When the Philadlephia Eagles drafted Matt Barkley in the fourth round on the 2013 NFL Draft, many Trojan fans and experts alike were surprised at that pick up.
Trojan head coach Lane Kiffin was not one of those people.
In Monday’s Pac-12 teleconference, Kiffin told the media that Eagles Coach Chip Kelly had spoken with him about Barkley “early on” and that Kelly sent the team’s quarterbacks coach to Troy to watch Barkley work out. He further admitted that he thought it was a “smoke screen”, but evidently, Kelly proved to be serious about his interest the entire time.
“It’s a great organization for Matt,” Kiffin also said during the teleconference.
In 2011, Barkley was considered a sure-fire first-round prospect, but a sub-par 2012 effort saw his draft stock take a considerable tumble. He was ultimately chosen No. 98 overall.
Many have assumed that Kelly intends to implement his “Blur” system that he made famous at the University of Oregon in his new role as the head coach of the Eagles, which is why his selection of Barkley–a skilled pocket-passer but relatively immobile quarterback–seemed odd.
However, both Kiffin and Kelly have publicly stated how good of a fit Barkley is for the Eagles, which suggests that Kelly has other plans for Barkley than turning him into the next Michael Vick.