Eagles Draft Grades Start To Roll In

Eagles draft grades have started to roll in. Below is a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Birds’ selections. We’ll have more reaction during the week.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post lists the Eagles as one of the teams that helped itself the most:

The first two picks, Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz, were right on. And the Eagles selected three players who each could have easily been chosen two rounds earlier in Matt Barkley (fourth), Earl Wolff (fifth) and Jordan Poyer (seventh). Said one personnel director, “No way should Barkley have fallen that far.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gives the Eagles a B+. He gave them an A for value and a B for needs:

Matt Barkley also piled up huge numbers versus Oregon, and was the first pick taken in Round 4 (I once said I thought Barkley was a future first pick — maybe I meant in Round 4?). Kelly wants competition at QB, and Barkley is going to come in ready to compete. Bennie Logan fits as a potential 3-4 DE or even a nose tackle, and Earl Wolff offers some depth at safety. They needed a corner and got another guy Kelly knows, Jordan Poyer from Oregon State. Joe Kruger isn’t fast, but he could provide a pass rush in this system. Overall, I like what the Eagles accomplished.

The Eagles were one of eight teams that got a B+ or better from Kiper.

ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano says the Eagles made the best pick in the division with their selection of Lane Johnson at No. 4 overall:

In the absence of any earth-shaking moves in the early rounds by NFC East teams, I’m going to have to go with the Eagles taking tackle Lane Johnson at No. 4. They probably could have traded down and out of the pick, but this was a draft in which six offensive linemen went in the first 11 picks, and the value of the third-best tackle with the fourth pick was worth hanging in there. After what happened to their offensive line with injuries in 2012, the Eagles were wise to load up there, taking an athletic player who can start at right tackle right away and maybe move to left tackle down the road once Jason Peters is done.

Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet made ESPN.com’s list of top-10 undrafted free agents. The Eagles agreed to terms with Maysonet.

Maysonet was one of our favorite Day 3 sleepers. He has a low center of gravity and runs with above-average balance and lateral agility. In addition, he brings some versatility as a pass catcher out of the backfield. It won’t be surprising if Maysonet is the next late-round/free-agent running back to become a big-time contributor in the league.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com names the Eagles one of his three winners:

This club did more than just get great value in the fourth round. Matt Barkley aside, first-round selection Lane Johnson should start immediately. Meanwhile, not only will second-round choice Zach Ertz push tight end Brent Celek, he’ll make the offense more versatile overall. Third-round selection Bennie Logan provides ample insurance for the club’s free-agent investment in nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.

With center Jason Kelce coming back from injury, and with Johnson now in the mix, that Eagles front five — which also includes Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans — looks a whole lot better.

Don Banks of SI.com offers his thoughts on the Barkley pick:

In reality, what Saturday’s biggest draft headline means is Kelly and the Eagles are ready to fit their offense around what Barkley does best. He doesn’t have the biggest arm, and he probably isn’t the best guy to run a lot of read-option looks, but he doesn’t have to be a jackrabbit to direct an up-tempo attack. Kelly admired Barkley’s football smarts, his competitiveness, and his ability to see the field and make quick and accurate decisions. Think Tom Brady and you start to get the real model for what Kelly is after in his goal of running as many plays as possible in a game, and Barkley’s 40 time has little to do with the equation.

Chris Burke of SI.com thinks the Eagles got a steal in the seventh round with cornerback Jordan Poyer:

How did this happen? Poyer seemed to be firmly planted in the second tier of cornerbacks in this draft, below Dee Milliner, Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes but certainly worthy of Day 2 consideration. Instead, Poyer somehow slipped into Round 7. Philadelphia won’t regret giving him a shot there.

Burke gives the Eagles an A- for their selection of Johnson:

Kelly will try to work his offense around the pieces he has, but adding even more athleticism to an already athletic group will make the transition that much easier.

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com gives the Eagles a B- for the Johnson pick:

They have so many other issues, but he’s a good athlete who will be better in the NFL. I like the pick.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports calls Michael Vick one of his draft winners:

Like Rex Ryan, Vick was a winner Thursday when the Eagles drafted Lane Johnson to rebuild the offensive line. Like Ryan, things got even better in the second and fourth rounds. First, Philadelphia drafted tight end Zach Ertz, giving Vick another big-time weapon and a guy the Eagles can pair with Brent Celek for some tasty two-tight end formations. In the fourth round, the Eagles traded up to get Matt Barkley. Sure, Barkley may be no better than a backup, but he’s going to be competition for current No. 2 Nick Foles. In other words, the perception that the competition for time was between Vick and Foles just got really blurry. That can only help Vick.

