The Eagles moved up to snatch USC quarterback Matt Barkley with the first pick of day three of the NFL Draft. The move is somewhat shocking, as Barkley does not have the athleticism to run the read option effectively. He will join Michael Vick, Nick Foles, and Dennis Dixon in an increasingly crowded quarterback picture. This pick proves that Chip Kelly doesn’t believe he needs a dual threat quarterback to execute his offense.
The move could also be an indictment on Nick Foles, as Barkley was not brought in to be Foles’ career backup. Whether or not Foles is traded is a situation to monitor throughout the day and into training camp. The Eagles gave up a seventh round pick to leapfrog Andy Reid and the Chiefs, who were reportedly going to take Barkley with the 99th overall pick.
Before returning for his senior season, Barkley was widely regarded as a high first round pick, but a late-season injury and questions about arm strength emerged during a very underwhelming season for USC, a team that entered the 2012 season ranked #1 nationally before collapsing. Scouts love his leadership and short-to-intermediate accuracy.
The Eagles have only selected one defensive player so far, so depth in the secondary and along the defensive line remains a concern going forward. The Eagles have a fifth round pick and three seventh rounders remaining.