NFL Team Report - Philadelphia Eagles - INSIDE SLANT
Chip Kelly has maintained all along that he wasn't married to the idea of having a running quarterback, but not many people believed him.
Then, he selected Matt Barkley in the fourth round of the draft last Saturday.
Barkley is not a running quarterback. He couldn't run the read option if you gave him a scooter. He's a pocket passer. But Kelly and the Eagles traded up three spots and grabbed him.
Barkley, who was projected to go in the first or second round, will battle Michael Vick and Nick Foles for the Eagles' starting job this summer. Vick is the only one of those three with the speed to run the read-option.
"We're an equal opportunity scoring offense," Kelly said. "Whether we throw it across the line or we run it across the line, if you have someone who can throw it - I played at New Hampshire and we didn't run the ball very much. We had a quarterback who won the Walter Payton Award and threw 125 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. If we can wing it, we'll wing it. If we can run it, we'll run it."
Kelly said Barkley just was too good to pass up in the fourth round.
"We had him rated in the top 50 players in this draft. The fact that he was still there, we've been talking all along about how we were going to take value, and there was no better value for us to up (the last day of the draft). So we took him."
If Barkley had come out last year, many think he would've been a top 10 pick. But both USC and Barkley had less than stellar 2012 seasons.
The biggest knock on Barkley is his arm strength. He suffered a shoulder sprain late last season, but didn't need surgery. Kelly said his arm is strong enough.
"Sometimes, the arm strength aspect of it is overrated because people are trying to paint it with a brush," he said. "We're not trying to knock over milk cartons at a county fair. It's about if you can put the ball in the right spot at the right time. I've seen that over the course of Matt's career.
"I think the accuracy part is more important than the arm strength part. There's been some big strong guys that can just sling a ball, but those guys to me are throwers and not passers. Matt is a passer."
NFL Team Report - Philadelphia Eagles - NOTES, QUOTES
--The NFL is checking into whether the Eagles jumped the gun with one of their undrafted free agents, LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard Jr. Two hours before the draft ended last Saturday, Shepard tweeted that he already had agreed to terms with the Eagles. In a post-draft interview with a Baton Rouge radio station, Shepard said, "I actually took myself off the draft board during the draft. Teams started calling me probably in the middle of the sixth round, asking me, 'Is it true that you've signed with a team already?' I actually got it out of the way before the draft was over. I said (with the Eagles) before the draft was over." It's common for teams to contact players late in the draft and indicate their interest in them if they don't get drafted. But it's illegal to discuss contract terms. The Eagles said they did not agree to terms with Shepard until the draft was over.
--Four of the Eagles' eight draft picks were from the Pac-12, where Chip Kelly coached. Five of their eight picks played against Kelly. "It wasn't by design," Kelly said. "I think it kind of just happened. There were some other good Pac-12 players that I'm aware of that went other places."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Sam Rutigliano used to say, 'With a quarterback, it's like a tea bag. You don't know what you have until you put it in hot water.' The first time I saw Matt Barkley, he was a true freshman and he came into (Oregon's) Autzen Stadium, which is one of the toughest places to play in the world, and it didn't phase him a bit. Matt Barkley was never a freshman. There was just a poise about him, there was a calm about him." - Eagles coach Chip Kelly.
NFL Team Report - Philadelphia Eagles - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
A closer look at the Eagles' picks:
1/4 - Lane Johnson, T, 6-6, 303, Oklahoma
Former quarterback, defensive end and tight end who's only been an offensive lineman for three years. Eagles love his athleticism. He's an excellent fit for Chip Kelly's offense. Can play both sides. Probably will be the team's season-opening starting right tackle.
2/35 - Zach Ertz, TE, 6-5, 249, Stanford
Tight end wasn't a need at 35, but Ertz was the top available guy on the Eagles' board. Kelly is going to use a lot of two- and even three-tight end sets, and he loves the matchup problems Ertz causes for defenses with his size and speed.
3/67 - Bennie Logan, DT, 6-2, 309, LSU
The Eagles will be playing a 3-4, and Logan has the versatility to play both inside and outside in their base and sub-packages. Figures to be a rotational player as a rookie.
4/98 - Matt Barkley, QB, 6-3, 227, USC
The Eagles feel they got a top-50 talent with the 98th pick. Barkley's selection proves mobility isn't a required skill in Kelly's offense. He ran a 4.9 in pre-draft workouts, but threw 12 touchdown passes in four games against Kelly's Oregon Ducks.
5/136 - Earl Wolff, S, 5-11, 209, North Carolina State
Wolf is a physical player with 4.4 speed who can play centerfield or down in the box. His ticket to a roster spot will be on special teams.
7/212 - Joe Kruger, DE/OLB, 6-6, 269, Utah
Kruger played on the same defensive line at Utah with first-round pick Star Lotulelei. With the Eagles switching to a 3-4, they could use Kruger as both a five-technique end and a stand-up edge rusher.
7/218 - Jordan Poyer, CB, 6-0, 191, Oregon State
Another great value pick for the Eagles. Poyer was projected by many as a third- or fourth-round pick. Doesn't have great clock speed for a corner. Will be a special team contributor. Could eventually wind up at safety.
7/239 - David King, DE, 6-4, 275, Oklahoma
King was an All-Big 12 second-team selection. Started 13 games last season for the Sooners and will compete for a roster job as an end in their 3-4 scheme.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (1)
--G Jake Scott signed with the Eagles in the second half of the season and played well as their starting right guard. But the Eagles likely will go younger.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
--S Colt Anderson: Potential RFA; $1M/1 yr, $300,000 guaranteed.
--LS Jon Dorenbos: Potential UFA; 4 yrs.
--LB Emmanuel Acho (trade Browns).
--T Allen Barbre: FA; yerms unknown.
--LB Connor Barwin: UFA Texans; $36M/6 yrs, $8M guaranteed.
--WR Arrelious Benn (trade).
--DE Everette Brown: FA; terms unknown.
--TE James Casey: UFA Texans; $12M/3 yrs, $6M guaranteed.
--S Patrick Chung: UFA Patriots; $10M/3 yrs, $2.285M SB/$4M guaranteed.
--QB Dennis Dixon: FA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Bradley Fletcher: UFA Rams; $5.25M/2 yrs, $1.6M SB/$2.35M guaranteed.
--DE Clifton Geathers (trade Colts).
--P Donnie Jones: UFA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--S Kenny Phillips: UFA Giants; $2M/1 yr, $1M RB.
--LB Jason Phillips: UFA Panthers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--NT Isaac Sopoaga: UFA 49ers; $11M/3 yrs.
--CB Cary Williams: UFA Ravens; $17M/3 yrs, $10.5M guaranteed.
--CB Nnamdi Asomugah (released).
--T King Dunlap: UFA Chargers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--QB Trent Edwards (released).
--FB Stanley Havili (traded Colts).
--DT Cullen Jenkins (released).
--LB Akeem Jordan: UFA Chiefs; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DT Derek Landri: UFA Buccaneers; $2.75M/2 yrs, $1.25M guaranteed.
--RB Dion Lewis (traded Browns).
--P Mat McBriar (released).
--TE Evan Moore (released).
--DT Mike Patterson (released).
--CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: UFA Broncos; $5M/1 yr, $5M guaranteed.
--DE Darryl Tapp: UFA Redskins; 1 yr, terms unknown.