Reviewing the Eagles’ Draft, Pick-By-Pick
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.
In all, the Eagles took eight players – three on offense and five on defense. By position, three defensive linemen, one offensive lineman, one tight end, one quarterback, one cornerback and one safety.
Every player the Eagles drafted was from a BCS conference.
Round 1, Pick 4: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The lowdown – When the Miami Dolphins traded up to the No. 3 spot with the Oakland Raiders, most assumed they were going to take Johnson. But instead, the Dolphins took Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan. That made the pick an easy one for the Eagles. They didn’t get many calls for the No. 4 pick, and there are strong indications that they had Jordan ranked ahead of Johnson on their board. But with the way things fell, they were more than happy to grab the 6-6, 303-pound tackle.
Johnson played quarterback in high school and in junior college. The Sooners offered him a scholarship to play tight end. But Johnson kept growing, eventually moving to defensive end and then offensive line. He played right tackle as a junior and left tackle as a senior. During the pre-draft process, Johnson’s Combine performance was off the charts. The expectation is that he’ll start at right tackle, and Todd Herremans will move back inside to guard.
Birds 24/7 coverage – Background on Johnson, Johnson on his journey, Mel Kiper Jr., Jon Gruden and Greg Cosell on the Johnson pick, Bob Stoops with some generous praise for Johnson, a story about Johnson’s eating habits, Johnson and the bear-wrestling caper.
Round 2, Pick 35: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
The lowdown – The Eagles have no plans of using a fullback and instead are loading up on tight ends, who Kelly believes can be movable chess pieces on offense. They signed James Casey in free agency and drafted the 6-5, 249-pound Ertz in the second round. Ertz’ best game in college came against Oregon last year when he caught 11 balls for 106 yards and a game-tying touchdown that forced overtime. Stanford ended up beating Chip Kelly and the Ducks for their only loss of the season.
The expectation is that the Eagles’ offense will use several different personnel groups, including more multiple tight-end sets with Ertz, Casey and Brent Celek on the roster.
Round 3, Pick 67: Bennie Logan, DL, LSU
The lowdown – With the departure of Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Darryl Tapp and Jason Babin, the Eagles needed bodies on the defensive line. Logan (6-2, 309) helped fill that need. He competed against Birds’ offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland in college, and Logan blew the Eagles away during his interview at the Combine.
The Eagles believe he can be a three-down player, although it’s unclear exactly where he’ll fit. Logan said he played mostly the 3-technique (DT in a 4-3) in college. He’s not the tallest guy, but is long with 34-inch arms. He should compete for significant playing right away, given the current state of the roster.
Round 4, Pick 98: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
The lowdown – The stunner of the group. The Eagles had Barkley (6-2, 227) ranked in their top-50, so when he was available at the start of Day 3, they traded up with the Jaguars and took the USC signal-caller. Barkley was considered a first-round prospect in 2012, but he returned to school for his senior season, and his stock slipped dramatically. Barkley joins Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon and GJ Kinne at the position. Kelly said he’ll hold an open competition at quarterback, but Vick and Foles are the favorites to win the starting job.
Birds 24/7 coverage – Kelly explains the Barkley pick, Barkley’s arm strength will be a topic of discussion, Barkley did not expect to land in Philly, Barkley on Gruden’s QB Camp, what the Barkley pick says about Kelly.
Round 5, Pick 136: Earl Wolff, S, NC State
The lowdown – This was a talented class of safeties, but because of the way the picks fell, the Eagles didn’t address the position until the fifth round. Wolff (5-11, 209) ran a 4.44 at the Combine, the second-fastest time by a safety in the past three years. The Eagles have Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Patrick Chung, Kenny Phillips, Colt Anderson and Wolff on the roster. But the rookie has a chance of starting if he impresses coaches in the offseason.
Birds 24/7 coverage – Wolff’s Mom is from Philadelphia, and Mike Mayock tabbed him as a sleeper before the draft.
Round 7, Pick 212: Joe Kruger, DL, Utah
The lowdown – He was one of the team’s 30 official visits. Kruger (6-6, 269), the brother of Paul, decided to leave school after his junior season. He’s only 20-years-old, and the Eagles believe he has the frame to put weight on and play on the defensive line. Kruger played up at the line of scrimmage, but also dropped back at times, coming up with a pick-six in college. He figures to compete for time with guys like Cedric Thornton, Logan and Vinny Curry on the defensive line.
Birds 24/7 coverage – Kruger thinks he brings a versatile skill set to the Eagles’ defense.
Round 7, Pick 218: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
The lowdown – I thought the Eagles would take a cornerback much earlier, but that’s not how the board fell. Poyer (6-0, 191) was No. 85 on Mayock’s top-100 list, but the Eagles were able to get him at No. 218. He was tied for second in the nation last year with seven interceptions, but did not test well at the Combine. He has the ability to play outside, inside or even back at safety. And Poyer was both a gunner and a returner on special teams. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher have to be considered the favorites to start, with Brandon Boykin in the slot. But Poyer will get his chance to compete for playing time and has a great shot of making the roster.
Birds 24/7 coverage – Poyer talks about why he slipped and addresses an off-the-field incident.
Round 7, Pick 239: David King, DE, Oklahoma
The lowdown – Another defensive lineman with length. The Eagles opened and closed with players from Oklahoma, making King (6-5, 286) their final pick. He figures to see time at the 5-technique, and Kelly said King ran a 4.64 at his workout.
The Eagles have also agreed to terms with nine undrafted free agents.