By Bucky Brooks
Analyst, NFL.com and NFL Network



The NFC East is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, with three star quarterbacks (Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III) and an intriguing situation in Philadelphia (Michael Vick, Nick Foles or Matt Barkley). Of course, it's imperative to have solid pass protectors on the edges to protect these franchise quarterbacks. Given the importance of the passing game in this division, the 2013 NFL Draft was all about adding firepower on both sides of the ball to earn an advantage in the arms race.


BEST PICK: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Philadelphia Eagles, Round 2, No. 35 overall

Chip Kelly is a masterful schemer with an innovative system that creates mismatches all over the field. Ertz is a dynamic tight end with exceptional hands and route-running ability. He is a tough guard for linebackers and safeties over the middle of the field, which will make him nearly impossible to defend in the Eagles' "12" personnel packages. He could make an immediate impact as a "move" tight end in Kelly's up-tempo offense.

BIGGEST STEAL: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Philadelphia Eagles, Round 4, No. 98 overall

There's no way Kelly could've predicted a quarterback of Barkley's caliber falling to him on Day 3, but that's how the draft board played out this year. Barkley, who was widely regarded as a solid second-round prospect by most observers in the run-up to the draft, was still on the board at the beginning of the fourth round, leading the Eagles to trade up and grab him. While the pairing of Barkley and Kelly doesn't appear to be a great fit at first blush, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur's version of the West Coast Offense could make it a match made in heaven. Barkley thrived in a quick-rhythm passing game at USC, and his superb football IQ will allow him to handle the pressure of directing an up-tempo attack in Philadelphia. Factor in that the 22-year-old could spend a year or two developing behind Michael Vick, and Barkley could turn into the Eagles' version of Tom Brady down the road.

Nobody knows exactly how Kelly will attack the pro game, causing many to incorrectly assume he'd overwhelmingly target players ideally suited for a spread offense (like the one he ran at Oregon). Kelly actually employed a very simple approach last week, selecting talented players with blue-chip characteristics. Lane Johnson is a prime example of that premise, based on his athleticism, footwork and length. He is a natural left tackle prospect, but Jason Peters' presence could force him to start out on the right side. Ertz is a playmaking tight end with the speed and athleticism to stretch the field down the middle. Barkley might be the future at the quarterback position, despite his status as a fourth-round pick. He is a cerebral signal-caller with the ability to make quick decisions in a fast-paced offense. Earl Wolff and Jordan Poyer are sleeper prospects capable of upgrading the Eagles' secondary. GRADE: B+