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Chip Kelly prefers to draft college graduates

Chip Kelly AP

The Eagles’ first six draft picks all have one thing in common: They’re college graduates.

Eagles picks Marcus Smith of Louisville, Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt, Josh Huff of Oregon, Jaylen Watkins of Florida, Taylor Hart of Oregon and Ed Reynolds of Stanford have all graduated or are set to graduate at the end of this semester, and Eagles coach Chip Kelly said that’s important to him.

“No. 1, I think it shows you the intelligence factor, and No. 2, it shows that they’re committed to establishing goals and following through on their goals,” Kelly said on ESPN. “You’re face some adversity, whether it’s in school or on the football field. You’ve got a bunch of driven guys, and that’s evidence that they are driven. It shows you what we’re looking for here, that combination of mental toughness and that high football intelligence. That’s just another indication for us.”

There are obviously plenty of great football players who don’t finish college, and it’s not that the Eagles have a firm policy against drafting players who leave school early for the NFL. But Kelly’s way of thinking makes a lot of sense.

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45 Responses to “Chip Kelly prefers to draft college graduates”
  1. fissels says: May 10, 2014 4:06 PM

    I like this guy, Chip Kelly. The man is solid.

  2. rawgator06 says: May 10, 2014 4:11 PM

    solid guy. He dropped his best player because they he didn’t like him.
    Lets see how many people like Chip when his gimmick offense fails without a speed qb or wr.

  3. trubroncfan07 says: May 10, 2014 4:17 PM

    Good to see there are still some people that have standards, good for Chip!

  4. All-American Voltron says: May 10, 2014 4:19 PM

    That’s the second time this week Chip Kelly demonstrated how naïve he is to being a NFL Head Coach.

    If I’m starting an accounting firm I be sure to pack my office with college graduates, its basically irrelevant in sports however.

  5. blitzinc43 says: May 10, 2014 4:19 PM

    Hello Marcus Mariota!

  6. dickshotdogs says: May 10, 2014 4:21 PM

    Belichick does as well. The Patriots have led The NFL in that underrated stat since he’s been there. Kelly learned from the best. Look it up, gentleman.

  7. lingsun54 says: May 10, 2014 4:25 PM

    That’s nice. Barry Sanders didn’t graduate.

  8. vusnu says: May 10, 2014 4:26 PM

    solid guy. He dropped his best player because they he didn’t like him. Lets see how many people like Chip when his gimmick offense fails without a speed qb or wr.

    ——————

    Of course this is the same guy who said last year that Chip’s offense would never work in the NFL.

  9. irishdodger says: May 10, 2014 4:27 PM

    Then pickings will be slim

  10. junebug42 says: May 10, 2014 4:29 PM

    I hate to say it but jerry will need to make up for not taking johnny football & trade up if his sorry team doesn’t have the worst record in football to draft Mariota…SORRY I’M NOT WITH THE ROMO FRIENDLY B/S!!!!!

  11. mikejune says: May 10, 2014 4:32 PM

    The Giants took only team captains in the draft this year. Having solid guys in the locker room goes a long way.

  12. bigj7769 says: May 10, 2014 4:38 PM

    Graduates do not make a difference. All we have learned so far is that college football players don’t go to class!! And their majors are gym, advanced media, and general studies. Chip Kelly is trying too hard to show everyone how smart he is. Arrogance will be his downfall. That’s also why he bolted Oregon before all his allegations came out. He preaches character and was under investigation!

  13. skinsfan91 says: May 10, 2014 4:41 PM

    RGIII graduated high school and college early and was on his way to getting his masters.

  14. dudermcrbohan says: May 10, 2014 4:44 PM

    It really narrows things down. Most of these players can barely read.

  15. diehardinnc says: May 10, 2014 5:00 PM

    Some of these comments lead one to believe that the people bagging on Kelly didn’t graduate college. Read the headline- Kelly prefers graduates. If a player is highly talented or a great value, I cannot imagine Kelly would pass him over if he was leaving school early. A lot of those guys still complete their degrees. It’s just a box Kelly checks in his list of attributes he looks for.

