2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Eagles coach Kelly prepares for critical 1st draft

By ROB MAADDI - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-04-22 13:30

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Andy Reid changed the direction of the Philadelphia Eagles in his first draft, selecting Donovan McNabb with the second overall pick and setting the franchise on a path toward a decade of success.

Chip Kelly, you're on the clock.

Kelly, who was lured away from Oregon to replace Reid, has the tough task of trying to rebuild the Eagles after a 4-12 season. They'll start with the No. 4 pick in the first round of Thursday night's NFL draft. It's the first time the Eagles have a top-5 pick since choosing McNabb in 1999.

Obviously it's a vital draft for the Eagles, who've missed the playoffs the last two years and have an overhauled roster.

But don't tell Kelly this draft will define his career like it did Reid, who made the right pick by taking McNabb over quarterbacks Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper and Cade McNown.

``I want to come out of it with the best players,'' Kelly said. ``Hopefully my goal is we have a lot more drafts. So you could say it's your signature draft if it's your only draft. I plan on being here more than one year, so our whole goal is can we improve this football team, and that's it. But I don't look at it as this is a defining moment of what we're doing. When people look back 10 years, 20 years, who was the pick and all those other things? I'm not that deep. I can tell you that. We're just trying to get the best player we can.''

Might that player be West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith?

The Eagles have Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon on the roster, but many draft experts expect them to pick Smith. He threw for 4,205 yards and led the nation with 42 touchdown passes.

``I don't think there is an Andrew Luck or RG3 (Robert Griffin III) or someone that you say that guy's going to be a 10-year All-Pro, one of the best,'' Kelly said. ``I had the opportunity fortunately or unfortunately to coach against Andrew Luck in our league. So he was as close as there was to a can't-miss guy. I don't see that type of guy in this draft at any position, to be honest with you.''

If Kelly feels that way, taking Smith at No. 4 might be considered a reach. Perhaps the Eagles could get their quarterback of the future in a later round. Florida State's EJ Manuel and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib are possibilities outside the first round.

``All really good quarterbacks,'' Kelly said.

But?

``There is not a can't-miss player is what I'm saying no matter who you take,'' Kelly said.

That seems to indicate the Eagles won't be choosing Smith at No. 4. Then again, Kelly could be bluffing.

A more likely pick would be an offensive tackle. Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson all could go in the first five. Joeckel may be Reid's pick with the No. 1 overall choice for Kansas City.

``There are some really talented offensive linemen in this draft,'' Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. ``I think it's hard to find really big men who can move, so when you get those guys, they're very clear. It's not like you're projecting as much. When you talk about different positions, there's a projection in the NFL because they're not doing the same things as they're doing in college. When you're in the college game, and you're an offensive lineman, you're doing all the same things you're going to have to do in the NFL game.''

If the Eagles go with a defensive player, Oregon's Dion Jordan or Florida's Sharrif Floyd are on their radar. Kelly's familiarity with Jordan clearly improves his chances. Jordan has potential to be a premier pass rusher and Floyd is a versatile tackle.

The Eagles got in trouble in recent years when they drafted players to fill specific needs rather than taking the best player on their board. Roseman, who is going into his fourth draft as GM, was absolved by owner Jeffrey Lurie of responsibility for the poor selections in 2010 and 2011.

``What we learned was you can't force,'' Roseman said. ``You can't force your board. You can't have so much urgency in terms of filling a need that you change the evaluation process. We talked about that a lot. It's something that we won't do again, and I think it's a hard lesson when you talk about those numbers. It's disappointing to be in that situation.

``At the same time, we think we have some guys from those drafts who are going to be major contributors for us going forward. But you have to learn from some of the things we've done. I think we learned from those lessons and I think it was reflected in what we did last year and I think it will be reflected in what we do going forward.''

The Eagles are usually one of the more active teams in the draft so trading down is a strong possibility. They have one pick in the first five rounds, none in the sixth and four in the seventh.

``This is a critical draft,'' Roseman said. ``We're coming off a four-win season. We want to improve. We want to get a lot of good young players in the program.''

---

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrence ToliverAug 1 05:02p

Free-agent CB Brandon E. Smith (Bills), WR Terrence Toliver (Bears), TE Brett Brackett (Dolphins) and OG Jared Smith (Seahawks) all officially cleared waivers and became free agents Friday, Aug. 1.

Allen RobinsonAug 1 11:52a

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring) will miss at least two weeks with a hamstring injury.

