Eagles Wake-Up Call: Kelly’s Preferences Will Affect Draft Board

INDIANAPOLIS — Chip Kelly has told Howie Roseman and the Eagles’ personnel staff exactly what kinds of players he wants on his roster.

And by all accounts, he’s been extremely specific.

We touched on the topic last month at the Senior Bowl. The gist is that Kelly has particular measurables for certain positions. He’s not quite ready to share the details with us, but they do exist.

“I’d say there’s a little bit more of a stress going forward on some height, weight, speed,” Roseman said Thursday at the Combine.

“He told us examples of things that were important to him by position. We got our position specifics out to our scouts. They’re very much on board. They know what we’re looking for at each position. We’re on board, we’re rolling.”

The Eagles’ draft board is pretty much set, but it could see more changes than usual this year because of Kelly’s requirements. Roseman admitted that there are certain deal-breakers with players.

“I hope not drastically different,” Roseman said, when asked how his draft board now would compare to the one he’ll use in April. “Now that doesn’t mean that you won’t have a particular position where a certain height, weight, speed characteristic is really important and their characteristic is too low on that that you’re going to have to move them down or even off the board. But basically, it shouldn’t change drastically.”

Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie have said multiple times that the Eagles are a coach-centric organization, meaning the personnel department’s job is to cater to Kelly and give him what he needs. That means Roseman and the scouting department will undergo an adjustment period from how Andy Reid ran things.

“In terms of position priorities, they believe in the same things. I think that’s one of the things that was appealing. We had a lot of success with Coach Reid,” Roseman said. “And so, the things that were important to Coach Reid are important to Coach Kelly.

“At the same time, there are going to be other things that he stresses that he’s looking for in particular positions that we have to adjust to, and we did that when he had our scouts in at the meetings. And we’ll continue to discuss that as we’re here.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

Kelly said he wants to coach Nick Foles. But will he get the chance to?

Kelly and Roseman had nothing positive to say about Nnamdi Asomugha. Does that mean the veteran corner is gone? What about DeMeco Ryans? The latest here.

49ers GM Trent Baalke explains why he let Tom Gamble join the Eagles.

Focusing in on the key questions surrounding a potential Foles trade.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

SI.com’s Don Banks doesn’t see any reason for rushing a Foles trade:

Unless he’s 100 percent certain Foles can’t run his fast-break style of offense, why should he ship him away and limit his options at the game’s most crucial position in year one of his Philadelphia tenure? You don’t want to be the next 1992 Atlanta Falcons, making a Brett Favre mistake that you’ll have to live with for the next couple decades. In this case, I’d rather make a Foles deal a year too late rather than a year too early.

Andy Reid is open to trading the No. 1 pick. But chances are, the Chiefs won’t have a lot of suitors:

“Listen, yeah, we’re going to evaluate everything,” Reid said. “We’re just not going to give it away. So we’d have to see what people throw our way. It’s a pretty valuable pick, I’d say.”

COMING UP

Much more from Indy. Hoping to catch up with some potential Eagles targets today. Stay tuned.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Height… weight…. speed… are you sure he didn’t say speed, speed, speed? I’m not even sure I remember what height and weight are anymore

    • knighn

      If you’re referring to Andy Reid’s preference for “fastballs” – you’re dead on. Reid seemed to be fascinated with playing some of the smallest players in the NFL (for their position) – DeSean Jackson, Brandon Boykin, Kurt Coleman, etc. You can go back a few years and look at guys like Matt McCoy, too.

      Kelly, on the other hand, did have some small, fast guys, but he also generally prefers some size to his players too. It is a misconception that Kelly had all fast skill-position players at Oregon. Many of his WRs and TEs were decent-sized and had average or slow 40 times. He did emphasize run-blocking for his WRs. Given this, you might see larger roles for Riley Cooper and Jason Avant in this offense and a smaller role for Jeremy Maclin. We’ll see.

      • borntosuffer

        I hear you. But, some players are big, but don’t really play big/physical. I am not convinced Cooper, despite his size, plays big.

