It seems logical that a rookie head coach coming up from the college ranks will want to load up on his own players. Chip Kelly has never played in the NFL, and he’s never coached in the NFL. That would make it likely that he looks strongly at the top prospects he coached at the University of Oregon.
Dion Jordan is a definite candidate for the fourth overall pick. He’s the kind of player that can line up all over the field on defense, and offensive coordinators always have to account for him. The Philadelphia Eagles have a plethora of talented pass-rushing 3-4 linebackers in Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham. But Jordan has the versatility that he will still play 60-70 snaps per game.
Kyle Long is a terrific second-round prospect. An offensive tackle/guard, Long played for Kelly at Oregon and would fill a huge position of need. He could start immediately at right tackle and allow Todd Herremans to move inside to his natural guard position. Or he could play guard and replace Danny Watkins, while Herremans stays at right tackle.
Kiko Alonso is an inside linebacker projected to go in the third round. He has experience having played in a 3-4, and the Eagles could use another inside linebacker. DeMeco Ryans could be a surprise release soon. He’s entering his eighth NFL season, has suffered a serious injury previously, has struggled in the 3-4 and is due to make $6.7 million in 2013.
There’s definitely a good possibility Jordan, Long or Alonso winds up on the Eagles, if not more than one of them. Kenjon Barner, the team’s star running back, is another player that Kelly could consider. Barner has been viewed as a product of the system, but there’s also reason to believe he will succeed in the NFL.
Odds are high that Kelly will pick at least one of his former Ducks and not just because they were on his college team but because they will fit the Eagles.