Eagles Pass On Smith, Select USC Quarterback Barkley In Fourth Round
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Eagles had their shot at Geno Smith, but passed on him and instead ended up selecting Matt Barkley.
The Southern California quarterback was the first pick of the fourth round of the NFL draft, taken by Philadelphia after a trade with Jacksonville.
The high-profile Barkley was projected as a first-round selection last year, but opted to return to school. He and the Trojans slumped, Barkley injured his shoulder, and his stock plummeted.
But the Eagles, who hired Oregon coach Chip Kelly in January, saw value in dealing up Saturday for Barkley, who will join quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles in Philadelphia.
Barkley is only the fourth quarterback selected through 98 picks this year — one in each round so far. His decision to play his senior season was costly for Barkley, who would have commanded a million-dollar salary had he gone in the opening round of 2012.
His weak performance last season, combined with the recent history of NFL inconsistency by Trojans QBs such as Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez, hurt Barkley’s standing.
Still, Kelly is familiar with him from their days in the Pac-12.
National champion Alabama, which had four players chosen previously — three in the first round — saw linebacker Nico Johnson go to Kansas City with the pick after Barkley was taken.
Still left on the board were such college stars as Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who is coming off a severe knee injury.
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