In the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the Eagles traded up to draft USC QB Matt Barkley. CBS Sportsline Clark Judge and some other national experts claim that this pick spells the end in Philadelphia for Michael Vick and Nick Foles. They claim the Eagles have found their QB of the future.
In reality, the selection of Barkley and trading up for him probably means nothing more than the fact that Kelly likes his potential and thought that at Round 4, his value was too good to pass up.
By no means does it mean that Kelly lacks faith in his current QBs on the roster. It also does not mean that Barkley will ever be a starter in Eagles green.
It is possible that Barkley one day starts for the Eagles and could become the next great NFL QB. However, his chances are not necessarily good if we look back at three major things in history.
First, the history of QBs picked in Round 4 of the draft is pretty pathetic. The last 20 years have only produced two starting NFL QBs, Kyle Orton and David Garrard, and neither of them are exactly franchise changing QBs.
Next, the recent track record of USC quarterbacks playing in the NFL is not exactly stellar. Carson Palmer had a good career, although many say he has underachieved his potential overall, and Mark Sanchez and Matt Leinert have pretty much been laughably bad.
Finally, the Eagles track record in Round 4 of the draft has been awful. In fact, it is probably their worst round of drafting in the last 15 years. Last year they got Brandon Boykin, who the jury is still out on. The year before that they got a kicker in Alex Henery, who has been solid, but he's still only a kicker.
They also took LB Casey Matthews, who has shown nothing.
If you go back through the years of Eagles picks in Round 4, you find names like Trevard Lindley, Keenan Clayton, Mike Kafka, Clay Harbour, Mike McGlynn, Quintin Demps, and Jack Ikegwuono. The Eagles have not drafted a star player in Round 4 since William Thomas, OLB in 1991.
If you want to find the last time they drafted a productive player in Round 4, you would have to go back to 2006 when they grabbed Jason Avant, or 2005 when they picked Todd Herremans.
With all that being said, I think the move to go up and get Barkley was a good one. He was projected as a high first-round pick last year and to find that value in Round 4 could end up being the move that defines the Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia.
So I understand where Clark Judge is coming from.
Or it could end up being just another miss in Round 4. Either way, as a whole, I liked what the Eagles did in the draft, as they got some great values and improved their team.