Philadelphia Eagles: Chip Kelly’s Super Bowl Roster
By Dave Wales
Nov 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews (81) celebrates his first quarter touchdown with Josh Huff (11) against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Outside of the reports that teams at the top of the draft covet Bradford more so than Winston or Mariota and that Kelly has already received a trade offer of a first round pick for Bradford, he fits our offense more than you’d expect. In fact, one NFL executive stated that Marcus Mariota’s most comparable NFL quarterback was Sam Bradford. That same anonymous executive also mentioned that Bradford was more accurate.
This leads me to believe that Kelly saw what it would take to move up to draft Mariota and then realized he could make a trade for Bradford at a much cheaper cost. This allows Kelly to get the ideal guy to run his offense while also getting all of the intangibles he loves about Mariota. Bradford has an extremely quick release, unlike Foles, and that should help increase the pace of our offense. Bradford, while not as quick as Mariota with his legs, is considerably quicker than Nick Foles.
All of these seemingly dangerous changes all have the potential to turn the Eagles offense from deadly to deadlier. That’s hard to imagine. Sure, there are concerns about the WR position, but the draft is deep in talent like last year. If wide receivers Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews can take their next steps in development and tight end Zach Ertz can continue his, the Eagles receiving options are going to be just fine.
After two 10-6 seasons in a row, I think Kelly realized that the only thing truly holding this team back is the lack of defense on the back end keeping up with the ability of the offense. This was never more apparent than last season when ex-Eagles cornerbacks Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams were torched consistently down the stretch. How did he fix this problem? He went out and signed two Super Bowl winning corners in Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond. Both of these guys won a Super Bowl with Seattle in 2013 and both have the attributes Kelly desires in his secondary — length and physicality.
Maxwell and Thurmond both have arm lengths that exceed 32.5 inches. They’re both Cover 3 Press corners that like to be physical at the line of scrimmage that causes timing disruptions between the WR and the QB. When you consider how dominant the Eagles front seven was last year, this type of cornerback play can be the difference between shutting down the opposing offense or giving up a long TD throw to Dez Bryant. Basically, it was a change that needed to happen.
The next step in the roster molding process is the 2015 NFL Draft. Currently, the Eagles have the #20 pick and have holes to fill at WR, Safety, and Guard. Personally, I think our options at #20 come down to safety Landon Collins, offensive guard Jake Fisher, or WR Dorial Green-Beckham. Two of those picks are popular choices for the Eagles while the Green-Beckham choice is a fringe pick. I think his size and skill set would do wonders on the outside and make jump balls down the sideline a much more exciting this to watch, but obviously Fisher and Collins should come first. In the end, Chip Kelly may not pick any of these guys.
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