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This year’s Eagles rookie draft class will forever be linked to Chip Kelly as the first draft class of the new coach’s regime. Many of the picks reflect Kelly’s preference for athleticism and versatility.
Although spring camps are over, the rookies are still at the NovaCare Complex until the end of next week to continue their acclimation to the NFL. All rookies are expected to report back to the NovaCare on July 22 for the start of a three-day camp that precedes full-team training camp.
Here’s a report card for Kelly’s first draft class based off the organized team activities and minicamps:
Lane Johnson: B-
The first-round pick has the size, frame and athleticism that makes it understandable why he skyrocketed into the top five. Johnson’s technique is a work in progress, but the former Oklahoma standout started to bridge the gap and made enough strides to earn his first-team promotion. He needs to take another step in his technique-honing early at camp to keep the job.
Zach Ertz: Incomplete
Ertz, the third pick of the second round, missed almost all of the camps because of an NCAA graduation rule. The former Stanford star tight end will benefit most from the three-day rookie camp that precedes training camp.
Bennie Logan: C+
Logan, a defensive lineman from LSU drafted in the third round, is learning multiple positions on the defensive line and mostly took reps with the third team as he shuffled around. Like Johnson, his technique must be sharpened to be NFL caliber. He’ll have the chance to compete at defensive end during training camp.
Matt Barkley: B+
The quarterback, a fourth-round pick, had an impressive spring. He showed accuracy, and his arm strength wasn’t the problem that several draft analysts claimed it would be. Most impressive was the former USC star’s command of the huddle. Working on the third team with several newcomers and low draft picks, Barkley frequently lined up his teammates in the right spots, showing strong pre-snap authority.
Earl Wolff: B+
The former North Carolina State safety, picked in the fifth round, had the most impressive camp of all the defensive rookies. He grasped the playbook quickly enough to steal a few first-team reps in the final camp days and seemed to naturally understand where to be on most plays. He’ll get a little stronger as his career develops.
Joe Kruger: C
The first of three seventh-round picks, Kruger worked mainly at defensive end on the third team as he learned the defense. He’s a little undersized for a defensive end in a three-man front and needs to get bigger and faster to play at this level.
Jordan Poyer: Incomplete
Just like Ertz, Poyer couldn’t compete at the spring camps because of an NCAA graduation rule. The cornerback will have to compensate for lost time during the three-day rookie camp before training camp.
David King: C+
The last of the Eagles’ eight picks, King also moved around on the line and mostly worked with the third team. His size is more fit for defensive end in a three-man front than Kruger’s, but he also has to prove himself when the pads come out.