Philadelphia Eagles 2013 NFL Draft: Draft Selection Breakdown, Grades & Analysis

After a very heartless and embarrassing showing in 2012, it was clear the Eagles needed a new direction. With a new head coach, coaching staff and offensive and defensive schemes, we knew the draft would also play a huge part in the rebuilding of the Eagles franchise.

So here we are with our live draft analysis (we’ll update this after each selection is made), and without further ado let’s dig right into the Eagles selections made in the 2013 NFL Draft.

1st Round, Pick 4 (4th Overall): Lane Johnson – OT, Oklahoma

Lane Johnson has been called the most freakish athlete of the entire draft by Mike Mayock, and may also have the most upside of all the 3 top Offensive Tackles in the draft.
NCAA Football: Senior Bowl

It’s no surprise that the Eagles took what they considered the best player available. In Johnson the Eagles get a player that can anchor the right side of the offensive line and be the incumbent to move to left tackle when the team moves on from Jason Peters or should he become injured again. It also gives them the ability to move Todd Herremans back over to his natural position at guard.

Johnson has played both sides of the offensive line at Oklahoma. At 6’6″-303lbs, his athleticism went on display at the combine where he blew many experts away with his performance for a man his size. That athleticism will be put to good use in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo/no-huddle offense. What he also brings to the table is very good skill in blocking in the run game as his athleticism allows him to get out wide on runs to the outside, which the Eagles look to be emphasizing. But he’s no slouch in pass protection, as that’s his greatest asset. He’s very good a resetting his feet and adjusting to the rusher. He’s only played on the offensive line for two years, being a converted Quarterback (has also played Tight End), so he has a lot of room to grow as an Offensive Tackle.

If Jason Peters returns to pre-injury form, paired with Johnson on the right side, the Eagles will have one of the most athletically talented duo of tackles in the entire league. Johnson is a good pick for a team that had more than it’s fair share of issues on the offensive line, mostly due to injury. He projects to become a better NFL pro than he was in college and should be an anchor on the Eagles offensive line for many years to come.

Grade: B+

2nd Round, Pick 3 (35th Overall): Zach Ertz – TE, Stanford

Zach Ertz Ertz is considered the top Tight End in the draft. He’s a very versatile player (think H-Back) that runs very good routes, uses his size (6’5″ – 249lbs) well, has sneaky speed and is a very good receiver. He doesn’t possess breakaway straight line speed, but with his quickness in his route running he creates separation and catches a lot of balls that look almost uncatchable. At Stanford, his versatility was unquestioned as he was utilized in a number of positions, being lined up inside, in the slot and also outside. He does need to improve in his blocking, but his ability and talent as an offensive playmaker make up for his lack of skill in the blocking game.

Ertz led the nation in receiving yards by a Tight End and was worked out by the Eagles during the draft process. He gives Chip Kelly another offensive weapon to add to his arsenal. Expect to see a lot of two Tight End formations, and to see him spread out across in multiple formations as Ertz is a player that will definitely get on the field in his rookie season.

Grade: A

3rd Round, Pick 5 (67th Overall): Bennie Logan – DT, LSU

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Florida Bennie Logan is a stout/wide bodied player with long arms. He was a player that was somewhat flying under the radar coming into the draft. Logan is somewhat athletic for a big man (6’2″ – 309lbs), yet is much more of a run stuffing defender than a pass rushing threat. He often handles double teams extremely well as he is a physically strong player with low center of gravity and is a space eater on the defensive line. If he gets a hand on the ball carrier, even if he doesn’t make the tackle, he’ll slow them down enough for the next guy to bring him down. Logan is good character guy that should become a positive influence in the locker room.

Logan looks to fit in as a rotational player behind Sopoaga at the Nose Tackle position, or he could also play at the 5-tech Defensive End position. Not quite sure there wasn’t better value to be had at this pick. Using a 3rd rounder on a player that looks to most likely come off the field in passing downs if he plays DE or sparingly serves solely as a backup to spell Sopoaga. While he adds some needed depth to the defensive line, I’m sure that the Eagles could’ve found that depth in later rounds or through UDFAs. Many scouting reports question his stamina as a 3 down player and his height is not ideal for Defensive End, but he does have the versatility to play both the NT and DE positions and we all know that Chip Kelly favors that.

Grade: B-

Eagles Trade With JAX & Move Up From 101st Pick to 98th Pick

4th Round, Pick 1 (98th Overall): Matt Barkley – QB, USC

matt barkley Matt Barkley is an intelligently talented Quarterback. After a successful 2011 campaign in which he was considered to be a mid-first round selection, Barkley decided to return to USC for his senior season. His draft stock had fallen in 2012 due to a drop in in production on the field that many feel was caused by a porous offensive line and injuries. He is however considered the most NFL ready QB in the draft after being both a 4yr starter in high school and throughout his college career at USC. He is also the first ever 3yr team captain for USC, and leaves with a career 27-9 as a starter.

Barkley is considered best suited for a West Coast style offense due to his lack of a big arm. His strength lies in his intelligence and leadership qualities on the field. While not considered a highly mobile QB, Barkley does possess the ability to move well in the pocket to buy time and also performs fairly well in rollouts. His size is not ideal (6’2″ – 227lbs), but he does have a good frame and big hands (10 1/8″) and displays a high level of toughness to get up after taking big hits. He does very well in looking off defenders and pump faking safeties. Accurate passer with enough of an arm to get the ball out quickly when he sees a favorable matchup pre-snap.

