Where Each Philadelphia Eagles' Late-Round Draft Pick Fits into Team's Plan
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We've seen it before: late-round draft picks that either become stars or play well enough to make significant contributions.
Granted, there are others who are never heard from again.
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a season where they can use all the help they can get, whether through free agency or the draft.
Specifically in the 2013 NFL draft, interestingly enough, the Eagles waited until later rounds to address arguably their two biggest positional needs: safety and cornerback.
We have a firm understanding of how the Eagles' first three picks fit in and what Matt Barkley brings to the table, but let's delve into Philadelphia's last four picks and how they fit into the new system.
Earl Wolff, Safety, N.C. State
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Selected: Round 5, 136th overall
None of those names will have quarterbacks thinking twice about throwing deep, however.
Wolff comes in at 5'11" and 209 pounds, with a chance to win a starting job, although a minuscule chance at best.
He is extremely quick and athletic, elements the Eagles could use at the safety position. Wolff also has the ability to wrap up receivers and limits yards after the catch, an aspect vital to safeties, especially those who are undersized like Wolff is.
With that being said, his lack of height is his biggest downfall.
Most NFL teams in today's league have one or two receivers that are big targets in the red zone. A jump ball with one of those tall threats would have Wolff ending up on the losing end more often than not.
His speed does present him as a viable option on special teams, however.
The Eagles were fifth worst in kick return average last season, only mustering 21 yards per return. Wolff has the potential to be a nice spark for what has been a non-existent return unit for too many years in a row now.
Earl Wolff will start the season as a backup safety who has a golden opportunity to win that job early.
Chip Kelly also could use him as a kick or punt return specialist.
Joe Kruger, Defensive End/Linebacker, Utah
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Selected: Round 7, 212th overall
It will be interesting to see (if Joe Kruger makes the roster as he should) where Chip Kelly fits Kruger into his defensive system.
This question, though, has two parts: time-wise and position-wise.
The first part, how much Kruger will play, revolves around specific situations. Kruger has a couple of players ahead of him regardless of whether he is molded as a defensive end or outside linebacker.
Kruger will likely play the most in pass-rushing situations as that is what he does best.
He recorded six sacks in his final season at Utah.
Chip Kelly will have to make the decision as to whether to groom Kruger as a defensive end, an outside linebacker or both. In a 3-4 defense, the most likely of scenarios will see Kruger as an outside linebacker.
He isn't necessarily big enough (6'6", 269 lbs) to consistently stop the run or get to the quarterback from a defensive end position. A running start from the outside linebacker position may be the perfect fit for Kruger.
Inevitable passing plays for the opposition should be the best opportunities for Kruger to see the field early in games, but perhaps later in the season.
Lack of overwhelming talent in the Eagles' front seven, to put it bluntly, also should influence Kruger's case for playing time.
Jordan Poyer, Cornerback, Oregon State
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Selected: Round 7, 218th overall
Poyer intercepted the ball seven times in 2012 with Oregon State and returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown.
In an Eagles secondary that lacks star power, or maybe any power at all for that matter, Poyer will definitely see snaps in 2013. It is just a matter of how many.
At 6'0", 190 pounds, Poyer fights with receivers on balls that are relatively 50-50 and possesses a disciplined yet aggressive style when undercutting out routes. His sure hands will lead to a few interceptions, too, when jumping those routes.
Based on the Eagles roster, Poyer has an excellent chance to earn playing time at the cornerback position. He will be directly competing against Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley and Curtis Marsh.
Needless to say, none of those names stick out.
Look for Jordan Poyer to see a good amount of snaps at the backup cornerback position. He'll pick off a few passes and may be given the opportunity to return punts and kicks at times.
David King, Defensive End, Oklahoma
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Selected: Round 7, 239th overall
David King will have the most trouble making this team out of all the Eagles' draft picks.
King had only 1.5 sacks in his 2012 season with the Oklahoma Sooners.
He is a player that could be looked at as a "tweener" in the NFL, meaning his 6'5", 285-pound frame doesn't especially fit anywhere. Versatility looks good on paper, but transitioning his quickness from the collegiate level to the professional ranks will be tough for King.
Due to the logjam of players in the front seven, King won't play in every game. When, or if, he does see the field, it won't be for many consecutive snaps.