Eagles Sign Jaylen Watkins, Taylor Hart

Jaylen Watkins

The Eagles have signed fourth-round pick Jaylen Watkins and fifth-round pick Taylor Hart, the team announced today.

Watkins (5-11, 194), a Florida product, will begin his NFL career at cornerback for the Birds, but could move to safety at some point.

Hart (6-6, 281) played for Chip Kelly and Jerry Azzinaro at Oregon. He’s expected to become an immediate part of the defensive line rotation, backing up either Fletcher Cox or Cedric Thornton at the end spot. Read more »

Three Roseman Leftovers

Taylor Hart
The Eagles had a third-round grade on Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart and were eager to land him as Day 3 of the draft commenced. They held the first pick of the fourth round and had to decide whether to pull the trigger immediately or go in a different direction and take the chance that Hart would still be on the board the next time they were on the clock
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“I think Howie [Roseman] did a great job of how we ordered it,” said Chip Kelly. “The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let’s take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right.”

How could Roseman be confident enough to offer a guarantee? Teams don’t make it a habit of disclosing their draft boards to the rest of the league. How could he know that Hart would fall to them in the fifth? Read more »

The Theory Behind Picking Oregon Players

NCAA Football: Oregon at Stanford

Howie Roseman provided Chip Kelly with a guarantee.

The Eagles had identified Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart as a player they wanted to bring on board. They had a third-round grade on the 6-6, 281-pound defensive end. But the draft is about maximizing resources and properly assessing value. So the team’s decision-makers had to decide when to pull the trigger.

“We had him rated a lot higher,” Kelly said. “I know I say that a lot, but that’s true for us. We would have taken him in the third. We’re fortunate. I think Howie did a great job of how we ordered it today. The other guy [Florida DB Jaylen Watkins] would be gone first, so let’s take him. He guaranteed me Hart would be there in the fifth, and he was right.”

The selection of two Oregon players is representative of a greater philosophy the Eagles have adopted. As one reporter phrased it in a question to Roseman: Limit the variables. Read more »

Eagles Pick-By-Pick Draft Review

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oregon vs Kansas State

It was a chaotic three days at the NovaCare Complex. In the end, the Eagles made four trades and ended up with seven new players (not counting undrafted free agents).

Below is a pick-by-pick review, along with links you might have missed and projections for how each guy fits. Read more »

Eagles Grab Oregon’s Taylor Hart In Fifth

USA TODAY Sports-Archive
Chip Kelly 
went to the Oregon well for the second time in this draft, as the Eagles used the first of their two fifth-round picks on Ducks’ defensive end Taylor Hart.

The 6-foot-6, 281-pounder played for Kelly and assistant Jerry Azzinaro and was a three-year starter in college. He’s got the length the Eagles are looking for along the defensive line and is familiar with the team’s two-gap scheme up front.

Read more »