        • knighn

          You know: I have to agree with you somewhat on this one. There are times when I felt Cooper didn’t fight hard enough for the football. On the other hand, there are times when he has been a tenacious as both a run blocker, and on STs. The guy is willing to do the dirty work… and that may earn him favor in the eyes of Coach Kelly. Maybe Cooper can learn to be a better WR too.

  • theycallmerob

    nailed it, Mr. Banks. And thanks for the solid coverage Sheil! There is so much other garbage already coming out of the combine.

    • usmcnole

      You’re right…don banks nailed it. Foles has some attributes that could really turn into something special….arm strength, pocket awareness and most of all toughness and grit. Let’s give him another year instead of getting an unknown from the 2-3 round of the draft

  • Joe Jones

    I take Chip at his word regarding an open competition at QB. With Vick making the most money, do they expect him to win the job? Probably…… But I believe Chip is competitive enough and smart enough to not sabotage his chances of winning and his career by playing an inferior player. Which ever QB gives us the best chance for success will start. As a fan, I want to believe that.
    So many people are entrenched in battle lines drawn on QB……I trust Chip to make the right choice…..I choose winning, The Redskins went from last to first in one year, despite injuries on defense, including their best player, Brian Orakpo. The Giants are 9-7 the last two years. Yeah, they got hot and won it all in 2011, cant take that away from them, but they are no dynasty. With a strong draft, a cohesive and improved defense and of course, better QB play, the Eagles can contend in the NFC East. Beyond that? Who knows? Its been proven repeatedly that the hot team, not necessarily the best team, wins,
    Chip Kelly’s offense is built around running the ball. Our team is built to accomplish just that. Unfortunately, our last coach failed to recognize that. I’m excited to see what Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Lesean and Bryce can accomplish. Stating the obvious, a strong running game makes passing the ball so much easier….SF, Wash and Sea all proved that last yr. Gonna be a fun year……Go Birds

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      A lot of people don’t see the different situation surrounding Chip/Vick and Andy/Vick. After 2010 and rolled the dice by trading Kolb and making Vick his franchise quarterback.He had to go out there, game in and game out, and back Vick, let him try to play through his struggles because Vick was his guy. Chip has nothing invested in Vick. He doesn’t live and die by the way he plays. He plays poorly he will get benched, simple as that. He’s a band-aid fix.

      • peteike

        yup, and I dont think the salary factors in as much as people think with Vick. Foles is a low value investment anyway per his rookie contract, so regardless they arent paying that much for a QB with both on the roster. I say keep Foles, see what you have, let them fight it out in camp. His value may go up even if he doesnt start all the games. Theres actually a good chance both of them will play and you dont want to be that thin at QB per Vicks injury history and Dixon coming from the practice squad.

        • GGeagle

          Dude, of course it’s a freaking QB competition…how are we even debating this. You think a new HEADCoach will just annoint his QB the most important position in sports before ever even seeing them practice one single day? Stop for a second and digest how dumb that sounds especially when your options are: A) a veteran who after a decade still makes the dumbest mistakes only seen in rookies playing their second game, who you thought so little of that you signed him to a 1yr deal after having him locked up for 5years. B) a 3rd round pick who played 6 games as a rookie on a sinking ship filled with backups..C) a player off a practice squad that couldn’t beat out Charlie batch..hahahahaha how the hell anyone can even think that Chip has picked one of these three to start, without seeing them practice one single time, is seriously one of the dumbest things imaginable…how in the world could chip Kelly low who his starting QB is today? Why because one isn’t a threat to run? Ahahahaha the other is a threat to do some insanely stupid mistakes..you think Chip has ANNOINTED vIck, who’s weakness is the mental side of the game, holds the ball 5 seconds before he can decide who to throw it to, who will not play 16 games ever again..Leyden Chip requires his QB to read a defense, make a quick decision and get the ball out fast….and this is the man who Vick has ANNOINTED as the starting QB, NEVER having seen him practice a single time? Give me a break. How dumb are we? All this senseless crap I hear is use because people are in such a rush to know the QB, to know the scheme..I mean it’s crazy. relax, let the process play itself out. If cHip new who his QB is TODAY, then Lurie should send him back to Oregon TONIGHT!!! THINK PEOPLE

  • JofreyRice

    Ugh, he views the position value the same as Reid? Until safety became a code-red crisis, we didn’t take them until the 4th or 5th round. I hope they still view it as a priority position, the way they did in 2010 and 2011. They just drafted the wrong players.

