Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Eagles draft LB Casey Matthews, K Henery, RB Lewis

The Eagles drafted Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews in the fourth round, grabbing a smart, productive player whose older brother, Clay, is one of the best defensive players in the NFL.

Eagles draft LB Casey Matthews, K Henery, RB Lewis

The Eagles drafted Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews in the fourth round of the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
The Eagles drafted Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews in the fourth round of the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The Eagles drafted Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews in the fourth round, grabbing a smart, productive player whose older brother, Clay, is one of the best defensive players in the NFL.

They also took kicker/punter Alex Henery, of Nebraska, 120th, perhaps spelling the end of David Akers' days in Philadelphia.

Casey, taken in the fourth round, 116 overall, isn't as athletic as Clay, but he was productive for a big-time college team and could help at a position where the Eagles could part ways with several veterans. The team's linebackers generated few big plays last year.

Casey Matthews, part of a football family that includes long-time linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. (father of Casey and the Packers' Clay III ) and Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews, Casey's uncle. Casey said he is "his own man" not Clay's younger brother.

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Special draft section: From the Inquirer and Daily News

"I'm my own player and my own man," Casey Matthews said (though they both wear distinctive ponytails).

He described himself as more instinctive than Clay, though less explosive.

While Casey is well known, draft analysts wrote that he is not a top-flight athlete (at least by NFL standards).

Eagles fans are familiar with Clay -- who with the Packers terrorized the offensive line in week 1 and the Birds' wild card loss.

 The Eagles got Matthews after trading down in the fourth round, moving from 104th overall to 116 and adding a 2012 fourth rounder from Tampa Bay.

Henery is a converted soccer player who walked onto the Nebraska football team. While he also punted, it sounded like he was being brought in to Philadelphia to kick. He said his biggest kick was a 57-yarder to beat arch-rival Colorado as a sophomore.

If Henery replaces Akers and second round safety Jaiquawn Jarrett pushes out free-agent-to-be Quintin Mikell, the Eagles will part ways with the last two players who played on their Super Bowl team.

In the fifth round the Eagles chose Pitt running back Dion Lewis, a small, quick player who is expected to fit well in the West Coast offense.

About this blog
Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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