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  • thereelmarlin

    Ha i wonder if Jason Cole still feels like vick is a “winner” after yesterday!

  • PaoliBulldog

    Only an idiot would grade a draft the minute it ends. And therefore I give the Eagles an A for their draft + UDFA moves.

    Absolutely no “I know something you don’t” picks. (Mr. Watkins, coach wants to see you. Bring your Kindle with the playbook, playlists and smoothie recipe.)

    • Richard Colton

      call me crazy, but I think Watkins’ job is safe for next year. Yeah the Eagles took O-line at #4, but they only drafted one guy. So if the line next year is (as projected – even though GG will call me a parrot) Peters/Herremans/Kelce/Mathis/Johnson – that means Watkins is still the top backup, right? If either guard goes down, Watkins is the top sub. If either OT gets hurt, Herremans slides back to tackle and Watkins is the top sub. The guy is going to play this year, and we’ll see if skipping his honeymoon was worth it.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        He may be safe, but he’s got an uphill battle here.. something to think about:

        You usually carry 7 offensive lineman on game day… your 5 starters and 1 swing tackle (guy who can play R and L tackle, probably Dennis Kelly) and 1 swing guard/center (obviously someone who can play both guards and center). We haven’t seen Watkin’s show he can handle right guard yet, let alone left guard and center.

        Now, it helps that Herremans can play basically anywhere on the line except center, and Mathis can probably play all 3 interior spots if he has to but Chip is all about versatility… If a guy can hardly lock down one guard spot on the line, do you think Chip will have a ton patience with him? I have my doubts.

        • Richard Colton

          See, that’s why I was sure Barrett Jones was on their radar in the 3rd round or Kyle Long in round two – but Kyle went off the board way too early and they didn’t pull the trigger on Jones.
          I think the versitility of Herremans helps Watkins make the game day roster. As far as patience? Nope, I agree with you. Watkins was old regieme. Chip would cut him in a heartbeat if he doesn’t work out.

          • Willie

            I think that Barrett wasn’t held as high by his own Alabama oline coach ( now eagles coach) as he is in the public. I’m beginning to think the reason he was moved to center is because he couldn’t handle the blocking schemes anywhere else. If so it would’ve been a no brainier to get him

      • Geagle

        huh…I cant find any fault in what you said.. I dont disagree. Watkins starting job might not be very safe, but I think his roster spot certainly is(and Im sure he will be called upon at some point)…unless some team offers some crazy unforseen trade value(dont see why they would)….pissed we didnt have a 6th round pick, because Qberry fell and would have provided a ton of value, the Texans arent stupid! I have to keep reminding myself that we got Arrelius Benn, who I would have done backflips had we have drafted him.

        • Richard Colton

          I should have mentioned Q-berry as well. Interesting that he went two picks after the spot the Eagles traded for Benn in the 6th round, as did Swope. Now that its over – all things being equal – who would you rather have? Qberry/Benn/Swope?

          • Geagle

            Benn all day…and its not even close

          • http://twitter.com/D_DfunFactory D&DfunFactory

            We also got the 7th rounder we used to take Poyer in that trade. I take Benn/Poyer all day

      • xlGmanlx

        Keep in mind, we have a new OL coach. Stout might be able to get him back on track so you never know. I’m glad we are out of a system on the line that is run by the minority of the league on both sides of the ball (Mudd/W9)

        • cliff henny

          the guy who doesnt fit is kelce at center, when talking about a stoutland line. he’s the one lagging behind with injury too. and we all know, the nfl doesnt wait for you to heal. wonder if mathis can play center? someone was taking those snaps last week

      • cliff henny

        Watkins is 2.15m dead money if cut. i’m pulling for guy, remember his college tape, he was well above average power run blocker.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          If the Eagles keep Watkins, in my opinion that’s an indication that Lurie should have made a clean sweep and removed all traces of the prior regime.

