The Philadelphia Eagles have the needs and positioning in the 2013 draft that could have Chip Kelly seriously considering taking two of his former players in Oregon.
At pick No. 4, the Eagles will find themselves choosing from players like Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Geno Smith, Star Lotulelei, Shariff Floyd, Dee Milliner, Dion Jordan, Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo and Ziggy Ansah.
However, unless there is a major surprise, three of those players will be off the board when the Eagles pick. Exactly which three players will be gone is anyone’s guess right now.
It’s quite possible that Oregon DE/OLB Dion Jordan is one of the players who will still be there at pick No. 4, and he has an excellent combination of talent, versatility, value and fills a need for the Eagles.
It’s not as if Kelly would be “reaching” for Jordan or show some kind of favoritism, it just seems like the perfect fit. Jordan fits the draft slot, he fits the scheme the Eagles will run on defense, he fills a big need and he obviously fits in with Kelly’s philosophy.
Here is the skinny on Jordan…
Combine measurables, courtesy of NFLCombineResults.com:
- 6′ 6″ 248 lbs, arm length 33.78 inches
- 40 yard dash – 4.60 seconds
- Vertical leap – 32.5 inches
- Broad jump – 10′ 2″
- 20 yard shuttle – 4.35 seconds
- Three cone – 7.02 seconds
Scouting from National Football Post:
Jordan is a rare athlete with the speed and burst to consistently press the edge on pass rushes as well as cover ground quickly in space against both the pass and run. He shows good lower body flexibility and is capable of playing with appropriate base and leverage, and uses his long arms well to keep blockers off his frame. He competes hard with blockers and has the explosion to beat blockers off the ball as well as close effectively on the ball carrier. He looks smooth and fluid in his drops, and in Oregon’s defense he played a variety of roles effectively from a wide array of alignments.
He’s also Mike Mayock’s top OLB prospect in this draft. Mayock says: “I think he can grow into a monster at defensive end or outside linebacker. When I see (Jordan) play, I see a raw Aldon Smith,” Mayock said. “He needs to gain 20 pounds (to fill out his 6-foot-7 frame).”
Jordan also showed his toughness and dedication last season in playing half the year with a torn labrum in his shoulder. He postponed surgery until after the season — and combine — in order to compete and do whatever he could for his team.
Therefore, he’s also a “team guy” and leader…what more can you ask for? It’s possible the Eagles will value a different player a little more, but they certainly couldn’t go wrong with taking Jordan at slot 4.
The Eagles also hold pick No. 35, which is the third pick in the second round. The offensive line is another area of need and there is the possibility that they address this position with their first pick.
However, we could also argue that with the expected return to health of last year’s injured players, it somewhat lessens the urgency of addressing this position. Don’t get me wrong, the OL certainly needs some depth and youth, but we could argue over whether or not we need to take an OT at No. 4.
If we bypass Eric Fisher or Luke Joeckel in Round 1, another former Oregon Duck could fit the bill (no pun intended) at the Eagles’ second-round pick: OT Kyle Long.
Long is widely projected to be a second-round pick with most analysts having a high second-round grade on him. So here again, we have another former Chip Kelly player who seems to fall in line when it comes to talent, value at this draft slot, scheme fit and philosophy.
Here’s the skinny on Long…
Combine measurables (NFLcombineresults.com) –
- 6′ 6″ 313 lbs, arm length of 33.38 inches
- 40 yard dash – 4.94 seconds (ranked 3rd)
- Vertical – 28 inches
- Broad jump – 8′ 11″ (ranked 14th)
- 20-yard shuttle – 4.63 seconds (ranked 8th)
- 3-cone – 7.83 seconds
Scouting report from NFLDraftScout.com –
Certainly looks the part. Possesses a naturally large frame with long arms. Impressive athlete. Light on his feet and possesses good balance and flexibility for a man of his size.
Very mobile. Often asked to block on the move in this scheme, demonstrating very good lateral agility and straight-line speed, as well as the short-area quickness to adjust and hit the moving target. Flashs some nastiness to his game. Doesn’t back down from physical challenges. Has heavy hands and can stun opponents with his initial punch.
Keeps his legs driving on contact and can move defenders out of the hole. Enjoyed a solid performance in the Senior Bowl, itself, after missing a few days of practice with the flu. Clear talent and is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Compares to: Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles
Almost sounds like an athletic Jon Runyan!
Long played mostly left tackle at Oregon but also played some guard. He has some good bloodlines as his father is former All-Pro DE Howie Long and his brother Chris was the second-overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Mike Mayock projects him as a guard in the NFL and has him as his fourth-ranked guard in this draft. However, it sounds as if Long is suited to play either tackle or guard, which gives him that key Kelly ingredient again: versatility.
Hell, if someone thinks he compares to Jason Peters, he should certainly be able to handle playing the outside, especially in a system and for a coach he’s significantly familiar with.
So again, Long would not be a reach at this draft slot either. It just seems to happen that two of Kelly’s former players fall right in line with the Eagles’ needs and are projected to go right around where the Eagles pick.
It will be interesting to see if Kelly chooses one, both or neither of these guys (or any other Oregon Duck) in the upcoming draft. The one good thing is that the Eagles really don’t need to do much due diligence on them, Kelly should know them inside and out.