    I disagree with Banks. I think Greg Cosell laid it out pretty nicely: It appears Kelly’s going to run a spread-read option. The basis of that offense is the QB’s threat to run. Foles is no threat to run. So then in a year where you’re overhauling the philosophy, practice schedule and roster, do you take time to create a second offense that caters to Foles’ skill set? I don’t see it. I think the Eagles are posturing to get whatever they can in trade.

    • xlGmanlx

      I read that as Howie not trying to put Reid on blast. Everything he says is going to get back to Reid and he probably prefers to keep that relationship positive. Igg’s don’t really throw people under the bus, and that comes from the top down.

    • TheAnswer333

      Incorrect pal. Michael Lewis was a 2nd round pick. So that 4th or 5th round comment is inaccurate.

      • JofreyRice

        yeah, there was only a solid 8 year stretch between Lewis and Allen, where they did nothing to aggressively try and get a viable replacement for Dawkins as he aged–and then let him walk away because he wanted too much money! They lucked into a competent UDFA in Mikell, and drafted a bunch of mid-round chumps. They did nothing in terms of bringing in worthwhile free agents.

        • DLRJ

          I want better safeties too, but in fairness, you have to make something a lower priority (or at least it’s going to look that way). Figure there are roughly 11 basic positions (G, OT, C, DT, DE, LB, S, CB, RB, TE, QB) not including kickers (for which we might throw in the occasional 4th rounder). So you are going to go 8 years between high choices on something, even if it’s just chance. It’s easy to sit here after the fact and say, “We never did enough to address ______________!” but it’s kind of inevitable that you’ll feel that way about something if you do hindsight drafting to illustrate what they should have done.

          • FMWarner

            You are exactly right. Everything can’t be high priority.

          • GGeagle

            or you can have an eye for talent and know what you are doing and find a starter to matter what round you are picking in! I can give you a name right now at safety, who wont get drafted anywhere before the 6th round, yet will have a chance to be a NFL probowler 3 years from now. WRITE THIS NAME DOWN, and remember where you heard this…DEXTER McCOIL 6’4 215lb Safety from tulsa. great range in coverage, and tries to straight up Murder people everytime he hits them…Im praying that the Eagles are smart enough to draft this kid in the 6th round. Then draft another 6’4 Safety in the 7th round named COOPER TAYLOR…I really believe in McCoil, but Cooper is also a safety worth taking a shot on in round 7…This safety class is SOOOO RIDICULOUSLY DEEP WITH TALENT…I really believe there is a starting safety in this draft to be had in every round.
            DRAFT:
            RD1) dion Jordan SAM
            2)Desmond Trufant CB, FA we sign his OLDER brother Marcus away from Seattle to start the first half of the season, while tutoring his little brother til he is ready to take over. Desmond Trufant, might last til rd 2, but Im not so sure since he will be easily a significantly better corner at the next level than Dee MILNER. and If I know this, Im sure the NFL people know this, so I worry about Trufant lasting til we pick in rd 2
            3)If this kid last til we pick in rd 3, there wont be a better player for us than NT Brandon Williams. After the Reid regime, I dont like to use this word, but talk about HIGH MOTOR!!! I dont think I can ever recall a 340lb man with the motor that this kid has, not to mention he is an athletic freak. Go watch him walk doing a head stand for like 30seconds at 340lbs. We will be so lucky if he falls to us in rd 3.
            Round 4: Travis Kelce TE
            round 5: Luke Marquardt OT. This kid is a long term project because he was a basketball player who hasnt been playing football very long, but there arent many 6’9 players in this world with the athleticism that this kid has.
            round 6: Dexter McCoil
            I hope we find a way to aquire an extra draft pick that allows us to draft Safety Jonathon Cyprien or Matt Elam as well. Not sure how to aquire an extra 2nd round pick wiithout trading foles. Maclin maybe?
            and then you use free agency to for its strength this year, the offensive line: I would love to trade Heremans back to ANdy reid, and sign the best two run blocking lineman in free agency and re-do the right side of the line, RG Andy Levitre from the bills, and RT Loadholdt from the Vikings!
            as for the defense, I want Randy Stark DT from Miami, shouldnt be too expensive, but a very effective tackle to play opposite of Fletch Cox

