Leading up to the draft, the Eagles were reportedly very high on West Virginia quarterback, Geno Smith. The Eagles management, including the owner Jeffrey Lurie, went to work out Geno Smith and this kicked started all of the rumors. Plenty of experts mocked Geno Smith to the Eagles in the first round and when Smith fell to the second round, people were sure the Eagles would select him. Instead the Eagles opted for Oklahoma tackle, Lane Johnson, and Stanford tight end, Zach Ertz. After these selections, reports came out saying the Eagles interest in Geno Smith was a smoke screen.
On the Tuesday morning, Kelly held was interviewed by WIP and he was asked about the Eagles interest in Geno Smith. Contrary to reports, Kelly said that the Eagles were interested in Geno Smith.
“First off, it wasn’t a smoke screen,” Kelly said. “We were as thorough with Geno as anyone else with our evaluation. How it happened was we were supposed to have a meeting scheduled that day with Jeffrey in the building on a couple things. And we weren’t supposed to meet until the afternoon because we were going to see Geno, and it was an hour away by plane. And he said, ‘Hey, I’ll go with you guys.’ “
Not only did Chip Kelly say that the Eagles interest was not a smoke screen, Kelly said the reason Eagles President, Jeffrey Lurie, came was because they had meeting in the afternoon, which differs from the statement Jeffrey Lurie made after the Geno Smith visit. Lurie said that he went because it was “an important pick”
Teams around the NFL use the media to try to scare teams into making bad decisions during the draft, but Chip Kelly said that’s not what the Eagles were doing at all and said that would be a “wasting our time.”
“Is it a smoke screen to other people? I think that intrigue and that part of it, I kind of get a kick out of,” Kelly said. “We don’t have enough time to go out there and say, ‘Hey, let’s bluff the other 31 teams in the league by going to do this.’ If we are, we’re wasting our time.”