The 2013 Philadelphia Eagles draft class has Chip Kelly’s fingerprints all over it. The team has stated the entire time that the decision-making would be a collaborative effort. But, make no mistake, these are all Kelly-type players.
Much more-so than in recent years, I found myself having a dizzying array of feelings during this draft. I was excited, frustrated, surprised and baffled at different times after seeing who the Eagles drafted at a given slot.
Going into the draft, I had my heart set on Dion Jordan in the first round. My second preferred choice was to trade down and pick up some extra picks. However, neither happened.
When Miami traded up to No. 3, I thought for sure it was going to be for Lane Johnson, which meant Dion Jordan would be the pick for us…awesome! But, Miami takes Jordan? What? Damn!!!
It was especially frustrating after hearing that Kelly had Jordan rated higher on their board, meaning he would have been the pick had he been there. But, oh well.
They took OT Lane Johnson at No. 4 and though I was disappointed about losing out on Jordan, I was happy with Johnson because we certainly needed help at the OL position.
Therefore, barely an hour into the draft, I was surprised, disappointed and yet satisfied.
Johnson was a great pick at a need position and will be a staple at the OT position (right and/or left) for at least the next decade.
Here is how the rest of the draft went…
Going into Day 2 of the draft, the Eagles had the third selection with only Jacksonville and San Fran picking ahead of them. The best player on the board and the guy I really wanted was S Jonathan Cyprien.
I figured San Fran had already taken a safety so therefore they weren’t a threat, so Cyprien only had to make it past one team. Then boom, the Jags snatch him with the first pick on Day 2. Again, my reaction was: Damnnnnn!
Once Cyprien was gone, my focus turned to DT Jesse Williams or trading back. Williams seemed like good value there at another position of need (NT). However, in the back of my mind, I knew this might be a spot for a tight end.
I knew the Eagles wanted one, and in my mock draft I had them taking Gavin Escobar…but that was with a second 2nd-round pick, or a better idea if the Eagles were to trade back in this round and acquire maybe an extra fourth-rounder.
When they announced that the pick was TE Zach Ertz, I wasn’t surprised. I was slightly disappointed because I viewed the need for a nose tackle as much greater than a tight end.
However, I slowly warmed-up to the pick after hearing Kelly speak about him and describe how he’ll be a “mismatch nightmare” and provide the offense with great versatility. And now, with a few days to think about it, Ertz was a great pick.
I’m starting to see the kind of offense Chip wants and Ertz will be a huge part of that for years to come. Excellent pick.
Okay, the Eagles haven’t made any trades yet, could this be when they trade back to get an extra pick? But look, Jesse Williams is still on the board! It’s gotta be either him or trading back, right?
The pick is in…okay, we’re not trading back so this has to be Williams…right? Nope.
The Eagles take DT Bennie Logan. Who? Wait, we took a DT but not Williams?
Yep, Bennie Logan. My first reaction was wondering if this was an Andy Reid third-round special in that they reached for a player they probably could have gotten two rounds later.
I had heard of Logan and briefly looked at him when researching defensive tackle prospects, but wrote him off as a prospect because he seemed like much more of a 4-3 DT than a 3-4 guy. His size, 6′ 2″ 310 lbs, didn’t seem to fit as a nose tackle or 5-tech DE.
This was the first pick I was a little surprised and baffled by. And even after researching him, I still came away a little confused by the pick.
My concerns have since been eased a little bit when hearing about what kind of person Logan is: an ultra-competitive guy with outstanding leadership qualities and someone who loves the game of football.
His reputation also includes being the kind of guy who does all the dirty work inside so it frees up others to make plays. He’s a big reason why Barkevious Mingo was a stand-out edge rusher who was taken in the first round.
Therefore, I’ve warmed up to the pick. Hopefully it’s not a case of me looking at it through “green goggles” though. You can be the greatest person in the world with all the intangibles teams like, but you have to produce on the field.
Ultimately, I like the pick. However, he’ll be someone I’ll be watching closely come training camp and preseason. Williams, by the way, dropped down draft boards over concerns about a possible knee problem.