  16. doctorart2013 says: May 10, 2014 5:00 PM

    It’s a great move to draft them, they are smart and they are dedicated two big traits in winning football games.

  17. fishyinalittledishy says: May 10, 2014 5:09 PM

    If he wants to draft graduates fair play to him I can see his point but life isn’t as straight forward as that. Personally always think a mix of characters is good maybe that’s what he eventually is after. If I was recruiting my thing would be nobody with tattoos and earrings.

  18. bornahawker says: May 10, 2014 5:36 PM

    OL’ CHIP is drafting the Oregon Ducks. Not the move to make in the bigs. Lets see if Huff is the next DJAX, Wait! Seattle has Richardson who will be the next speedster in the NFL!
    GO HAWKS!

  19. neemdaddy13 says: May 10, 2014 5:39 PM

    One year and Chip has it all figured out.. The guy is so full of himself. Someone may want to let him know that the best playere are typically juniors. Let’s be real here, the seniors don’t stay to accomplish anything, they simply don’t leave early because they aren’t good enough.

  20. trapshoot says: May 10, 2014 5:41 PM

    Good for him! He rationale is very solid.

  21. gregmorris78 says: May 10, 2014 6:06 PM

    HTTR but I like ‘ole Chip. He seems good for the league so far. This year will tell. Can’t wait for the games to start!! It is strange that we ended up with Jackson.

  22. macjacmccoy says: May 10, 2014 6:08 PM

    neemdaddy13 says:
    May 10, 2014 5:39 PM
    One year and Chip has it all figured out.. The guy is so full of himself. Someone may want to let him know that the best playere are typically juniors. Let’s be real here, the seniors don’t stay to accomplish anything, they simply don’t leave early because they aren’t good enough.

    Chip isnt the one hyping it up he’s just being honest. The media asks him questions and he gives real answers unlike the other 120 coaches in American Pro Sports. Because of that the media starts talking about how great and how smart he is. You cant blame someone for other people saying good things about them. Well you can but then you would just be proving why no one is saying good things about you. (Psstt…. its because your dumb)

  23. 25cuts says: May 10, 2014 6:13 PM

    It’s hilarious that people think his offense is a gimmick and that the eagles will not be good. They will be a top notch offense again. Those that think otherwise have a very low football iq. Ok they haven’t won the Super Bowl but they are a heavy favorite to win the division again and they’re still building the team. But this Chip Kelly is legit.

  24. shaunypoo says: May 10, 2014 6:37 PM

    Where is the outcry over his bias against players who haven’t graduated yet? It must not forward the media’s agenda.

  25. floratiotime says: May 10, 2014 6:39 PM

    From a guy who left Oregon to avoid sanctions.

  26. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 10, 2014 6:42 PM

    Being new to the NFL, Chip is just a little idealistic. (OK eagle fan haters do what you do) All this sounds good until you watch your defense get blown up all season long again then you just start looking for men who can play football.

  27. wjarvis says: May 10, 2014 6:48 PM

    Well his salary from his time at Oregon did make him set for life financially (as long as he doesn’t blow it), so he’s got to help the NCAA a little publicly.

  28. drs76109 says: May 10, 2014 6:51 PM

    AMEN, Coach Kelly!

  29. doe22us says: May 10, 2014 8:00 PM

    Good for him, there are way too may dumb ones out there Kenny Britt anyone??

  30. phillyphannnn83 says: May 10, 2014 8:01 PM

    And what about the fact that almost every one of them has had major injuries and surgeries?? Or that one if them has an arrest for DUI-marijuana. For all the character stuff he praise, that goes directly against that philosophy. I’m really not happy with this draft. Time will tell if my feeling are right.