Tandon DossAug 1 10:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring) and WR Tandon Doss (undisclosed), DT Jordan Miller (undisclosed) and LB John Lotulelei (leg) will miss an extended period of time.

Marshawn LynchJul 31 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch will make $6.5 million in base salary this season instead of $5 million, according to a league source. Lynch will now be guaranteed an [ More ]

Jonathan GrimesJul 31 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Jonathan Grimes (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been activated from the Non-Football Injury list and Physically Unable to Perform list, respectively.

Marshawn LynchJul 31 05:22p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch arrived in Seattle Thursday, July 31, according to a source. Lynch officially ended his holdout from training camp.

Jared SmithJul 31 04:52p

The Seattle Seahawks waived OG Jared Smith (undisclosed) from the Reserve/Injured list with an injury settlement Thursday, July 31.

Terrence ToliverJul 31 04:52p

Chicago Bears WR Terrence Toliver (toe) was waived with an injury settlement Thursday, July 31.

Steve GregoryJul 31 04:32p

The Kansas City Chiefs signed free-agent SS Steve Gregory (Patriots) Thursday, July 31, to an undisclosed deal.

Matt SlaterJul 31 03:32p

The New England Patriots have activated WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Chris WhiteJul 31 03:32p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce (leg) and LB Chris White (undisclosed) participated in practice Thursday, July 31. Both players sat out practice Wednesday, July 30.

Peria JerryJul 31 03:22p

Atlanta Falcons DT Peria Jerry announced his retirement Thursday, July 31.

Marshawn LynchJul 31 03:22p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch will not receive a new deal and added money, but the team is expected to add some financial concessions to his contract.

Ronald JohnsonJul 31 01:52p

The Seattle Seahawks signed WR Ronald Johnson (Eagles) Thursday, July 31. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Anthony McCoyJul 31 01:42p

Seattle Seahawks TE Anthony McCoy (Achilles') was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Thursday, July 31.

Frank AlexanderJul 31 01:42p

Carolina Panthers DE Frank Alexander said he will not appeal his four-game suspension, because he was guilty of violating the NFL's policy.

Chad HenneJul 31 01:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne is in no danger of losing his starting job at this point, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Henne has looked comfortable during practice and is performing well.

Blake BortlesJul 31 01:32p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles worked on his development and has progressed faster than originally anticipated, according to offensive coordinator Judd Fisch. 'I think that one of the things [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 31 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Friday, Aug. 8. Smith is facing a suspension for three felony gun charges and a DUI.

David WilsonJul 31 01:12p

Doctors for New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) are very hesitant to clear him to return to football after suffering a neck stinger in practice.

Tony RomoJul 31 01:12p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) said he is not sure if he will play in the team's preseason opener Thursday, Aug. 7. 'You're constantly evaluating it and you're [ More ]

Rueben RandleJul 31 12:32p

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle (hamstring) said his hamstring is feeling better and he expects to practice Thursday, July 31.

Donald ThomasJul 31 12:32p

The Indianapolis Colts placed OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) on the Reserve/Injured list Thursday, July 31.

David WilsonJul 31 12:01p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) 'needs a miracle' from his surgeon's evaluation to be able to continue his playing career, according to a source.

David WilsonJul 31 11:52a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) attended team meetings Thursday, July 31, and appeared ready to go, according to RB Rashad Jennings.

Brent UrbanJul 31 11:42a

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during practice Wednesday, July 30, and will miss the entire 2014 season.

Lance LouisJul 31 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts OG Jack Mewhort appears to be the leading candidate for the starting left guard job. OG Lance Louis is also considered a candidate for the job.

Donald ThomasJul 31 11:22a

Indianapolis Colts OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps) is scheduled to undergo season-ending quadriceps surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Nick BarnettJul 31 11:12a

Free-agent LB Nick Barnett (Redskins) is still an option for the Atlanta Falcons depending on what happens with the team's linebackers. The Falcons worked out Barnett in June but did not sign him.

Josh GordonJul 31 10:42a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is not practicing Thursday, July 31, and presumably will miss practice Friday, Aug. 1, to attend his suspension appeal hearing.

Eric BerryJul 31 10:32a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (leg, foot) was carted off at practice Thursday, July 31, with a right leg or foot injury. SS Jerron McMillian has taken his place.

Jordan TodmanJul 31 09:52a

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is expected to be spelled by RBs Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson so he doesn't reach the 300-carry plateau.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group