Do Chip Kelly's college ties help in draft?

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
11:07
AM ET
When Jimmy Johnson turned around the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1990s, one of his advantages was knowing the college players entering the NFL draft so well from having recruited the best of the best while at the University of Miami.

Jones
Kelly
Does Chip Kelly have a similar touch?

So far this offseason, Philadelphia Eagles coach Kelly has been to two pro days -- Louisville and Florida State. He will probably hit some more as well leading into the May draft.

Last year, the Eagles drafted Zach Ertz (Stanford), Matt Barkley (Southern Cal) and Bennie Logan (LSU) who competed against Kelly's Ducks. He had a feel for the Pac-12 players better than a one-time opponent in Logan, but seeing somebody up close and personal is always a good thing.

And Kelly's relationships with college coaches should help too, just as Johnson's relationships with college coaches helped him.

The wisdom only lasts so long, however. Johnson was unable to match his drafting success with the Miami Dolphins, although he did find Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas and Sam Madison. Where he really struggled was in drafting offensive players, especially early in the draft. From 1997-99, his top picks were Yatil Green, John Avery and J.J. Johnson and none of them panned out.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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