With the 2013 NFL Draft almost in the books, I think it’s safe to start diagnosing and criticizing Howie Roseman and Co.’s 2013 draft class. After all, the latter is what we do best here in Philadelphia isn’t it?
I’m not going to cover every draft pick in this article, I just want to talk about the most compelling three picks.
Let’s get right to it.
I’m not going to lie, when the Eagles drafted Lane Johnson with the 4th pick I was like what the eff? I knew who he was and I knew he was athletic since unlike most people, I actually watch the offensive lineman during the combine coverage. Lane Johnson is indeed an athletic specimen.
He ran an unbelievable 4.7 40 yard dash, which is as fast, or faster than a lot of tight ends, quarterbacks and even some linebackers. He has great foot speed, and he’s fast off the ball. He’s also quick to get to the next level of blockers, and maybe the biggest attribute and likely the icing on the cake for Howie and Chip is that Lane Johnson played in an up tempo, no-huddle offense for two years at Oklahoma.
With all of that being said–I’m not sure if drafting a guy who hasn’t played the position for more than about 24 games with the 4th overall pick is the greatest idea.
You see, there’s this guy on our team named Danny Watkins. If you remember correctly we were fed the same line of ******** about him. He’s athletic. He has a high motor. He has a mean streak. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
After all that talk, we found out in before the season even started that Watkins couldn’t play. Not even a little bit. 1st round pick, right down the drain.
Now we’re hearing the same thing about Lane Johnson, and on top of that, just about every analyst out there is saying that he’s raw, which Chip Kelly and his college coach Bob Stoops have publicly acknowledged as well.
I understand that very few offensive tackles come into the league polished and ready to play. But we’re talking about the 4th pick in the draft. The 4th pick in the draft should be able to step right in and contribute right away. Lane Johnson is sounding like more of a project so far than a starting tackle.
They used a first round pick on a raw, inexperienced offensive lineman, exactly one year after using a first round pick on a raw, inexperienced offensive lineman.
Lane Johnson is athletic, but I’m going to take a wait-and-see approach before I get too excited.
Not even going to lie, I had absolutely no idea this man existed on planet Earth. Apparently though he is the real deal, and with the way offenses are using tight ends now in the NFL, it’s a position that is becoming almost like the quarterback position in that you have to have two good ones on the roster (if not three).
At 6’6″ 250lbs, this kid obviously has the size of a prototypical NFL tight end, and he’s been highly regarded in his precise route running and ability to create separation with defenders. He’s a tough kid, and he improved dramatically each year at Stanford.
What’s more, Ertz was mentored by former 49er’s great Pro Bowl tight end Brent Jones, and many scouts have compared Ertz to the likes of Jason Witten and Jimmy Graham. I’m a fan already.
Chip Kelly knows Ertz well after he shredded the Oregon defense for 11 receptions for 106 yards and a huge touchdown when the two teams met this past season.
When Ertz was drafted, many people assumed that Brent Celek would be put “on notice”. I highly doubt that. Celek is more than solid at TE, and one of the captains of the team. If it weren’t for a ****** offensive line the past two years, Celek would have had more opportunities to run routes and catch balls rather than staying in to block. I don’t think Celek is going anywhere, and with Ertz now in the mix along with newly acquired free agent James Casey, the Eagles will be able to present some real match-up problems in their two-tight-end sets.
Furthermore, Ertz give the Eagles something they rarely ever had had under the Andy Reid era–a big bodied target that can go up and get a ball. Ertz will cause big problems in the red zone which became a major problem for the Eagles last year.
I still can’t believe this kid lasted until the 4th round. It’s unbelievable to me. If it weren’t for a shoulder injury and sub-par senior season that really wasn’t his fault, Barkley would have no doubt come off the board in the first round. Not making any excuses, but USC was absolutely gutted by NCAA sanctions and they lost starting left tackle Jason Kalil to NFL.
Barkley was expected to be a top 10 pick last year until he decided to return to USC for his senior season. The Eagles had him graded out as one of the 50 best players in the draft, and got him in the 4th. Talk about a value pick.
Barkley comes from Mater Dei High School in Orange County California, a national high school football powerhouse that has produced dozens of Pro Bowl NFL players. He started all 4 years, becoming the school’s leader in almost ever category before committing to USC, where he became the school’s all time leader in passing yards, a huge feat considering some of the quarterbacks who have gone there. He broke a Pac-12 record as a junior with 39 TD’s and only 7 INT’s. Kid is a beast.
At USC, Barkley ran a pro-style offense all 4 years and he is already more than familiar with many of the nuances of the quarterback position. Chip Kelly will not have to coach him to read the entire field and go through progressions, as Barkley has been doing this since high school. He will not have to teach him to read defenses, or how to audible to a better play based on a defensive front’s alignment. He won’t have to teach him how to adjust his protections at the line.
Barkley is already a polished quarterback, and his football IQ is off the chart. He is basically a coach on the field. He was doing things in 11th grade that Michael Vick still can’t do after a decade in the league.
He can make all the NFL throws, and furthermore, he is a true leader. Against the advice of probably everyone in his life besides USC head coach Lane Kiffin, he bypassed millions of dollars when he came back to USC for his senior year. He came back for his teammates, to take care of some unfinished business. That’s what a leader does.
This is not a guy who pouts or throws guys under the bus. He is a mature cat, and spent 4 years in the Los Angeles media market. He is used to having reporters and cameras in his face and he can deal with pressure with the best of them. Dealing with the Philadelphia media will be second nature.
As you can tell, I’m really excited about this guy. I think unless Nick Foles lights the world on fire in mini-camps and preseason, Barkley will be the Eagles’ number two quarterback heading into the season, and potentially the starter if Michael Vick ***** the bed (highly likely). I think the future is extremely bright for Matt Barkley in Chip Kelly’s offense. I can’t wait to see him on the field!
Overall, I love what the Eagles did in the draft. For once in a long time, I feel like they really did take the best players available instead of trying to out-think themselves.
Only time will tell if this was the case, but I have to say, I’m loving the Eagles 2013 draft class.
What are your thoughts? Leave me some comments!