No trading down for Eagles

Posted: April 30, 2013

THE MATT BARKLEY stunner aside, there were two major Eagles surprises when the draft process concluded.

The rebuilding Birds, who had just one selection in the second, third, fourth and fifth rounds, were never able to trade down and acquire more. Eagles coach Chip Kelly brought that up without being asked in one of his weekend media sessions, volunteering that nobody called when the Eagles were on the clock at fourth overall or 35th. That led to the second surprise: As happy as they might have been with getting offensive tackle Lane Johnson in the first round or tight end Zach Ertz in the second, adding a second-, third- or a fourth-rounder might have allowed the Eagles to address their secondary problems a little earlier than the fifth round (safety Earl Wolff) and seventh (corner Jordan Poyer). This was the first time the Eagles didn't make a trade in the first three rounds since 2002.

General manager Howie Roseman was asked if it was tempting to try to fill needs in the second, third and fourth rounds, rather than sticking to what the Birds' board said.

"It's hard to do in every round," he said. "Really. It's hard to do when you have a depth chart in the draft room and you look at it and there are empty spots, and maybe you're taking a player where maybe you have depth at those positions, but it's the right thing to do. When you look at the draft, it's a long-term investment for your football team, and if you start trying to predict who's going to be on your team a year, 2, 3 years from now, you're going to make mistakes."

Kelly made it pretty clear that the Dolphins did indeed trade up to third overall to keep the Eagles from drafting his former Oregon star, defensive end Dion Jordan. Thursday evening, Kelly spoke of the Eagles having had four players they were willing to draft fourth overall, and of Johnson having been one of those players. He didn't indicate a priority within that group. Saturday, Kelly was asked about not getting to draft any of his Oregon players (the Eagles unofficially have signed former Ducks DE Isaac Remington as an undrafted free agent).

"Trust me, the guy that went No. 3, we were considering very heavily, but didn't get the chance to pull the trigger on that one." Kelly said. He indicated the price to move from four to three was too steep.

If you're looking for immediate impact out of this draft, it sure seems likely Johnson will get a chance to start right away. Ertz might or might not start ahead of Brent Celek, but it will be a shock if he isn't a big part of the offensive revolution Kelly is planning. With the switch to a 3-4 defensive front, the door is certainly open for third-rounder Bennie Logan from LSU to start or at least earn a rotational spot. Can Barkley become part of that starting quarterback competition, with Michael Vick and Nick Foles? It would seem to be a stretch, but it is a new world now at NovaCare; not much seems off the table.

Wolff, the fifth-round safety, is probably looking at special teams right off the bat, maybe more if the guys in front of him falter. He probably would have been a higher pick in a less safety-rich draft.

Seventh-rounders Poyer, Joe Kruger (a 3-4 DE) and David King (ditto) are here for depth and development. Kruger is the brother of Paul Kruger, who played a prominent role with the Super Bowl Ravens before going to the Browns in free agency. Joe Kruger, 6-6, 269, came out a year early and won't turn 21 until June. "We really think he's going to grow into his body," Kelly said.


Today on PhillyDailyNews.com: Everything you need to know about the Eagles' 2013 draft picks, plus a chance to try to match Domo's expertise in picking the Eagles' Week One starting lineup.

|
|
|
|
|