          Dead money or not, Watkins is going to get a QB wasted. You’re allowed a mistake, but you shouldn’t be willing to live in a mistake.

          • dollamakeuholla

            He still was a first round pick and They will atleast see if Chip and the Gang can get him moving in the right direction

      • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

        I would think first you’d have to assume Watkins still has a job to loose, at last check the right guard position was manned by Jake Scott and not Watkins.

        I would also hesitate before writing off the undrafted signees Matt Tobin from Iowa and Kyle Quinn of Arizona, who will come in and compete. By no means is Watkins and Kelly and the rest of the reserve linemen assured a roster spot.

        If Kelly is true to his word with regard to competition this is going to be one hell of a simi-open try-out.

    • limodriver27

      I can appreciate your humility. I also can see many positives in this draft. After being brainwashed by 14 years of “I know more than you know”, each pick was a pleasant surprise without the “who’s that?” Or “he ‘s an X position and you’re going to make him play where?” Time’s yours….

      • Geagle

        you forgotthe lame food analogy

      • PaoliBulldog

        The shift from Reid to Kelly has definitely increased my respect for Lurie. You’re only as good as the ownership allows you to be (Redskins, Cowboys, Phillies). Lurie is delegating, not micromanaging, and the new regime’s style couldn’t be more different than the old.

        • xlGmanlx

          And he is also quick with the checks too. Lurie hasn’t been afraid to spend money on the team.

          • PaoliBulldog

            But he he spending in a non-stupid, non-Snyderish way.

          • xlGmanlx

            True, but it all fairness, it looks like he might have turned over a new leaf, especially with the imposed 2 year sanctions. I think he learned the lesson the hard way with Haynesworth.

          • HowieDon’tKnow

            Not really. Our special teams sucked last year because we were very cheap on the bottom half of our roster. How else can you explain why we are so far below the salary cap? I don’t know how everyone can get so excited about this. Let’s see how they play before reaching any conclusions. All of these guys look great on tape except maybe for Johnson who was not impressive on the A&M tape that i saw. Second team all big 12 and he is the 4th pick? The combine output is the original fools gold.

          • xlGmanlx

            Blaming the owner for special teams? good call

          • HowieDon’tKnow

            Well, if you are saying that he has nothing to do with the budget or that the budget has nothing to do with the talent on the roster, that kind of illogic can only come from a family member …

          • xlGmanlx

            You guessed it! I’m Luries long lost cousin. You’re a dope. Coaches coach, and there is a reason April is gone, he stunk. Players he was given stunk and that is why reid is gone.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Not sure if I agree with what Jason Cole is saying. Although there were some great offensive pieces added, I think Vick should be sweating a little bit because of the Barkley pick. This proves once and for all that Chip isn’t married to the need to have a running QB. Many of us, myself included, thought the Chip love for Foles was BS, and that Vick had the advantage heading in to camp. Not so fast, Mr. Vick..

    Did the Eagles plan on taking a QB like Barkley? I really don’t think so. I think it just came down to staying true to their board and not being able to pass on a guy with such a high grade.

    Cole also says Barkley is no better than a back up. I disagree there again, it’s wide open right now. There are things to like about Vick, but there are things I can see Chip not liking. The decision making is the first major red flag that comes to mind. He will not have a job for long if he throws pick after pick, and fumbles regularly.

    Barkley’s football IQ is one of the main reasons why I think he could be our starter at some point next season. I think he excels at short to medium ranged passes, and he can make pre-snap reads… all translates well into what Chip would want to run. His arm strength is obviously the biggest concern, and Chip could probably mask that to an extent with the short/medium stuff.

    Is he a long term answer? Really doubt it. But I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that his number gets called next year at some point.

    • xlGmanlx

      Only the idiots in the media (present site excluded) kept that thought going. The numbers tell a different story, as well as Kelly. He has maintained, and continues to, he will match scheme to players.

      • Richard Colton

        lets review:

        Media: Chip Kelly’s Oregon offense will never work in the NFL
        Media: Matt Barkley is a bad pick because he doesn’t fit Chip Kelly’s Oregon offense

        • xlGmanlx

          Pretty much!

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      This draft was full of surprises, Barkley being selected by the Eagles was as big a surprise as the Dolphins selecting Jordan at pick 3 and Johnson dropping in our lap.

