Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kelly plays it Safe

In the recently concluded 2013 NFL draft, new Eagles coach, and heralded offensive genius, Chip Kelly, played it straight down the middle...making the safe pick in almost every instance. The old football adages, build from the lines out, and pick the best athlete available regardless of position, certainly seemed in evidence. Taking Lane Johnson, a big, athletic, if inexperienced offensive tackle with the 4th pick in the draft, certainly followed this adage. Johnson, if ready, gives them the opportunity to return Todd Herremans to guard, have two large, bookends at offensive tackle, and motivate disappointing 2011 first round pick Danny Watkins to put up or shutup. If he's not ready, they can leave Herremans at tackle, continue with Watkins at guard, and wait until Johnson develops. Either way, a smart move.  Second round pick, tight end Zack Ertz, while not a glaring need, has great potential in an offense that relies on match up problems created by tight ends. Third round pick Bennie Logan returns to the line, this time, the defensive line and appears to be a solid choice. Matt Barkley, who likely would have been a first round pick if he had entered the draft last year, has the potential to be an absolute steal in the fourth round, and may be the quarterback of the future. If not, he merely cost a fourth round pick. He will be given time to develop, and may blossom with solid coaching and without the pressure to perform immediately. Later picks were all solid, if not spectacular.  All in all, safe picks...and maybe, just maybe, exactly what the Eagles need to return to perennial playoff contention.

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