Eagles’ draft: Casey Matthews hoping to carve own legacy

His brother was runner-up for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award. His father is a four-time Pro Bowler. And his uncle is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Pressure? What pressure? Casey Matthews is just trying 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. “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 Matthews was the starting middle linebacker last season at Oregon, which fell one victory shy of a national championship. Matthews had 73 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble. While his brother, Clay, is considered one of the most explosive specimens in the NFL, Casey boasts that his instincts are better. As middle linebacker, it was often his responsibility to direct the defense.

Traditionally, it’s been hard for rookies to crack Andy Reid’s starting lineup. But even the head coach admitted that Casey could step in and be your starting middle linebacker, a position that Jamar Chaney held down the stretch last year.

“It’s a dream come true,” Casey said. “They drafted me and I’m looking forward to getting out there and just being a part of a team that wins.”

Grading the Birds

» First round
Grade: B
Danny Watkins, OG. Big body (6-foot-3, 310 lbs.) considered NFL-ready. Still hard to ignore that he’ll be 27 in November.

» Second round
Grade: A
Jaiquawn Jarrett, SS. Tough, physical player that fills a need with uncertainty surrounding Nate Allen’s injury and Quintin Mikell’s future.

» Third round
Grade: B+
Curtis Marsh, CB. Only two years experience at corner, but has huge upside, with speed (4.46), size (6-foot-1).

» Fourth round
Grade: C
Casey Matthews, LB; Alex Henery, K. Love the Matthews pick. Hate taking a kicker this high. Wish Akers the best.

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