Now with the NFL Draft complete and given some time to actually think about the Eagles picks, my opinion has changed some since my initial reaction. I’m a Philly fan so it’s hard to shake the negative attitude, especially when it comes to recent drafts for the Eagles. But new regime, new eyes, new strategies so maybe things will be different under Kelly and Roseman.
Lane Johnson – Initially I wasn’t too thrilled with the pick since Johnson is a converted QB to TE to OT, but the truth is with the draft being so weak at the top I’m not sure if any player the Eagles picked would have made me happy. Everyone towards the top had a major flaw. Jordan has the build of Kevin Garnett, Fisher played against suspect competition, and as of now Ansah has played less organized football in his life than I have. Even if the Eagles found a partner to move down with I don’t think any combo of first round picks would have had me jumping to my computer to buy tickets for next season. Hopefully Johnson is a Pro Bowl caliber tackle that when needed can shift to the left side after Peters moves on. Johnson looks like he’s a great fit for Kelly’s uptempo scheme as well. All in all it’s a solid pick. Here’s hoping he’s better than Antone Davis.
Zach Ertz – Again I wasn’t too happy about this pick either, hoping that the Eagles would invest their early round picks on the defensive side of the ball. I wanted Margus Hunt. But after taking a day to think it over the pick is a pretty good one. Instead of drafting based on need (Jaiquawn Jarrett) the Eagles stuck to their draft board and picked the higher rated player on their board, even though they already have a competent tight end in Celek. Ertz was in the conversation with Tyler Eifert as the top tight end in this draft. He stands 6’5″ can run well and had a very productive college career at a great program. Not much more you can ask for in a prospect.
Bennie Logan – Finally a defensive pick. Logan was the least heralded member of the LSU d-line with players like Mingo, Johnson, and Montgomery overshadowing him during his college career. Logan has been a fixture on the LSU defense for a couple of years now and that is saying something. According to all the reports Logan is a high character guy in addition to having the needed measurablea to succeed in the NFL. I assume he’ll fit in as a 3-4 DE, and hopefully in time can supplant Thornton in the starting lineup.
Matt Barkley – A year ago Barkley would have been picked in the first round. The poor guy made the decision to come back to USC and then fell so far down the draft well that Lassie couldn’t find him. The Eagles moved up to pick him with the first pick of the 4th round, eliciting praise from both Kiper and McShay. So bully for the Eagles. I never watched a ton of USC, but when I did I thought Barkley was a player. Here’s hoping the Eagles found a winning lottery ticket.
Earl Wolff – Thank god the Eagles added some competition to the safety position. I don’t think anyone in Philly is too pumped about Nate Allen and I don’t think anyone in New England was too upset about losing Patrick Chung, so Wolff will be welcomed with open arms to Philadelphia. If he can hit and tackle he’ll make the team and might even start. Wolff is undersized at 5’11”, but so are a lot of great safeties including one that played in Philly for a long time. Like Logan, Ertz, and Barkley Wolff is said to be a high character player so it looks like it’s a characteristic the new regime values and it is one that is hard to argue with. Wolff is a 5th round pick so you can’t expect much from him, but the opportunity is there for him.
Joe Kruger – Good NFL bloodlines. He’s a big bodied guy which is a welcomed change after having to watch the Eagles draft “fastballs” year after year that didn’t work out. He’s a 7th round pick so if he makes the team it’s a win.
Jordan Poyer – Poyer had a much higher grade according to ESPN, but fell for whatever reason. There is opportunities all over the defensive backfield so go get ’em Jordan.
David King – See Kruger.