No one knew what to expect from Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly in his first NFL draft. The initial selection—offensive tackle Lane Johnson—seems like an ideal player to fit in the offense. The next two picks, Zach Ertz and Bennie Logan, were either top players or filled a big need.
Kelly took everyone by surprise, though, when he grabbed USC quarterback Matt Barkley with the top selection in the fourth round. Barkley probably would have been one of the top overall picks had he declared after 2011, but he went back for his senior season and saw his stock drop. Barkley missed two games due to injuries, threw 15 interceptions and subsequently fell to the middle of the draft.
The later picks for the Eagles are players who could surprise—notably Joe Kruger and Jordan Poyer. Kelly’s Eagles were just 4-12 last season, and they’re a work in progress. But if the rookies impress, Philadelphia could contend for a wild-card spot.