Few fourth-round draft picks will generate as much fan excitement as Casey Matthews.
Then again, few come from the same heritage as Matthews, the Oregon linebacker the Eagles drafted Saturday in the fourth round, 116th overall. His older brother, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews III, was runner-up for 2010 defensive player of the year. Eagles fans saw him terrorize the Birds in last year's season opener and the team's finale, a wild-card loss.
Casey and Clay's father, Clay Matthews Jr., was a longtime NFL linebacker and four-time Pro Bowler. Their uncle, Bruce Matthews, is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman.
Casey said he hoped to make a name for himself.
"What they've done motivates me, but I'm trying to reach a level they haven't reached," he said Saturday. "I'm my own player and I'm just looking forward to not just being Clay's little brother, and just being known as Casey."
Casey was a standout middle linebacker at Oregon, and opened eyes with an impressive performance against Auburn in the BCS championship game.
But he's not the same level of athlete as the explosive Clay. Instead, Casey is known for his instincts.
Both have long hair and, Casey said, a "constant motor."
Matthews, who played middle linebacker at Oregon, adds flexibility to a linebacking group that may be in for major renovations. He and Jamar Chaney figure to get looks in the middle.
"I know he can step in and be your [middle] linebacker. He's highly intelligent," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, adding that Matthews can also play on the weak side.
Last year's weakside starter, Ernie Sims, is likely gone.
Veteran linebackers Omar Gaither and Akeem Jordan are unrestricted free agents and could also be allowed to leave. Stewart Bradley seems likely to return after the Eagles placed a second-round tender on him, but he may be in for a move to the strong side.
Former Temple coach Al Golden, now the head coach at the University of Miami, is showing his new players video tape of Jaiquawn Jarrett, the Eagles' second-round draft pick. He wants to show them Jarrett's fundamentally sound tackling.
"On our tackling teach-tapes that we show down here at Miami, he's all over it," Golden said Saturday by phone. "They call him 'The Clinic.' "
There is a reason many scouts had a fourth-round grade on Jarrett, who ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at the combine and has cover-skills deficiencies.
"I think that's a fair assessment," Golden said. "We didn't utilize him in that capacity as much."
LeSean McCoy was happy the Eagles drafted fellow running back and Pitt alumnus Dion Lewis. "So ANDY really listen to my advice," McCoy wrote on Twitter. ... Teams would normally begin signing undrafted free agents after the draft, but the lockout has put those moves on hold.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JonathanTamari