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The Eagles prepare for the main pre-draft event with a stable of new faces in the coaching staff and front office, including new head coach Chip Kelly and recently hired vice president of player personnel Tom Gamble. General manager Howie Roseman has tap-danced around questions about how loud Gamble’s voice will be in the war room and how much influence Kelly has on personnel decisions, but he didn’t hire the 25-year veteran front office exec or the game’s most coveted college coach to make coffee and fill out paperwork. The trio will be extremely busy this week scouting more than 300 college prospects.
Talk the walk
Now that he’s been on the job for more than a month, Kelly can’t keep telling the public that he hasn’t yet evaluated his current roster and doesn’t have an inkling of how his offensive and defensive schemes and personnel will look. It’s time for some answers from Kelly on his direction for the franchise. Kelly and Roseman are each expected to be podium speakers on Thursday. For some reason, the guess here is that we still won’t get those answers.
Remember the names Dion Jordan, Cordarrelle Patterson and Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah. One year ago, they weren’t on anyone’s radar. Now, after breakout seasons in college, each is hoping to cement his status as a first-round pick at the Combine with strong workouts and impressive interviews. Jordan and Ansah are both pass rushers. Patterson is a savvy receiver. Keep an eye on the 6-foot-6, 243-pound Jordan, who played for Kelly at Oregon. A former tight end, Jordan flourished after Kelly moved him to defense in 2010.
Two interior linemen -- Alabama’s Chance Warmack and North Carolina’s John Cooper -- have become hot commodities, so much that Mike Mayok even touted Warmack as a potential No. 1 pick, which is unheard of for a guard/center. The Eagles have the fourth overall pick. They also have Danny Watkins at right guard. You do the math.
Expect a mammoth crowd of reporters around Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who is expected to meet the media Saturday with the rest of the draft-eligible linebackers. Te’o has said he doesn’t think the catfishing hoax will impact his draft stock -- which is somewhat of a naive viewpoint, but not as naive as believing that someone who he never met could really be his girlfriend.