We’ve written quite a bit in this space about the possibility of the Eagles taking outside linebacker Dion Jordan with the No. 4 pick.
But there’s another Oregon Duck who could be on the team’s radar: offensive lineman Kyle Long.
Long (6-6, 313) took a round-about path to the NFL, but is now considered to be a legitimate Day 2 prospect. The son of Howie Long, he excelled playing baseball and decided to attend Florida State. But Long battled substance abuse problems, got a DUI and was kicked off the team.
He spent time in rehab before attending junior college for a couple seasons, and eventually landed at Oregon in 2012. Long wasn’t even a full-time starter in his only year playing Division I football, but he’s shown enough to go as high as the second round.
“He played for Chip Kelly at Oregon. Kyle Long, if he’s still there, would be a viable option for the Philadelphia Eagles,” said ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. “Coaches like familiar players. Obviously Kyle Long has a ton of versatility. He has the bloodlines with his father Howie and his brother Chris. I think he would have to be in the discussion along with Menelik Watson from Florida State.”
There’s a chance the Eagles go offensive line in the first round, with Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher or Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson. But if not, Long could be an option with the No. 35 overall pick in the second round.
“That’d be cool,” Long said back in January, when I asked him about a potential reunion with Kelly. “But he might have wanted to just be done with me.”
Long was obviously joking. He and Kelly shared a special bond during their one season together in Eugene.
“Coach Kelly is there for his players,” Long said. “I feel like a lot of coaches aren’t really present with their players and don’t know what’s going on in the locker room, don’t know what’s going on outside of football. Coach Kelly has a great understanding of what his players are all about.”
As for fit, Long provides versatility, having played both tackle and guard with the Ducks. And he’s obviously familiar with Kelly’s scheme. His 4.94 40 at the Combine ranked third among all offensive linemen.
The main issue with Long is that he only has one year of football at a high level under his belt, and it’s not as if he’s a young prospect. Long will turn 25 before the 2013 season is over.
But no one knows better than Kelly how much time Long will need to adjust to the NFL game. If the Eagles don’t take an offensive lineman in the first round, and Long is sitting there at No. 35, he’ll be a name to watch.
Below is a good Yahoo Sports video in which Long tells the story of his journey to the NFL.