The Eagles selected eight players over the three-day draft process and added them to a roster that has had a dramatic makeover since the 2012 season ended. Change was needed after a 4-12 season, so the Eagles brought in a new coaching staff, bolstered the personnel department and then rolled their collective sleeves and dug into the roster.
Wheelers and dealers in free agency, the Eagles took a more toned-down approach in the draft. They made only one trade -- a stunner, which we'll talk about in a moment -- and for the rest of the time stayed true to their pre-draft evaluations and took the best player on the board.
It's something teams say just about every year, but in the case here, the Eagles stayed put and didn't reach for particular positions. They were there at No. 4 in the first round on Thursday night and selected offensive tackle
They picked Stanford tight end
In the third round, the Eagles addressed the defensive side of the ball and added lineman
Saturday brought about the lone trade -- the move up to get to the top of the fourth round at the minimal cost of a swap of fourth-round picks and a seventh-round selection -- and the Eagles then made a move that snapped everyone to attention. They selected USC quarterback
Barkley joins a group of quarterbacks that is must-see viewing. There are five of them in all, and head coach Chip Kelly said the team planned to take five into training camp. Kelly said the Eagles had Barkley evaluated as a top-50 player in the draft and when he was there after three rounds, the Eagles made the move to get him in the fourth.
It is an intriguing addition, to say the least. All of the theories out there for months that Kelly needed a "running" quarterback to engineer his offense were dispelled by the acquisition of Barkely, who is a fine athlete with good feet and pocket mobility, but who is not going to be confused with a running quarterback. Roseman, in fact, said that the qualities Kelly expressed that he wanted in a quarterback were similar to those Andy Reid wanted in a quarterback.
How it all sorts out at the position with Barkley joining
So now look at the offense. The Eagles have added some explosive pieces since free agency opened with
If the Eagles can get it right along the line of scrimmage with the return to good health of
Exciting, isn't it?
For the rest of the draft the Eagles picked from the top of their draft rankings and brought in some prospects who will increase the level of competition throughout. It is far, far too early to know how any of these rookies will mature in the season ahead, but the Eagles feel they've trusted their scouting reports and that they anticipated the order of the draft very well.
"If you go into it saying that your're going to fix every single part of something, it's going to be impossible,"said Roseman. "If you come out of the draft saying that we filled every need, it's probably not going to be a good draft. I don't think that was our goal ... It was to start the process of building back a team that is going to compete every year."
This was Kelly's first experience in an NFL draft room and the "process" from start to finish in the draft, and for that matter the several months of personnel acquisitions, was smooth. Everyone said those making decisions were on the same page as they grew to know each other and as Kelly spelled out what he was looking for in players. The Eagles shared their vision through draft weekend and the result is a roster that now moves forward with tremendous excitement and confidence.
How can you not be pumped? The Eagles have had a lot of changes within the organization in the last year and nobody is looking back. It's full steam ahead with energy and commitment and teamwork.
There are a lot of pieces in this puzzle now, and it's going to take some time to see how it all fits. The Eagles aren't yet finished adding to the roster. They're going to continue to tweak.
No doubt, though, that the feeling is that the Eagles are moving in the right direction together and that all parties are on the same page understanding the goal ahead. The 2013 Eagles draft is in the books, and now we'll all let it sink it, talk about it and see how the locker room meshes with what the coaches need.
Are you ready for what's ahead? A new day is here for the Eagles, and the collective heartbeat is strong and vibrant and impossible to ignore.