And Now We Know: The Eagles 2013 Draft Reflection

Photo via Delco Times (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Photo via Delco Times (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

There has been a ton of speculation regarding the changes that would inevitably take place once Big Balls Chip Kelly was hired as the head coach of the Eagles. So far, most of the analysis has been fairly shallow.

He’s not a bore at his press conferences, he plays music at practices, he talks a mean game about having a mean team. That’s fantastic, however, still only a few crumbs of food from a king’s feast. The draft finally provided an opportunity to develop a sincere understanding of Chip’s philosophy and the general direction of the franchise.

The key word at the center of this draft is the word versatility. Every player that the Eagles drafted this year (Barkley excluded) has the ability to be used in multiple looks. Lane Johnson can play left and right tackle, Zach Ertz could feasibly be four different positions on the field on any given play, and guys like Jordan Poyer played safety and corner in college. All of this plays to Chip Kelly’s favor and supports his notion of putting players in the position to succeed.

Many times that sentiment is lip service from coaches. Andy Reid had a square peg (Michael Vick) and bludgeoned it to smithereens with a hammer (passed 45 times a game). This attitude of fitting players into a scheme rather than catering to their talents is a disservice to the team, the organization, and the fans.

Kelly, however, has repeatedly stated that his offense shouldn’t be pegged with any specifics—especially concerning the quarterback position. He took that notion a step further by passing on the mobile Geno Smith for pocket passer Matt Barkley.

Kelly’s also added attitude. Lane Johnson is known as a guy with a mean streak. And if you check out these bios on Earl Wolff and Jordan Poyer, you’ll see defensive backs that can contribute in run defense. In other words, this defense isn’t soft anymore.

Now there is a more tangible understanding of what this team is going to be, which, to an extent, is undefinable. Kelly has stayed true to everything that he’s been saying all along. This team is getting bigger, tougher, and capable of adjusting to win match-ups regardless of a set scheme.

Essentially, we doubted whether Kelly was being honest or not. With the draft over, now we know.

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Posted on April 30, 2013, in Eagles, Posts, Sports Philosophy, Vince Quinn and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. What about Barkley though? What should we take from that decision?

  2. JPK, clearly I’m not Vince and I’m sure your specific question will come up, in some form or another, in some of our future posts here. But in short answer to your question, Barkley is more similar to Foles in style than he is to Vick, or any of the other QBs Kelly has been known to utilize at Oregon. I think that says, like Vince did, he’s taking what he has, not bringing what he did to the Eagles exactly. It’s definitely noteworthy stylistically that he is loading up on young arms, not legs at QB. Especially given that he had some level of choice to do the opposite and didnt.

  3. Yep. Arms being the key there.

    Now Barkley for a fourth round pick is worth a whirl, but at the same time he’s a fourth round QB for a reason. He needs some work, but is a harmless project player with tons of upside. If he’s going to challenge to start, I would say that’s going to be next year.

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