      Barkley working with OC Pat Shumur, a WCO genius is a perfect combination that is mouth watering. Spread Option passing attack is comprised of swing passes, screens and similar routes common in the WCO so there’s not may deep heaves expected in this offense and fits Barkleys skill set perfectly Barkley has great anticipation and a quick release which leads to good yac.

      After watching Pat work with McNabb, I trust Pat to devise a plan for Barkley that will propel the kid to excel in the NFL.

      The Eagles should be a good show to watch in 2013 and beyond so long as Kelly ask Barkley to do what he can consistently do well, and what he has done all his Quarterbacking life. If we ask him to continuously hit the homerun balls we are asking for trouble. He’s more than capable of dissecting a defense up and down the field with intermediate passing in the spread.

    • southy

      I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really want to draft Barkley, but in the 4th I can’t argue with the value.

      That said, this arm strength thing has gotten out of hand. He’s not Chad Pennington. He doesn’t have a cannon, but he’s got enough to make the throws he needs to, which is sufficiently strong to be a great qb given everything else is good.

      I could see him as a Matt Schaub type, which is at least a step in the right direction.

    • atlvickfan

      Barkley’s arm is terrible. I have a hard time seeing him driving the ball with velocity through Mid-Atlantic winter weather.

  • birds are back baby

    thank you jason cole, you are obviously a moron…..he actually says vick is helped by the barkley pick…great deductive reasoning there genius….barkley is better than both vick and foles and is another reason why vick may sit or get cut earlier.

    • Geagle

      hahahaha what a fool! and anyone who doesnt like the Barkley pick, He DWARFS Kirk Cousin in terms of ability…All Chip needs to do, is play him 1 game, devise a gameplan that makes him successful dinking and dunking…and then we can sit him down, and trade him like Flynn and Kolb..

      • Richard Colton

        and think about all the fun we’ll have in the meantime screaming at each other in the Foles vs/ Barkley debate next year?

        • Geagle

          thats always entertaining…

    • Johnny Domino

      More likely Foles can backup Barkley than Vick once he’s blown by both of them.

      • Richard Colton

        that was more graphic than I’m used to on a Sunday

        • Johnny Domino

          Either you need to get out more or I need to self-edit.

          • Richard Colton

            probably both

  • Geagle

    It takes YEARS to be able to judge a draft…but in Terms of Value, I dont see how anyone can say we got less than an A+? We got a kid that could end up being the best OT from this draft, and was the most athletic Tackle the combine has seen in like forever…Ertz who between mayock, and Cossel, one calls him jimmy graham, the other calls him Witten…I think people are under rating Logan, but we shall see(mike Patterspon was a 1st round pick, and I dont think he was that much better of a prospect, although he did ball out at USC)….As for Barkley? If Kirk Cousins was considered a good valuable pick, than Barkley is a homerun (value wise)…Wolf, Poyer, Krugar all have strarter potential……Im not exactly sure how we could even think of criticizing this draft att his point

    • nicksaenz1

      I didn’t understand anything under an A-. Sure, I was critical of the Barkley pick because of the many holes that were still present, but Chip, again, made me eat my words because we still filled those needs and stuck to BPA.

      • cliff henny

        consider the giants took nassib right behind him. it’s an extremely common place to take qb with high value. take the barkley/usc part out of it, and that’s all the pick was, high value.

    • southy

      depends on what you mean by judging a draft. if you want to judge a FO’s moves and discipline, then you can do that right after the draft. if you want to judge a draft class, look 2-3 years down the road. if you want to judge a FO’s judge of talent, you have to look at multiple draft classes.

  • WDF01

    With Barkley in the QB mix, there is the possibility that Vic will be the odd man out. Think Foles as starter and Barkley as his backup – both have similar styles so the line can be trained in one new scheme that supports that style. Vic’s style is different, so he’s out. The more junior QBs can be molded as required.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Barkley moves and moves well, Barkley on a roll out moves as graceful as a dancer. He’s not a stationary target, he’s not going to do much in terms of shaking and baking, but to believe he’s not mobile is not an accurate assessment of Barkley in USCs pocket and if taken for granted he can pick up 5 yard when you need 4 to move the chains. It’s not a good idea to over play the kid in the pocket.

