Eagles select USC QB Matt Barkley, remaining draft picks

Pictured: Matt Barkley (left) and Earl Wolff (right)
April 27, 2013 4:16:07 PM PDT
The Eagles selected USC quarterback Matt Barkley, North Carolina State safety Earl Wolff among others in the remaining rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft.

While Matt Barkley's stock dropped around the league, Chip Kelly saw a guy he coveted.

Kelly made sure he got his man Saturday when the Philadelphia Eagles traded up to select the Southern California quarterback with the first pick of the fourth round. Barkley joins Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon, giving the Eagles an obvious quarterback controversy.

"I'm going to come in and compete," Barkley said. "Has to be your mindset. Compete like it's your job."

Barkley was chosen with the 98th overall pick. Philadelphia gave Jacksonville a fourth-round pick (101) and a seventh-rounded (210) to move ahead of Kansas City and take Barkley.

"We're going to take the best value on the board," Kelly said, adding the Eagles rated Barkley in the top 50. "There's a prime example. The best value on the board by far was Matt. He's an extremely mature young man, intelligent, articulate. He has that 'it' factor."

Former Eagles coach Andy Reid, now the Chiefs' coach, likely would've taken Barkley at 99, and also tried to move up to get him at 98.

"I wasn't going to be on the board long today, and the Chiefs were definitely looking to trade up, but the Eagles beat them to it," Barkley said.

Barkley could've been a top-5 pick if he left school after his junior year, but he returned as a Heisman Trophy front-runner with a chance to lead USC to a national championship. Neither happened, and Barkley finished his career watching his teammates play in a bowl game from the sideline with his arm in a sling after sustaining a shoulder injury.

"I try not to get stressed about things I can't control," Barkley said when asked about his drop in the draft. "I'm just glad I know where my home is and I can't wait to hit the playbook."

Barkley rewrote the conference record book during a USC-record 47 starts over four seasons, becoming the Pac-12's leader in touchdown passes, yards passing, completions and total offense. He impressed Kelly in four games against Oregon.

"I've seen his skill-set up close and personal four times and he's answered the bell four times," said Kelly, who left Oregon to join the Eagles after Reid was fired following a 4-12 season.

The biggest knock against Barkley is his arm strength. The shoulder injury may have scared some teams away.

But Barkley didn't have surgery and only needed to rehab the sprain.

"He can deliver the ball," Kelly said. "The arm strength aspect is overrated. We're not trying to knock over milk cartons at a county fair. He's not a one-year wonder. He's done it for four straight years. The accuracy part is more important than arm strength part."

Barkley isn't viewed as a mobile quarterback who would fit into Kelly's up-tempo, high-octane offense. Kelly has insisted since the day he took the job that he'll work around his players' strengths.

"I want a quarterback who has the ability to run and not a running back who can throw," Kelly said. "That's been the biggest misconception. If there's an opportunity to get a first down, get it. But in this league, you have to be able to throw the football. Repetitive accuracy is the No. 1 thing we are looking for."

The Eagles then selected North Carolina State safety Earl Wolff in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

Wolff, a 5-foot-11, 209-pound strong safety, was chosen Saturday with the 136th overall pick. Earlier, the Eagles traded up to take Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley in the fourth round.

Wolff was a first-team All-ACC player as a senior. He had 19 tackles, two interceptions, and eight passes broken up.

He's considered a physical tackler and was a two-way star in high school, running for almost 1,000 yards as a senior.

Other round draft picks:
The Eagles have selected Utah defensive end Joe Kruger with the first of their three seventh-round picks.

Kruger was chosen Saturday with the 212th overall pick. He's listed at 6-foot-6 and 269 pounds.

Kruger is the youngest of three brothers. Paul Kruger is a linebacker for Cleveland. Dave Kruger was a defensive tackle at Utah.

Scouts say Joe Kruger has plenty of upside in a 3-4 defense, which Philadelphia plans to use.

The Eagles have selected Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer with their second of three seventh-round picks.

Poyer was chosen Saturday with the 218th overall selection. Poyer is listed at 6-feet and 191 pounds.

Poyer intercepted seven passes, returning one for a touchdown, as a senior and was an Associated Press first-team All-American.

Poyer also played baseball in high school and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 42nd round as an outfielder.

The Eagles have selected Oklahoma defensive end David King with the last of their three picks in the seventh round.

King was chosen Saturday with the 239th overall pick. He's listed at 6-foot-5 and 286 pounds.

King started two games at defensive tackle and 10 at end during his senior year. He finished with 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

The Eagles took eight players total, five on the defensive side, including three linemen.


Load Comments