the next Jon Runyan or even the next Tra Thomas or at least Jason Peters. Then we will have Evan Mathis who really showed good effort last season, and Danny Watkins will best suit as a rotational lineman, playing guard and tackle.

    So these are my cases of why I think the Eagles will look very similar to the Patriots. Fun fact, Did you know that the Patriots’ fast tempo pace was inspired by our very own Chip Kelly? He and Bill Belichick are good friends, and both of them are very good at what they do.

  21. The Eagles line looks good on paper right now (prior to injries etc), but Watkins is not well suited for a roational lineman playing both guard and tackle. He is best suited as a fireman, and will not be on the roster for the season. Without many of the young guys getting a chance, just off the top of my head, non-starters better than him are Dallas Reynolds, Dennis Kelly, Matt Reynolds, and Julian Vandervelde.

    They are also all more experienced, but younger by 2-5 years (with the exception of Dallas Reynolds, who is a few months older). The guy flat out can’t play. He’s not a guy like Peters, or Johnson who played another postition and switched over, he’s a guy that never played football. There are certain positions that is possible (mainly DL) where a guy can survive on talent with little technique. Not possible at OL where half the battle is technique/schemes

  22. I am not quite ready to give up on Watkins yet. I am gonna go out on the line and say….Your gonna see a different Danny Watkins in camp this season. If Danny works out, Birds will actually have a very good Off. Line. If Danny works out, The Birds will actually have some trade bait.

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