NEW YORK (AP) -- For anyone waiting for the draft of the quarterbacks—players included—it came Saturday in the fourth round.
A shopping spree for signal callers opened the final day of the draft with Southern California’s Matt Barkley taken by Philadelphia after a trade with Jacksonville.
Yes, it was three rounds later than Barkley hoped for. Same thing for Ryan Nassib of Syracuse, Landry Jones of Oklahoma and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, the other quarterbacks chosen in Round 4 on Saturday.
“We’re going to take the best value on the board,” coach Chip 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.”
Perhaps. But he seemed to have a lot more of it last year.
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.
“I try not to get stressed about things I can’t control,” Barkley said when asked about his drop in the draft. “I’m just glad I know where my home is and I can’t wait to hit the playbook.”
He will join quarterbacks Michael Vick and Nick Foles in Philadelphia.
The New York Giants, hardly in need of a quarterback with Eli Manning in his prime, still dealt with Arizona to move up for Nassib.
Oakland, which acquired Matt Flynn from Seattle in the offseason to be its starter, followed two picks later at No. 112 overall with Wilson. Three spots after that, Pittsburgh grabbed Jones, probably hoping to groom him behind Ben Roethlisberger.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who would have been a high pick if healthy but is coming off a second severe knee injury, went to the 49ers 131st overall. San Francisco can afford to “redshirt” Lattimore because it has a strong stable of runners, including Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James.
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. Crimson Tide guard Barrett Jones, who can play all offensive line positions, was taken by the Rams midway in the fourth round.