When it comes to Oregon players, Chip Kelly just can’t help himself. The Philadelphia Eagles added yet another former Duck in Round 5, selecting defensive end Taylor Hart.
Hart is the second Oregon player selected in this draft, which makes seven total on the roster. Here’s the scouting report:
Terrific size and length. Good eyes and awareness. Plays on his feet. Holds his ground at the point. Gains extension and can stack and shed. Collapses the pocket. Good range and pursuit effort. Closes hard. Strong wrap tackler (very good production) -- snares ball carriers and drags them to the turf. Good soldier who falls in line willingly and has clean character. Three-year starter.
Could stand to add bulk to his frame and get functionally stronger. Average athlete. Not explosive. Ordinary get-off -- takes short initial steps and exposes his frame off the snap. Needs to play with more consistent pad level. Fairly linear rusher. Limited shoulder flexibility to dip and bend the edge. Stiffness shows in space.
While the Oregon jokes will come naturally, this pick actually makes a ton of sense. The Eagles sorely needed to add depth along the defensive line, and this coaching staff knows exactly what it’s getting in Hart. That includes defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro, who made the jump with Chip to the NFL.
Hart’s numbers regressed a bit in his senior season, going from 11.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks in 2012 to six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in ’13. Defensive end isn’t typically a stats position in a 3-4 scheme though.
In all honesty, the Hart selection was easy to see coming, but that’s because it makes so much sense. He’ll be able to jump into the rotation on the Eagles defensive line immediately, likely giving Fletcher Cox some much need breathers. Down the line, Hart may even compete for a starting job.