Chip Kelly has remained discreet about his requirements for certain positions, but not cornerback. Since arriving in Philadelphia, Kelly's search for tall, long, physical cornerbacks has not been a secret. "Obviously we'd like all our corners to be 6-2-plus and long and that's the ideal world," Kelly said in November. "There's not a ton of them out there." The NFL draft starts Thursday, and it's an opportune time to find a cornerback who fits the Eagles' prototype. Although talent is ultimately what will sway the Eagles to pick a player, look for the Eagles to target cornerbacks who are at least 6 feet tall with long arms. "I think the corners have some interesting guys in terms of height, length," general manager Howie Roseman said of this year's prospects. When Roseman discussed scouting receivers last week, he noted the adjustment of learning to play against a cornerback who is a "6-foot, 205-pound guy with 34-inch arms." The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl with a defensive backfield mostly filled with cornerbacks who have the size the Eagles seek. During the interview process to become head coach, Kelly outlined specific measurements he seeks at each position. Once he was hired, scouts were given a template. "Chip kind of knows exactly what he wants in terms of size at positions, so I think whereas maybe under Andy [Reid] . . . a corner, for instance, he was not going to get too hung up on how tall a guy was if he could play," said NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former Eagles scout under Reid. " And I think Chip is somebody that wants more size at position. . . . It makes it a little bit easier to scout because you eliminate some players, but there's also the risk that you end up passing up some guys that are going to be great players at the next level because they simply don't fit." The Eagles finished 2013 with the worst pass defense in the NFL, and they need to develop young talent to play outside cornerback. The team sounds committed to keeping Brandon Boykin in the slot.
Eagles know what they like in a cornerback
Philly.com | May 6