PHILADELPHIA -- The good news for Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly is he doesn’t have to spend the next couple months traveling to high school kids’ homes and recruiting them.
The bad news?
"It’s a different league," Kelly said. "This isn't recruiting where you can go out and offer and try to get them to come. There's a selection in the draft process and we're not going to pick until the 22nd [spot in the first round]. There's 21 other guys that we may covet, but we don't have an opportunity to get them."
If a team drafted 22d every year and did well, it could be awfully good. Based on the last 10 years, drafting only players taken between No. 22 and No. 32 (the end of the first round), a team could have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, wide receivers Dez Bryant and Santonio Holmes, running backs Steven Jackson and Chris Johnson, linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry, safety Brandon Meriweather and defensive linemen Cameron Jordan and Sharrif Floyd.
Later we’ll look at some possible players the Eagles could consider at No. 22 in this year’s draft. For now, here’s a quick look at the 22nd pick in each of the past 10 NFL drafts, along with a few players that were on the board at the time (I didn’t go beyond the end of the first round out of fairness; just looking at first-round graded players):
2013: Cornerback Desmond Trufant from Washington, selected by Atlanta.
2012: Quarterback Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State, selected by Cleveland.
2011: Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo from Boston College, selected by Indianapolis.
2010: Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from Georgia Tech, selected by Denver.
2009: Wide receiver Percy Harvin from Florida, selected by Minnesota.
2008: RB Felix Jones from Arkansas, selected by Dallas.
2007: Quarterback Brady Quinn from Notre Dame, selected by Cleveland.
2006: Linebacker Manny Lawson from N.C. State, selected by San Francisco.
2005: Wide receiver Mark Clayton from Oklahoma, selected by Baltimore.
2004: Quarterback J.P. Losman from Tulane, selected by Buffalo.