      He’s a 4 year starter and proven big time player in big games. Those are attributes you can’t teach. He has qualities that sets him apart.

      With Lane Johnson at RT, I can see designed rolls being a fixture in Pat’s offense for Barkley because he has the mobility to make that an option.

  • xlGmanlx

    It will be years before we know the full extent, but I feel like Kelly has brought in players to increase the talent, thus depth on the team, by creating competition at almost every position. Who knew that the RB position was going to be a possible hot spot? I will say one thing, he said he wanted long players and that’s what he got. He also drafted what appear to be cerebral players as well. Long and smart, not exactly a bad combo.

  • nicksaenz1

    Jason Cole’s opinion was so off-base it’s puzzling as to why he has a job.

    • xlGmanlx

      He might still be living like it’s 2010

      • nicksaenz1

        Has to be. It’s completely inconceivable that Vick’s position got safer. He’s likely gone before the start of the season and Foles or Barkley is the starter, with Dixon third.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Who knows if Chip’s system (whatever that is) will actually work in the NFL? Could be a smashing success, could provide the fastest three-and-out times in the league’s history. But at least he has drafted the right players for his scheme. And it just might work out.

  • Glenn

    I’m not sure Jason Cole is correct. I think with Barkley, Vick becomes the odd man out. The battle will be between Foles and Barkley, two players with very similar skill sets. The offense will be identical when either one plays. The third QB should be Dennis Dixon, a guy with experience with Kelly’s offense. We know what we have with Vick, a turnover machine, who does not make quick decisions, which is necessary with this offense. They kept Vick as an insurance policy, in case a QB was not drafted.

  • Ender1241

    I’d say right now Foles has to be the frontrunner for starting QB, based on tape from last year. I think it will come down to Foles v. Barkley in camp. I would love if Vick was gone before the season starts. Not sure how that looks cap-wise…but if Kelly doesn’t *need* a mobile QB, then what’s the point of keeping Vick? Foles looked better last year and he’s younger; Barkley is obviously highly-thought of; and Dixon knows Kelly’s offense pretty well. Vick is old, slowing, and makes poor decisions. I think we’re better off both short- and long-term going with one of the younger kids.

    • cliff henny

      no effect, that’s why eagles re-worked contract(eaglescap.com). we will take dead money from vick, but’s it’s already figured into available cap numbers. if i remember, might have slight hit next yr, too. if we keep him, will cost 3-7m more in ’13, depending on play. nothing major for startering qb,or for that fact, a back-up. but, can’t see vick being 2nd or 3rd behind foles or barkley, be a bit of a media mess.

  • Mostel

    Why the “flip” would you all want to get rid of Watkins before Stoutland gets a chance to coach him? Have people lost sight of exactly who we just hired to be the O-line coach? I don’t want to upset people, but Herremans might be the guy out of work in 2014 if Stoutland coaches Watkins and Johnson up to potential in 2013. I don’t see it happening, but it could.

    • cliff henny

      they won’t. if cut, he’s 2.1m in dead money. sure he’ll get plenty of chances to at least show he can be back-up. eagles hate dead money, nnamdi was one of the few i can recall.

  • southy

    “giving Vick another big time weapon”

    Vick hasn’t thrown to a tight end since Alge Crumpler, so I am skeptical if he’s gonna be under center.

  • atlvickfan

    I don’t have a strong opinion about the rest of the picks — surely, some will work out and some won’t, as in most drafts. But for this upcoming season, the one pick that really stands out to me is Zach Ertz. The Eagles have needed a big, athletic target for Vick during his entire career in Philly, and they finally got one. Ertz may not be a much of a blocker but he looks like a big time receiving threat out of the gate.

    • Richard Colton

      I wasn’t around for the Winter meetings – did they change the rules of football to allow throws to the TE from the bench? I’m thinking that might interfere with all the clipboard holding and towel waving he’ll be doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ldawg.evony Ldawg Evony

    Before the draft I thought Foles was the odd man out. After the draft I now believe that Vick is the odd man out. I think the starting role is Foles to lose, with Barkley starting the season at #3 and then moving into the 2 slot later in the season. If our starter goes down towards the end of the year I see Barkley stepping in and maybe not relinquishing the starting spot from there on out.