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Eagles, Kelly take players he knows, bolster D
Question of the Day
Chip Kelly loaded up on players he recruited and coached against while bolstering a defense that ranked 29th in the NFL last year. He also added a pair of wide receivers for his high-flying offense that set several franchise records.
The defending NFC East champions kicked off Saturday by taking Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins with the first overall pick in the fourth round (No. 101). Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart was their next choice in the fifth round. Hart is the second player reuniting with his former coach, joining wide receiver Josh Huff, who was Philadelphia’s third-round choice Friday night.
“We’re taking the best players and that’s how we’ve always looked at it. They’ve won a lot of games the last couple years,” Kelly said about drafting former Ducks.
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound Watkins can play cornerback or safety.
“One of the things that led us to this pick is his versatility because he has played both,” Kelly said. “Extremely high football intelligence. Could be the quarterback of the defense because of his football intelligence.”
“We’re very close. Today is a very big day for our family,” Jaylen Watkins said. “I texted him before he went on stage and he just texted me and he’s probably going to call me now. We’re both excited for each other. We can’t complain about anything that happened this year for us.”
Kelly stuck with players he knows by taking Stanford safety Ed Reynolds with the team’s second pick in the fifth round (No. 162). Reynolds played against Oregon in the Pac-12.
Reynolds, 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, missed the 2011 season because of a torn ACL. His father, also Ed Reynolds, was a linebacker for New England and the New York Giants from 1983-92.
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