Some football coaches love specialists. They want players who have mastered a particular skill or role. Chip Kelly is not one of those coaches. He’s pretty much the exact opposite. Kelly wants players that he can move around and be creative with. His no huddle approach has helped him to see the value of players being able to handle different jobs. Substitutions slow the game down, plus you tell the opponent what you’re doing and allow them to react.
I covered a few prospects who are versatile and could be of interest. Obviously there are plenty more guys that I left out. Just know that when trying to figure out if the Eagles are going to be interested in a player, if he’s not versatile, that hurts his chances.
One player I mentioned in the article is Dee Ford. The more I think about it, the less sense he makes based on what we know about Kelly and the Eagles. Ford lacks ideal size. He isn’t versatile. He even uses the same rush move most of the time (flying off the edge and trying to win with speed). Ford is a quality prospect, but he doesn’t seem like a player for this scheme. He’d be ideal for the Wide-9.
When it comes to the Eagles, versatility is a virtue.
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Please let me know if you have updates to the Visits/Interest List. I added a couple from the previous comments section.
This started back in 2004 with me and a guy named MuddyWaters on the EMB. We started scouring the internet for any mentions of the Eagles and prospects. Over time that grew to being a lot of people helping to check. The more eyes and ears we have checking, the better our info will be.
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One of the people who had names to add to the list is someone named Allen Rodriguez. He runs a blog called BirdBreakdown. He’s got a recent post up that is pretty cool. Allen made a list of the players that Kelly offered scholarships to while at Oregon.
There are some pretty interesting names on there. If you match that list with the Player Interest list, there are a few guys who show up on both.
LB Anthony Barr
WR Marqise Lee
DE Taylor Hart
LB Ronald Powell
TE Richard Rodgers
Here’s an additional note of interest on WR Shaq Evans from UCLA, who I like quite a bit.
Evans is interesting because he is a big receiver (6’1”, 213) who Kelly appears to have attempted to acquire twice already. Aside from his initial offer from Oregon out of high school, after Evans decided to leave Notre Dame, he was reportedly deciding between UCLA and Oregon. Will Kelly let him get away three times?
Here is Evans going up against Va Tech in the bowl game.
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One player on that list who I’ve been asked about is Antone Exum from Va Tech. He was injured and missed part of the season. Exum is either a big CB or Safety. Prior to his knee injury, I liked him as a CB target for the Eagles. I think I wrote about him for the Eagles Almanac last summer as a prospect to watch.
I haven’t heard a word connecting him to the Eagles, but he could absolutely be a late round target if his knee checks out.