  31. 1phillyphan says: May 10, 2014 8:02 PM

    I commend his thought..but is he saying he wouldn’t have taken Marcus Mariota if he came out early this year?..i think not

  32. 1rockyracoon says: May 10, 2014 8:13 PM

    He didn’t say he would only draft graduates. It’s one of many factors when deciding on a player. He’s trying to build a team of mature men. Easy to see how DeSean didn’t fit in.

  33. drfeelyouup says: May 10, 2014 8:25 PM

    Intelligence factor? Idiot Jordan Matthews was talking about learning from Desean Jackson. That dude didn’t even know he’s on the Redskins. Doh.

  34. imnotsorryisaidthat says: May 10, 2014 9:13 PM

    Coach Kelly is and continues to be the man..Bleeding Green Nation..Welcome aboard the ride 2014 draft class

  35. barrywhererufrom says: May 10, 2014 9:24 PM

    I would love to know the percentage of NFL player’s with college degrees..

  36. thereyougo2 says: May 10, 2014 10:37 PM

    In the crap shoot called the NFL draft a player who earned a degree is a slight favorite over an equal player who didn’t. Pretty simple logic which has nothing to do with arrogance. He’s not the only coach who favors this logic but one of the few who gives a strait answer about it.

  37. arminscopyofswank says: May 10, 2014 10:48 PM

    Interesting thoughts from Chip Kelly.

    Belichick has the exact opposite opinion. He wants his guys focused on football first, not school.

    He was somewhat critical of the player who went to grad school in Oxford.

  38. raiderlyfe510 says: May 10, 2014 11:13 PM

    He’s right, but a college degree would really only be a requirement for my QB. In addition to what C Kelly stated it shows a player is responsible and has a good attention span….Johnny Football wouldn’t be anywhere near my draft board.

  39. stercuilus65 says: May 10, 2014 11:33 PM

    It’s amazing all the drooling moron critics who seemed determined to prove their lack of reading comprehension on this board. Smh.

  40. pallidrone says: May 10, 2014 11:41 PM

    phillyphannnn83 says: May 10, 2014 8:01 PM

    And what about the fact that almost every one of them has had major injuries and surgeries?? Or that one if them has an arrest for DUI-marijuana. For all the character stuff he praise, that goes directly against that philosophy. I’m really not happy with this draft. Time will tell if my feeling are right.

    ——————————————————

    Don’t worry – If your feelings are incorrect, it is not like we are going to hear about it anyway.

  41. drohanimal says: May 11, 2014 1:50 AM

    Chip is second to Lombardi only. Fly Eagles Fly.

  42. pressytodd says: May 11, 2014 4:13 AM

    That`s funny , i guess he will never coach any one he coached in college again.

  43. everybodyhits says: May 11, 2014 4:28 AM

    This was written before they drafted an academic all-American in the 7th.

  44. justwannawinna says: May 11, 2014 6:02 AM

    Breaking News Chip Kelly isn’t the only college HC to leave to the NFL to avoid sanctions… theres also superbowl winning Pete Carroll. Also for those who said Chip Kellys offense wont succeed without Jackson; Chip Kelly proved all of you wrong when he showed his offense could be run by an immobile QB like Foles. He’ll prove all of you wrong again. And the graduates thing; it might be a checklist Chip likes to have; doesn’t mean he wouldn’t draft a guy who hasn’t finished college. But I love the outlook on draftees, if they can graduate and be dedicated to it then they sure as hell have those intangibles that every coach hopes for… And leaving after a senior season doesn’t mean that player wasn’t good his junior year… look at the past for advice- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, RG3 to name just a few.

  45. Ferdinand says: May 11, 2014 11:24 AM

    This is so funny how Kelly is getting praised by the people here because when I mentioned that I would like to know if a prospect got his degree and what it was for – because it would be an indication of his intelligence, work habits/ethics, dedication, etc… everyone told me I was a flaming idiot. There was was no difference at all between two equally talented players, one who got his molecular biology degree and one who didn’t get his degree in ‘exercise science’.

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