Weekend Reading: Avant On D, More Love For Barkley

Some notes to pass along on this Sunday…

On Friday, we linked to a report that said tight end Clay Harbor was getting looks at outside linebacker.

But apparently, he’s not the only offensive player seeing reps on the other side of the ball. Wide receiver Jason Avant has practiced with the defensive backs, according to Zach Berman of the Inquirer.

“I don’t necessarily think it’ll cloud my future,” Avant said. “I really think it’s an honor anyway for a coach to think you can do other things.”

Avant is a veteran who has shown great hands and the ability to come down with the ball in traffic. But he’s no lock to make the roster. Apparently, Chip Kelly is looking to explore every possibility with his current personnel before making final decisions on the final 53 in September.

Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com talked to three scouts about the Eagles’ picks. One of them loved the Matt Barkley selection:

“They got a steal. To be honest, I thought he was the best pure quarterback [in the draft]. Everyone questioned his arm strength. I didn’t think he had bad arm strength. I thought he could put the ball in holes, he had good placement, good anticipation, good velocity. He might not have an arm that can throw 60, 70 yards downfield, but who does? And how many times are you throwing the ball 60 or 70 yards downfield? We had him as third-round, but I honestly believe if we had needed a quarterback, he would have been in our first round.”

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com thinks Barkley could see the field sooner rather than later:

In large part due to his ability to get the ball to his playmakers quickly, expect to see Barkley quickly pass Nick Foles on the Eagles’ depth chart.

And with Vick on a one-year deal and having played a full 16 regular season games only once in 10 NFL seasons, Barkley could prove a fit in Philly sooner rather than later.

We’ve written about how Eagles players are wearing heart monitors at practice. According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, other teams are doing the same thing:

The use of GPS systems and heart rate monitors during practice to monitor biomechanics and recovery continues to grow in the NFL. Among the latest teams to join the trend are the Eagles and Jaguars. New Eagles coach Chip Kelly is very much into using technology and thinking outside of the box. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was familiar with GPS monitoring because the Seahawks did it when he was in Seattle. The system is particularly helpful in terms of monitoring recovery of athletes and helping to gauge players who are rehabbing.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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