By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The fact that the Eagles took a quarterback in last week’s NFL Draft isn’t surprising. Though there were already four quarterbacks on the roster, there isn’t one of them that seems like a sure-fire option for the future. The fact that the quarterback they selected was Matt Barkley was a bit of a surprise though, as many expected the team to go with a more mobile quarterback, rather than a prototypical pocket passer.
Count Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger among those who didn’t see Barkley to the Eagles coming.
“I was really surprised with that pick for [the Eagles], just because of the quarterbacks that are there,” Roethlisberger told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow on Wednesday. “Obviously, I was with Dennis Dixon for awhile and Mike Vick, I think, is a good quarterback. You see coach Kelly’s offense, and what you see, to me it’s like that’s not what Matt Barkley is. So I was kind of confused with what they’re doing.”
Kelly has repeated that he hasn’t decided who the starting quarterback for the Eagles will be, and said that even Barkley has a chance to win the job.
“To me, I would tell Matt just to be his self,” Roethlisberger said. “Do what you got to do to be the best quarterback possible, and see what kind of offense is going to be run. Either he is going to be behind the eight ball or he’s going to be ahead of the curve, if they change the offense a little.”
Barkley was thought to be an early first round pick if he had come out after his junior year at USC, after throwing 39 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. His draft stock took a hit after a shoulder injury and a down year in 2012. The Eagles thought they got great value in Barkley in the fourth round.
“I thought he was a very good quarterback, I thought he was going to come out last year. Just seemed to always have command of his team, of the offense—reminded me a lot of a guy like Drew Brees,” Roethlisberger said. “A guy that just stands in the pocket and will make all of the throws. I was just very impressed with the way he played the game.”