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

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

Stevan RidleyApr 8 07:53p

New York Jets RB Stevan Ridley signed a one-year deal with the team.

Amobi OkoyeApr 8 04:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Amobi Okoye was released Wednesday, April 8.

Emmanuel LamurApr 8 03:43p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur officially re-signed Wednesday, April 8, to a one-year, $2.356 million deal.

Adrian PetersonApr 8 01:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 'highly unlikely' to face more suspension from the league when he's finally off the Commissioner's Exempt List, according to a source. Peterson's next [ More ]

George JohnsonApr 7 10:23p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed restricted free-agent DE George Johnson (Lions) to a three-year offer sheet Tuesday, April 7. Financial terms are undisclosed. The Lions have five days to match the offer.

Le'Veon BellApr 7 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season, according to sources. Bell is being suspended following an arrest last [ More ]

Erin HendersonApr 7 05:13p

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, April 7, according to a source. Henderson didn't play last year [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group