In case you have been living under a rock, the Eagles are in first place, and the 2013 draft class has been a contributing factor to that, along with the stellar play of Nick Foles. The Eagles have been notorious over the last decade for selecting the "wrong" players at the wrong time in the NFL draft, but we as fans are optimistic that the essence of that was Andy Reid. Howie Roseman has likely handled the last two draft classes, and has landed some very promising, young talent.
Here is how the 2013 draft class' performance to date.
RT Lane Johnson
Lane Johnson was the Eagles highest overall pick since Donovan McNabb was taken second overall. This year was to be the beginning of a rebuild with a good rookie class. The fourth overall pick out of Oklahoma has started every game this season, and although struggled in the beginning of the season, he has come along very well and has had three straight very good games. According to Pro Football Focus, Lane Johnson is the fifth rated run blocking tackle in all of football, which is absurd for a rookie. His pass blocking is another story, but with three consecutive games of a positive grade, Johnson looks like a cornerstone for years to come in Philadelphia.
TE Zach Ertz
The Eagles second round pick surprised a lot of people, but if you have watched what Zach Ertz has done in the passing game over the last few weeks, he has shown a ton of promise. PFF has Ertz rated as the 12th ranked tight end, and is graded above Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. Not bad for a second round pick. Ertz' blocking was the reason he fell in the draft, but the way Chip Kelly is using him, he maximizes his abilities, so a great pick, and a promising young player for years to come.
DT Bennie Logan
Bennie Logan was taken as depth on the defensive line, but by Week 8, he became the starter as the nose tackle for Billy Davis and the Eagles defense. Since becoming the starter, Bennie Logan has two QB hits, eight QB hurries, and 10 tackles. That is outstanding production from a nose tackle in a three game span. The best part of Logan's game is the fact that he only has ONE missed tackle all season in 299 snaps. That is as good as a third round pick can perform in his rookie season. With Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton on either side of him, Bennie Logan and the Eagles defensive line looks to be a force for a long time.
QB Matt Barkley
This pick shocked everyone, and no one was sure why they selected Barkley. Sure, it was a "value" pick, but Nick Foles is everything one hopes Matt Barkley grows into, so why take him? Hopefully once Barkley's arm strength improves he will have more confidence and essentially gain a chance to be a quarterback in the NFL, but after his first few games (although in extenuating circumstances) he has not looked very good. Barkley is a bright guy and knows the game like the back of his hand, but until the physical tools improve, there may not be a future starting quarterback job for him, here or elsewhere.
Earl Wolff was not brought in for any high expectations right away, but with the safety issues the Eagles have had, he has had a significant role. Wolff struggled mightily early in the season, but we saw improvement each and every game, which is the best thing to see from a fifth round pick. Unfortunately as soon as Wolff started to play well, he was injured. But since he started to play well, he looks like a safety who can contribute in the future, not a bad value for a fifth round pick.
DE Joe Kruger
Joe Kruger is injured and currently on IR, so it is not fair to assess him since we have not seen him play yet. But at Utah he was a very good pass rusher, and could provide depth in the future for the Eagles defense.
CB Jordan Poyer
Poyer played well in the preseason, and I was high on him coming out of Oregon State, but he was claimed by the Browns via the Broncos, so essentially Poyer's career in Philadelphia was short lived. This is what the average seventh round pick's career looks like through one year.
DL David King
David King played 113 snaps in the preseason, and was graded as a -3.6 by PFF. He was cut by the Eagles, and was recently signed to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.
Overall, the Eagles 2013 draft class looks promising, and with four players already making significant contributions in their first year, the future is bright.