Eagles Wake-Up Call: More Love For Matt Barkley

Matt Barkley spent last week in Ohio at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium with the rest of the Eagles’ first-year players.

With his remaining time off, he’ll be getting married before returning to Philadelphia on July 22 when rookies report for training camp.

During the spring, Barkley’s reps came with the third team, but he drew praise from Chip Kelly for his work ethic and ability to pick up the offense.

And Barkley continues to be a popular subject of discussion nationally. From Len Pasquarelli of the National Football Post:

Although he fell down draft boards, and was only the fourth quarterback selected in April, there remain some talent evaluators who still suggest that Barkley could be the best quarterback, over the long haul, from the 2013 class. By the way, the Oakland Raiders were of such a mind, and planned to jump on Barkley with their fourth round pick, before Philly took him with the first selection in the stanza. The Raiders then opted for a fallback, Tyler Wilson of Arkansas.

Much has been made about how Barkley cost himself a lot of money by returning to USC for his senior season. Barkley even took a jab on Twitter at ESPN’s Adam Schefter after signing his rookie deal this year.

But that thinking is somewhat flawed. Remember, Barkley announced his decision in December. We see every year how much the pre-draft process from January to April impacts where players get selected. Typically, scouts and personnel people are working on the draft year-round. But coaches don’t get involved until after their seasons are over.

For example, in December of this past season, you would have been hard-pressed to find many who had EJ Manuel projected as the top QB on the board, but he ended up being the only signal-caller taken in the first round.

Had Barkley decided to go pro after his junior season, it’s possible he would have been a first-round pick, but there were no guarantees. NFL coaches still would have dissected his mechanics, and Barkley would have been picked apart at the Combine, his Pro Day, etc.

When Chip Kelly selected him in the fourth round this year, Barkley admitted he was a bit surprised. But the truth is, he finds himself in a pretty good situation. He has a coach who’s willing to be flexible and preaches competition. And the Eagles have no clear-cut No. 1 starter on the roster.

The guess here is that Barkley still begins the season as the No. 3 QB, but by all accounts, he’s not spending his time lamenting what could have been had he come out early a year ago.

WHAT YOU MISSED

A couple weekend links on Bryce Brown and Cary Williams.

Could the Patriots be interested in Brent Celek? We take a look in our Twitter Mailbag.

From Michael Vick’s image to Jeremy Maclin’s contract to Williams’ former team, here are three Eagles leftovers.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

In the same Pasquarelli column linked above, he mentions Kelly’s practices:

When some teams were debating the merits of then-Oregon coach Chip Kelly months ago, there were nearly as many questions about the allegedly-grueling practices he had with the Ducks as about his unconventional offense. But in talking to a few Philadelphia veterans, there haven’t been any complaints about the workout Kelly has convened for the Eagles so far.

Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com mentions Clay Harbor as a potential option for the Patriots:

Another route that the team could explore would be a trade, targeting players who could find themselves buried on a tight end depth chart elsewhere. A few names that come to mind are D.J. Williams of the Packers, Clay Harbor of the Eagles and Tony Moeaki of the Chiefs. It’s entirely possible that the Patriots will stand pat at the position with six tight ends already on the roster, but if they decide to pursue other options, one of the aforementioned trio may be available at a modest price.

COMING UP

Don’t worry. We’ll get you your fix.

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