While the news of the Philadelphia Eagles’ selection of Matt Barkley was still setting in, the Eagles were still busy making their remaining picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. The four picks following Barkley for the Birds were all on defense. To round out their selections, the Eagles drafted S Earl Wolff out of NC State; Utah DE Joe Kruger; CB Jordan Poyer out of Oregon State; and Oklahoma DE David King.
Here’s a rundown of each player:
S Earl Wolff (5’11, 209): Called a “sleeper safety” by draft analyst Mike Mayock:
“I first saw him at the East-West game. He had a solid week or practice there. Guys were talking about him in the fifth or sixth round at the East-West game. Then, at the combine, he ran a 4.4 and jumped 39 inches and really looked athletic and caught the football well.
“If you go back and watch the tape, this kid is a good football player. To most of America, he’s a sleeper. To NFL teams, he’s not. And he coud’v”e worked his way up to the third round.’’
DE Joe Kruger (6’6, 269): Kruger has great size and is a powerful player. An analysis of the DE on NFL.com states that he, “Plays with a firm base. Flows to the football well, and is an effort player. Possesses the ability to redirect.” But, among his weaknesses, “Plays with a high pad level too often. Pops upright off the snap and will give up leverage.” Overall, they projected him to be a Top 100 player with “plenty of upside” in a 3-4 defense.
CB Jordan Poyer (6’0, 191): Another player out of the Pac-12, and therefore very familiar to Chip Kelly. Poyner is a strong and physical player, matching up well with bigger receivers with good experience in zone coverage. He previously played safety and switched to corner in 2010—his success in his new position shows that he is a fast learning. Also has extensive experience in special teams.
CBSSports.com notes Poyer’s lean frame as a weakness, as well as cite a lack of explosiveness.
DE David King (6’4, 275): A very strong and versatile player with good instincts. The National Football Post describes his stengths as follows:
When left unblocked on backside, he makes sure to maintain his backside contain responsibility before trying to make the play in pursuit, but once he is sure the play is going away he quickly accelerates down the LOS and has the speed to chase down the play in pursuit.
However, they describe King’s versatility as being one of his weaknesses, making him a, “’Jack of all Trades and Master of None’ type guy and call him an “underachiever,” with only 27 tackles his senior year and 4.5 career sacks.
All in all, the Eagles took advantage of the fact that this was a draft stacked with good lineman prospects, with their first pick going to OT Lane Johnson and three of their remaining six picks being defensive lineman. Philadelphia went heavy on defense overall, with five of their eight selections going to that side of the ball. The secondary was a big area of need for the Birds, but the first defensive back was taken in the fifth round with Earl Wolff. Corner Jordan Poyner was the other addition, taken in the 7th round.
Regardless of need, Chip Kelly stayed true to his philosophy of taking the best player available on the board. He has made his first significant and lasting mark on the Eagles organization at head coach, yet we still know little about what we can expect to see from Kelly in the NFL. With his first draft done and in the books, however, the level of intrigue has definitely risen.