I went into Day 3 of the draft thinking again that the Eagles might trade back to acquire maybe a sixth round pick. Or, that this would be the time they’d draft a QB. In my mock draft, this is where I had them taking Matt Scott.
As soon as the draft started with the Jags on the clock, the Eagles actually traded up, not back. Say what? Okay, I guess maybe they want to ensure they’ll get Matt Scott and they only sacrifice a seventh-rounder to move up.
Then came the biggest surprise of the entire Eagles draft: QB Matt Barkley.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Barkley? The same guy who’d have trouble beating Frankenstein’s monster in a foot race?
Don’t they already have a lead-footed QB on the roster in Nick Foles? Why on earth would they take Barkley? I was completely just baffled by this pick.
However, yet again, after having some time to digest the selection I came to the conclusion that this may have actually been a great pick. In fact, it could prove to be a franchise-changing pick as we move forward into the Chip Kelly era.
This was the pick that made me realize that we truly do not know what Kelly intends to do with the offense. However, I gave my extended thoughts on what selecting Barkley means for the future of the franchise. You can check that out right here.
Are the Eagles ever going to get a player for the secondary? Or maybe a 5-tech DE? Many people had been clamoring for CB Jordan Poyer since Round 3 and he was still on the board.
But, no Poyer yet. However, they do, in fact, address the secondary by selecting S Earl Wolff.
Wolff was a guy I researched prior to the draft but not as much as other prospects because I thought the Eagles would have addressed this position by Round 3.
Nonetheless, I was happy they picked Wolff here as I recalled this piece of a scouting report I had read on him (from National Football Post):
One of the more aggressive safeties in this year’s Draft, Wolff flies around the field and is always around the ball. His deceptively good playing speed gives him sideline range versus the run and in coverage. Quick attacking the LOS in run support, Wolff can be a strong and violent wrap-up tacklers when he stays over his feet and under control. He sifts through traffic well and uses hands to stays free from blockers/contact and has an explosive closing burst to the ball to finish plays.
Furthermore, Wolff is billed as a player with all the top intangibles you look for. Smart, instinctive and is a leader on the field.
Plus, how can you not like a safety with the name of “Wolff”? Hopefully he hunts like one on the field.
By now we figured out that the Eagles won’t be trading back, at all. They’re just staying at their spots and taking the players they want.
Their first pick in this round was the only player I nailed in my mock draft: DE Joe Kruger.
He’s billed as a hard worker and a guy that is raw, but flashed good potential. He will likely add some bulk and be in the mix as a 5-tech DE.
With our second pick in this round, we took CB Jordan Poyer. Wait, what? He’s still on the board?
Poyer was rated as a third or fourth round prospect in just about every scouting report I had read on him. Apparently, he fell in the draft due to an arrest for criminal trespass that called into question his character.
However, the incident was a minor one and nothing to worry about. The Eagles received great value here in drafting Poyer this late. He’ll provide much needed depth in the secondary and has the potential to be a starter in a year or two.
He also has experience returning punts so he could offer value on special teams immediately.
With the Eagles’ last pick in the draft, they selected an unknown in DL David King. He’s listed as a DE/DT and will likely compete as a 5-tech DE for the Eagles.
Overall, I like the Eagles’ draft class. I feel there is tremendous potential with each and every pick. Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz should be pretty damn close to being “sure things” and there is a lot to be excited about with the rest of the picks.
Eagles’ draft class at a glance:
OT Lane Johnson, 6′ 6″ 303 lbs, Oklahoma
TE Zach Ertz, 6′ 5″ 249 lbs, Stanford
DT Bennie Logan, 6′ 2″ 309 lbs, LSU
QB Matt Barkley, 6′ 2″ 227 lbs, USC
S Earl Wolff, 5′ 11″ 209 lbs, NC State
DE Joe Kruger, 6′ 6″ 269 lbs, Utah
CB Jordan Poyer, 6′ 191 lbs, Oregon State
DE David King, 6′ 5″ 285 lbs, Oklahoma