          • FMWarner

            That’s all well and good, except for one thing – you’re proceeding as if these player evaluations you’ve made are infallible. You’re saying things like “If I know this, the NFL execs on other teams do”. But you don’t KNOW anything any more than those guys KNOW anything. Even the pro personnel guys are wrong half the time – look at how many first round busts there are.

            That’s why you have to prioritize the relative importance of each position in your system. Because just picking a guy in a particular spot doesn’t mean you’ve taken care of that position. You have to plan for being wrong and allocate numbers of picks. If safety is important to you, you pick three safeties, you don’t just pick one you like and act like you don’t have to worry about that position anymore.

          • GGeagle

            there is nothing wrong in believing in a prospect. gotta believe in something…but yeah, its just a crap shoot! one thing that isnt a crap shoot is that there willl be a starter to be had in everysingle round…hopefully we have the eye for talent to sniff it out…exactly why I proposed drafting THREE SAFETIES!!!

          • JofreyRice

            Why is “hindsight” a four letter word? What other objective way would you evaluate an event like the draft, free agency, or roster moves, and determine the wisdom of the folks running those events?

            There were multiple opportunities to upgrade safety throughout that time, in the draft, and FA, but the Eagles just did not want to pony up the money. I’m not a guy that thinks they’re “cheap”, they spend where they deem it worthy–like CB, DT, DE, but safety was not one of those spots. Kerry Rhodes could have been had for a 4th rounder! We took Mike Kafka with that 4th rounder instead. They didn’t want to pay Rhodes’ salary, because organizationally they didn’t weigh that position with much importance.

            I could understand if they didn’t think some of the options were worth it, but they passed on EVERYONE. We got Macho Harris converted from Corner, Sean Jones, Sean Considine, Kurt Coleman, Quinton Demps and CJ Gaddis. That is just a miserable record. In 2010, they took another fastball DE instead of the best safety in the draft, in Earl Thomas, because they valued DE’s waaaay more than S, even in a year where they knew they had to add a good safety to the defense to make it viable.

  • GGeagle

    We don’t have a single OLB on this roster that you can ask to drop back and cover Wiiten twice a year. OLBs are crucial to a 3-4 and hybrid, the way DEs are crucial in a 4-3. it’s crucial that we find a stud SAm OLB, it’s so important. If Chip believes he has to have Dion Jordaat the next level, if Gamble who just arrived from LINEBACKERville USA believes Dion will be his Aldon Smith in 3years, and if McGovern who knows exactly what a top college LB prospect that can have success in the NFL after coaching, rookie of the year Kuechly Iin college. if those 3 men believe that in 3 years Dion Jordan will be an all pro at such a critical position, then we will NOT PASS HIM UP. there is a very good chance after he makes the combine his bitch lol, that Dion Jordan won’t be passed up by the eagles in the draft. I really trust those 3 men evaluating Dion Jordan!

  • Max Lightfoot

    I’m so used to seeing Reid draft speedy midgets that I feel woozy just thinking about the draft. To be honest, I don’t care what their height, weight or speed is, I just want the Eagles to draft STARTING NFL players, beginning with their porous offensive line, ’cause they sure have a lot of holes to fill! What a joy that would be!

  • southy

    “We’re going to evaluate everything.”

    My that sounds familiar.