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Chip Kelly Recaps 2014 NFL Draft

Posted May 10, 2014

The Eagles concluded their second NFL Draft with Chip Kelly as the team's head coach on Saturday with a day for the defense. With four picks on the final day of the draft, Philadelphia focused on the defensive side of the ball with cornerback Jaylen Watkins, defensive end Taylor Hart, safety Ed Reynolds and nose tackle Beau Allen. In all, five of the team's seven selections this weekend provided help for defensive coordinator Bill Davis' unit.

"In our minds, I think there were more defensive players in it than offensive players. That's just how we saw it here in Philly," Kelly said. "I don't know how anybody else saw it, but that's how we saw it."

With a year's worth of experience, Kelly was able to approach the draft from a different perspective in 2014. Kelly was pleased with how the team's draft process was orchestrated.

"I think we've got a pretty good clean process in terms of how it works," Kelly said. "I think it's well thought out. It's very structured in terms of when we have to have X done, when we have to have Y done, how we continue to move in the right direction, and then so that when you get to the draft itself, and for some reason because they moved it, it seemed like the draft was forever just in terms of getting ready for it, but when it comes, then it's really a pretty orderly fashion.

“That's why I was kind of amazed that someone would actually want to write a movie about it, because it's not that dramatic to be honest with you; you know what I mean? You just look at a board and go, okay, what number are we, we pick, okay, that guy is the highest, let's pick him. It's not what I think some people think it is."

Even though the process went smoothly, Kelly can't predict how this draft class will pan out. As optimistic as everyone is right after the picks are made, the coaches need to get their hands on the players and indoctrinate them into the program.

"It's an inexact science, and if someone thinks they have a formula or a metric that can get you there, I haven't seen it yet," Kelly said, "but we feel comfortable with the direction we're going and the guys we've brought in here, but I'm not a prediction guy nor can I say because I don't know. I don't think anybody can."

The rookies arrive on Monday and will be integrated into the team's Offseason Conditioning Program. The Rookie Camp will take place next weekend.

"They'll have two good solid weeks under them before they ever face, where they have to actually be in a situation where they're going to make calls or get a play call and actually execute it," Kelly said. "Everything before then is on air."

Outside of the five picks on defense, the two selections slated for the offense were both used on the wide receiver position - Jordan Matthews in the second round and Josh Huff in the third round. Kelly said that it wasn't a strong draft at either the quarterback or running back positions. He acknowledged that there were some prospects along the offensive line the Eagles had their eyes on, but there was a run on those players which took them out of consideration. The Eagles didn't feel a need to press the issue because the team wants to see how the young offensive linemen on the roster progress this offseason.

"Matt Tobin really came along last year, was an undrafted free agent that really showed up for us. Really excited about his future. Allen Barbre is a guy that when you watch the games when he went in when Jason Peters went down in the Green Bay game, really did an outstanding job at left tackle, which is probably the most difficult position to play," Kelly said.

"We really like Julian Vandervelde developed at center. He's done a really, really good job for us. We've added David Molk, who's played in this league at center and he's doing a really good job also and competing there. Dennis Kelly is healthy now and he's competing there. It's year two with Mike Bamiro, who we signed last year who was kind of a  ... I don't like the word project, but a young guy that's a big - I mean, big, big, big son of a gun that all of a sudden now he's got a year under the system and he's really made a lot of progress himself."

Now that the NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, Kelly can get back to coaching and now has the players who will largely comprise the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles roster.

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