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Monday, April 29, 2013
Chip Kelly picks four from Pac-12

By Kevin Gemmell

The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed eight new players to the team via the 2013 NFL draft. Half of them are from the Pac-12. And new Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly -- as one or two of you might have heard -- is formerly of Oregon. Kelly insisted this wasn't the game plan going in.

"It wasn't certainly by design," he said after the draft. "Now, when people look back at the draft and try to analyze it and try to see how it happened -- I think it kind of just happened."

Kelly and Co. drafted Stanford tight end Zach Ertz in the second round, USC quarterback Matt Barkley in the fourth round, Utah defensive end Joe Kruger in the seventh, and Oregon State defensive back Jordan Poyer in the seventh.

Kelly's Ducks beat Utah 31-24 in his first season as Oregon's head coach -- a four-year span in which he went to four-straight BCS Bowl games, won three Pac-12 titles and compiled a 46-7 record. Kruger wasn't part of that Utah team. But Kelly saw plenty of Barkley, Ertz and Poyer. Plus he saw LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan when the Tigers topped the Ducks in the 2011 opener in Arlington, Texas.

Design or not, these are players that Kelly is extremely familiar with. And it's human nature to go with what you know. Probably not by coincidence, three of the new Eagles were on the field to hand Kelly three of his seven career losses at Oregon.

Here's a look at the new Eagles and their history against Kelly.

Zach Ertz, Stanford, TE (3rd pick of 2nd round, 35th overall)
Bennie Logan, LSU, DT (5th pick of the 3rd round, 67th overall).
Matt Barkley, USC, QB (1st pick of the 4th round, 98th overall)
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State, CB (12th pick of the 7th round, 218 overall)

And for those of you looking for closure on the Ertz catch, you're not going to get any. But here's a great exchange between Ertz and Kelly pre-draft, via Chris McPherson of
When the Eagles met with Ertz prior to the draft, Kelly's first question was whether it was a catch.

"Of course it was a catch," Ertz said.

The debate didn't end there. Ertz sent Kelly a handwritten note after the meeting to thank the Eagles for taking the time to meet with him. At the end of the note, Ertz left a postscript that read, "It was a catch."

"At the end of the day, I wanted to remind him what happened when we played against him, and to make sure I got the last laugh," said Ertz.