NFL draft notebook: New coach: Barkley 'best value'

2013-04-28T00:00:00Z NFL draft notebook: New coach: Barkley 'best value'The Associated Press The Associated Press
April 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

PHILADELPHIA - While Matt Barkley's stock dropped around the league, Chip Kelly saw a guy he coveted.

Kelly made sure he got his man Saturday when Philadelphia traded up to select the USC quarterback with the first pick of the fourth round. Barkley joins Michael Vick, former Arizona Wildcats star Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon, giving the Eagles an obvious quarterback controversy.

"I'm going to come in and compete," Barkley said. "Has to be your mindset. Compete like it's your job."

Barkley was chosen with the 98th overall pick. Philadelphia gave Jacksonville a fourth-round pick (101) and a seventh-rounder (210) to move ahead of Kansas City and take Barkley.

"We're going to take the best value on the board," Kelly said, adding the Eagles rated Barkley in the top 50. "There's a prime example. The best value on the board by far was Matt. He's an extremely mature young man, intelligent, articulate. He has that 'it' factor."

In his first NFL draft, Kelly chose Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson at No. 4 overall in the first round, Stanford tight end Zach Ertz in the second round and LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan in the third round.

The selection of Barkley was the biggest surprise.

"He was a four-year starter in high school, a four-year starter in college and he has all the intangibles you're looking for," Kelly said.

Former Eagles coach Andy Reid, now the Chiefs' coach, likely would've taken Barkley at 99, and also tried to move up to get him at 98.

Barkley could've been a top-5 pick if he left school after his junior year, but he returned as a Heisman Trophy front-runner with a chance to lead USC to a national championship. Neither happened, and Barkley finished his career watching his teammates play in a bowl game from the sideline with his arm in a sling after sustaining a shoulder injury.

Cards land top targets

TEMPE - Steve Keim and Bruce Arians went into their first draft running the Cardinals board saying that they wouldn't draft for need.

The best available player would be taken, regardless of whether it filled a hole.

Well, the best player seemed to fill a need every time the Cardinals picked.

Addressing some of their most glaring holes, Arizona's brain trust picked up a pass rusher, a second interior offensive lineman and added depth with a pair of running backs on the final day of the NFL draft.

"I (couldn't) stop smiling," Arians said. "Every time we would want a player, the board would just fall for us. I've only been in one other draft that was like that, last year in Indianapolis. They had a dream team at the right spot and that's basically how this one fell. It was like, holy cow, this one was in the stars for us."

Arizona used its first-round pick on North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper on Thursday, then added two LSU players on Friday: hard-hitting linebacker Kevin Minter and talented-but-troubled defensive back/kick returner Tyrann Mathieu.

The Cardinals continued to plug holes on Saturday, picking up Texas defensive end Alex Okafor and James Madison guard Earl Watford in the fourth round. Arizona took Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor in the fifth round and picked up Clemson's Andre Ellington in sixth.

The Cardinals also selected Texas A&M speedster Ryan Swope in the sixth round and closed out the draft with Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson in the seventh.

All nine of Arizona's 2013 draft picks were captains of their teams and filled needs the team needed.

Ace, Shoelace to Jags

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jaguars chose South Carolina receiver Tracy "Ace" Sanders in the fourth round, then added former Michigan quarterback Denard "Shoelace" Robinson a round later.

Jacksonville traded down three spots before drafting the 5-foot-7 Sanders with the 101st pick and landed the 5-foot-10 Robinson with the 135th selection.

Robinson started 37 games at Michigan, including 35 at quarterback, and set the NCAA record for career rushing yards (4,495) by a quarterback. He agreed to move to receiver, running back or even cornerback before the draft.

"Whatever it takes to get on the field," Robinson said.

Te'o introduced

SAN DIEGO - After dealing with the commotion over his fake online girlfriend and his flop in the national championship game, Manti Te'o believes he's ready for the NFL.

That includes being mentally tough enough for the verbal abuse he'll surely hear in places like Philadelphia, where the Chargers play their first road game next season, and Oakland's infamous "Black Hole."

"After the couple months I've been through, I think I'm pretty prepared," Te'o said Saturday in his introductory news conference.

"As far as going into another stadium, you can't worry about that stuff. You're with your family, you're with your brothers out there. That's all that matters. … Yeah, it's a football game, and you play with the guys that you've prepared with, and you focus on what's important, and that's making sure that when the Chargers walk off, we're victorious."

The Chargers took Te'o, a linebacker out of Notre Dame, with their second-round pick Friday.

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