Eagles Select DB Watkins, DL Hart
Sports Fan Insider
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chip Kelly is loading up on players he recruited.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart with the first overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday. They took Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff in the third round Friday night.
Kelly was 46-7 in four years at Oregon before replacing Andy Reid in Philadelphia and leading the Eagles to an NFC East title in his first season last year.
“I specifically stayed out of those guys and let the personnel (staff) give me what the grades are,” Kelly said on evaluating former players at Oregon. “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.”
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Hart had 16 sacks while playing end and tackle in four years in college. He projects as an end in Philadelphia’s 3-4 scheme.
He said Kelly told him: “We’re putting the family back together.”
The Eagles kicked off Day 3 of the draft by taking Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins with the 101st overall pick. General manager Howie Roseman is a Florida alum, so Kelly joked the team is alternating picking players from Oregon and Florida.
They drafted Stanford safety Ed Reynolds with their second pick in the fifth round (No. 162).
Watkins and Reynolds bolster a position the Eagles entered the draft looking to upgrade. 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.”
Watkins is the older half-brother of Sammy Watkins. The Clemson wide receiver was selected by Buffalo with the No. 4 overall pick.
“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.”
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.
During the fourth round, the Eagles traded running back Bryce Brown to Buffalo. The teams swapped seventh-round picks in this year’s draft. The Bills also gave up a conditional draft pick — either a fourth-rounder next year or a third-round selection in 2016.
The Eagles took Watkins and Hart with picks acquired from Houston. They chose linebacker Marcus Smith in the first round (No. 26) and selected wide receiver Jordan Matthews in the second (No. 42).