On the surface the Barkley pick by the Eagles is a bit of a head scratcher given the aura that Chip Kelly prefers highly mobile Quarterbacks. However, overall Barkley is a proven leader and a very intelligent Quarterback. Two intangibles that Coach Kelly also covets and this pick shows that he wants a guy that can command the offense. But Barkley won’t just take the offense on his back, he’ll take leadership of the entire team. You can’t coach demeanor and leadership is something that you really want at the Quarterback position. His character is also top notch, which he displayed in returning to USC despite the fact that USC was facing sanctions from the NCAA.

So while unexpected, I like this pick and think that with some pro-level coaching, Barkley will develop into a solid and productive starting QB for the Eagles.

Grade: A

5th Round, Pick 3 (136 Overall): Earl Wolff – S, NC State

Earl Wolff is physical Safety that plays equally well in the box as well in coverage. Played Strong Safety at N.C. State, but is an athletically gifted player that performed extremely well at the combine and could play either of the Safety positions. His 4.44sec 40-time proves that he has the speed to play deep and keep pace in coverage. Sound technician and displays good footwork. Plays well in man and zone coverage. Has average size (5’11” – 209lbs), but carries it well and has good definition in his build.

Wolff was a nice pick-up by the Eagles. While they added both Patrick Chung and Kenny Phillips in Free Agency, adding a young/physical Safety as insurance makes a lot of sense. Phillips has been injury plagued, so if he falters, Wolff looks as if he can step in and make some noise. His coach at N.C. State referred to him as the heart of the defense. If he performs well in camp, don’t be surprised to see Wolff get a lot of playing time and possibly starting soon. He can also contribute on special teams.

earl wolff2

Grade: B

7th Round, Pick 4 (210 Overall): Traded to JAX along with 101st Pick for 98th Overall Pick

7th Round, Pick 6 (212 Overall): Joe Kruger – DE, Utah

Kruger is a large (6’6″ – 269lbs) athletic player that uses power in his bull rush. Has good quickness of the snap and gets to the ball carrier. His technique is considered raw, but has a lot of upside. He’s considered a high effort player that goes full speed on every play. He tends to pop up in his stance off snap and it causes him to lose leverage to his opposition. He is also the younger brother of Paul Kruger.

Kruger was a pretty good value pick with some upside. His frame suggests that he could add weight and either play DE in the 3-4 or move outside to OLB due to his athletic ability. He seems like a more natural fit at OLB.

NCAA Football: Utah at Oregon State

Grade: B-

7th Round, Pick 12 (218 Overall): Jordan Poyer – CB, Oregon State

Poyer is a solid Cornerback that can tackle with some pop. He’s a smart defender that will come up to make the play on the ball in front of receivers. He had 7 interceptions in 2012. He has experience playing both man and zone, but lacks the strength to engage receivers in press. His size is average (6’0″ – 191lbs), but he plays bigger than his stature. He also has experience returning punts and kicks.

Poyer looks to be a solid addition to the Eagles to compete for the 3rd corner position and possibly return some kicks/punts in special teams. He doesn’t have elite speed (4.54 – 40) but can close on the ball and make plays. He’s an aggressive player that will get some turnovers.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon State

Grade: B

7th Round, Pick 33 (239 Overall): David King – DE, Oklahoma

King is a bit of a tweener between playing inside or outside at 6’5″ – 286lbs. He has a ton of strength and will snap back opposition, but doesn’t quite seem to make a ton of plays. He will get his hands up in passing situations and bat some balls down. Keeps his eyes on the QB and will occasionally chase down the ball carrier. Holds edge well in running game.

It looks like King could benefit from some higher level coaching. He’s a player that had all the talent, but hasn’t quite lived up to expectations at the collegiate level. So he’s a low risk-high reward type of player. Not sure where he fits in with the Eagles, but it would most likely be at DE. If he flourishes, King could become a solid pro and be a rotational player.

david king

Grade: C

Eagles Overall Draft Grade: B

Overall the Eagles fared pretty well in the draft. They addressed almost every major need they had and didn’t have to salvage too many picks in trades to get the players they wanted.

In Lane Johnson they added a Tackle that can anchor either side of the line for the next 10yrs. In Zach Ertz they have a versatile playmaking receiver that can line up anywhere and makes some pretty amazing catches. Eddie Logan is a big wide body that can play both at DE and NT, and compete for a starting position.  Matt Barkley is a Quarterback with huge upside that suffered from injury and a subpar 2012, but he’s as smart a player as they come and has the potential to become a franchise player. He looks to be the value pick of the Eagles draft. At Safety they added what many considered to be a sleeper, that looks to compete for a starting role right away and has the potential to develop into a solid pro. In Joe Kruger they have the pedigree bloodlines and let’s not forget his size. You can’t coach size and if he pans out, could push for a spot at OLB. Jordan Poyer is an aggressive corner that could see time both in nickel situations and also on special teams. And finally, in David King the Eagles have another freakishly sized player that has some low risk-high reward attributes that could pay off at DE with some solid coaching at the NFL level.


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Categories: Eagles, Editorial, NFL

Author:Jerry Pomroy

Born & bred in Philly. Grew up in Fishtown, but lived all over the city. Philly sports nut, but always try to keep my opinions objective and honest...Never a homer. Love to push the envelope to get people thinking...

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