If Andy Reid were still the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, there is no question what the team would do with the fourth pick of the NFL draft on Thursday night. Reid would request that the player-personnel department run by Howie Roseman take the biggest offensive tackle still available. That would have been a solid decision, just as it will be if Chip Kelly makes the same one, but it is also in keeping with the straight line of Reid's draft history. In nine of the 14 drafts with Reid as head coach, depending on which side of the ball required more attention that year, the Eagles took either an offensive or defensive lineman with their initial selection. Whether it was a pick they kept, or whether they traded down or traded out of the first round, whenever they finally stood and called a name and a school, it was usually to take a line grunt. That's a solid way to approach building a football team, or rebuilding one that suffered the kind of collapse that befell the Eagles. The draft that begins Thursday night is rich in line talent, but poor in special players at the skill positions. Plus, the Eagles are coming off a season in which the offensive line either melted down or broke, and they need something aside from fond wishes to pair with Todd Herremanns and Jason Peters at the tackle positions. So, unless he is as tricky as his reputation, Kelly will channel his inner Reid and take the best tackle still on the board. All of us have seen enough mock drafts to know that nobody is really sure who goes where and who will be left when the Eagles pick. Reid himself leads off the night for Kansas City, and he will take one of the three offensive tackles allegedly worthy of a high pick. If he doesn't, the league is hereby authorized to start an investigation. It could be that the three teams picking ahead of the Eagles will take offensive tackles Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and Lane Johnson. That would leave Kelly with a decision, but it is more likely that at least one of those teams will go in another direction, possibly for defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. The Raiders pick just ahead of the Eagles, and it's always impossible to predict what that organization will do. Oakland could draft an offensive player, a defensive player, or a wirehaired fox terrier. There's no way to know.
Eagles' Chip Kelly likely to follow Andy Reid's path with first pick
Philly.com | Apr 25