by Travis Normand
I don’t really care about the NFL but the Draft always presents interesting college themed sub-plots. One of the more interesting sub-plots that I noticed this year was that the Philadelphia Eagles drafted USC QB Matt Barkley.
Keep in mind, I am not criticizing the pick at all, as I am sure Barkley will be a fine NFL QB. However, like I said in the first sentence of this post, it’s the “sub-plot” that interests me.
“We had Matt rated in the top 50 players in the draft,” Kelly said. “We talked all along about how we were going to take value, and there was no better value than for us to open up today with than taking Matt.
According to the quote (and link) above, Chip Kelly had Barkley in his top 50 players for this draft. Further, the Eagles traded up from the 101st pick, to the 98th pick, in order to grab Barkley.
So whats the sub-plot? The fact that Chip Kelly was the head coach of the Oregon Ducks during the 2012 season is the sub-plot.
Kelly’s Oregon team defeated USC during the 2012 season, but Barkley still managed to roll-up 484 yards, 5 TDs, and only 2 INTS against Kelly’s Ducks. So, regardless of what most Oregon fans will surely say about Barkley’s ability, its interesting to know that their former head coach disagrees with them.
It’s also interesting to note that of the five Oregon players who were drafted, not one of them went to Philadelphia.
- Kiko Alonso – ILB – Bills
- Kenjon Barner – RB – Panthers
- John Boyett – SS – Colts
- Dion Jordan – DE – Dolphins
- Kyle Long – OG – Bears
- Michael Clay – OLB – n/a
- Jackson Rice – P – n/a
I don’t actually expect for Kelly to simply draft his old players from Oregon, and if anything, he probably drafted players based on what the Eagles needed. That would make the most sense, right?
Here are the Eagles actual selections:
- Round 1, Pick 4, (Overall 4): OT
- Round 2, Pick 3, (Overall 35): TE
- Round 3, Pick 5, (Overall 67): DT
- Round 4, Pick 1, (Overall 98): QB
- Round 5, Pick 3, (Overall 136): SS
- Round 7, Pick 6, (Overall 212): DE
- Round 7, Pick 12, (Overall 218): CB
- Round 7, Pick 33 (Overall 239): DE
After comparing the two lists above, it appears that maybe John Boyett (SS) would have had the best chance of getting selected by the Eagles had he not been taken by the Colts in an earlier round. In other words, Kelly wasn’t dodging Oregon players and there were no Oregon guys matching the needs of the Eagles when selection time came up.
Of course, having said that, Kelly did select other Pac-12 Conference players — Stanford (TE, Round 2), USC (QB, Round 4), Utah (Round 7, Pick 6), and Oregon State (Round 7, Pick 12). I bet that Oregon State selection hurt a few people in Eugene.
So, like I said in the beginning, if it wasn’t for the sub-plots, I wouldn’t watch the NFL Draft at all.