As it turns out, the foundation for the Eagles’ 2013 draft was laid during a meeting at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Jan. 5.
That’s when Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski first interviewed Chip Kelly about the Eagles’ head-coaching position.
“During the interview process, he talked about having position specifics, which is not uncommon for coaches,” Roseman said. “Then when he got here, we sat down together, and then as a staff, talked about what we were looking for and what he was looking for and what we had. Then we made a template up, and we gave it to all our scouts and all of our coaches, and we said this is what we’re looking for at this position, and that’s what we’re going to try to get.”
It was a change for the entire personnel staff. Suddenly, they were looking for players who fit Kelly’s mold, not Andy Reid’s. And the new guy had his own vision. He wanted length on defense. He wanted athleticism on the offensive line. He preferred his quarterback to have big hands.
While many of you stuck with Birds 24/7 all weekend (much appreciated), we realize others were probably in and out, spending time with family, watching the Phillies sweep the Mets, etc.
So here’s your one-stop shop for what you missed – a list of all the Eagles’ selections and a quick review for each pick. There will obviously be much more to come all week.
Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series on ESPN has become must-watch pre-draft viewing for NFL fans.
Below is a three-minute clip of his session with Matt Barkley. If you want to watch the full episode, it’s scheduled to air this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (EST) on ESPNU.
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.
The Eagles have agreed to terms with nine undrafted free agents, including a running back sleeper, a versatile wide receiver and a controversial punter from Australia.
With their second seventh-round pick, the Eagles grabbed another Pac-12 player who has competed against Chip Kelly.
Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer (6-0, 191) was No. 85 on Mike Mayock’s top-100 list. But the Eagles were able to get him with pick No. 218.
Poyer made the switch from safety to cornerback after his freshman season. He finished last year with seven interceptions, tied for second-most in the nation.
The Eagles also drafted Oklahoma defensive lineman David King with their final pick, No. 239 overall.
With their first pick in the seventh round, the Eagles took Utah defensive end/outside linebacker Joe Kruger, the brother of Cleveland linebacker Paul Kruger. The 6-7, 275-pounder ran a 4.78 40 at the Combine.
Kruger has played both with his hand in the dirt and standing up. He has some experience dropping into coverage, though did it less this past season.
“I’m pretty good at doing both but if I had to pick I would be a down end,” he said.
Kruger made the decision to enter the draft following his junior year. It came as a surprise to him (and many others) that he fell all the way to the seventh round. He was projected as a potential top-100 pick but did not go until 212.
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Matt Barkley met with the Eagles at the Combine back in February.
He knew Chip Kelly from having played against him in the Pac-12. And he worked out for Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor. Barkley even had a pretty good hunch that his name was going to get called in the fourth round today.
But he’d be lying if he said Philadelphia was on the short list of places he thought he’d end up.
The Eagles turned their attention to the secondary in the fifth round, drafting N.C. State safety Earl Wolff with the 136th overall pick.
“Very explosive. Can run, can jump. Tough, hard-nosed, physical player,” said Chip Kelly. “When you can add some depth to your secondary it’s always a positive. We held our breath. He was a guy we had targeted higher — a lot higher.”
Chip Kelly has been saying it since the day the Eagles hired him: He does not need a running quarterback.
Yet, many of us looked at his history, saw the team bring back Michael Vick and add Dennis Dixon, and figured the Eagles would target a mobile quarterback like EJ Manuel or Matt Scott in this draft.
Kelly, Howie Roseman and company tossed a curve-ball early on Saturday, giving up a seventh-round pick (No. 210) to move up to No. 98 and take USC’s Matt Barkley.
“We thought a lot of people were going to try to do the exact same thing,” Kelly explained. “We had Matt rated in the top 50 players in this draft. The fact that he was still there, we talked about all along that we were going to take value. There was no better value for us to open up today with than to take Matt.”