Here’s the weekly roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld offers up post-draft lineup rankings. He’s got the Birds 25th:
The strengths of this defense are a deep group of pass rushers, Cox, and the two inside linebackers. Fletcher has plus talent, but couldn’t even keep the Rams’ nickel corner job last year. Williams was one of the NFL’s most oft-burned cornerbacks. Phillips and Chung are rehab projects. Barwin has three sacks over his last 21 games, and Sopoaga is a rotational two-down run stuffer at best. This rebuilt group is likely to struggle in both run and pass defense.
Clark Judge of CBSSports.com talked to an offensive coordinator of a perennial playoff team about Matt Barkley:
“I’m not sure what to make of this,” said our coach. “I don’t know how this style of quarterback fits that coach and the offense he runs.”
Well, former coach Tony Dungy is one who believes Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia could resemble the K-Gun that Ted Marchibroda operated in Buffalo in the 1990s, with quick play selections and a quarterback who was more accurate than mobile. Jim Kelly couldn’t run, and neither can Barkley. But Barkley can lead, proving it as a four-year starter in high school and again in college.
Nate Davis of USA Today gives the Eagles a C for their draft:
T Lane Johnson (No. 4 overall) projects as a special player and, given his rare athleticism, is uniquely qualified for Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense. However, until the curtain goes up on Kelly’s attack — and the revamped defense — we’re not going to claim we understand how all this fits … or if making a move for QB Matt Barkley was the right thing to do.
Mike Tanier of SportsOnEarth.com offers his take on the Birds’ draft:
Follow this thread of reasoning: Kelly was a great hire because of his unique, unstoppable system; Barkley does not fit that system, but that is no problem, because Kelly is an offensive genius who can run any system he wants; we know this even though no one has seen him run any other offense, because no one watches New Hampshire or Johns Hopkins. Has the thread taken you clear around in a circle? Good.
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post takes a look at some of the best undrafted free agents, including Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonnet:
This was a highly productive small school player who needs to prove he can make a step up against better competition. Ray Graham signing with the Texans also was a nice pickup, as was Michael Ford with the Bears.
In an ESPN.com piece, Matt Bowen lists Stanford tight end Zach Ertz and the Eagles as one of the draft’s best fits:
Ertz is what I call the “move guy” in Ace personnel (two wide receivers, two tight ends, one running back) when he is on the field with veteran tight end Brent Celek. In the playbook, we can label Ertz as the “U” or the “F.” He’s a tight end with an H-back skill set that can align off the ball in a wing set, in the slot, the backfield or as a backside “X” receiver (think slant or fade here). Various alignments which give the quarterback positive matchups in the passing game.
Bryce Brown talked to USA Today about playing in the league at the same time as his brother, Arthur, who was drafted by the Ravens:
“I love my brother and could not be happier for him,” the Eagles backup tailback said. “He has been there for me every step of the way, as a brother, friend and teammate.
“We always shared a dream of playing in the NFL together. To know that it’s actually happening now is just surreal.’
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, Matt Barkley returned to USC for without insurance:
Two sources told ESPN.com that Barkley returned for his senior season without insurance. While that might seem crazy, the standard insurance policy issued to players is a total disability policy, meaning that the only reason to collect is on a career-ending injury. But by failing to take out insurance Barkley couldn’t protect himself from dropping in the draft. Loss of value insurance can only be written when paired with the disability policy.