PHILADELPHIA -- Now that he’s practiced adding Heisman Trophy winners to his roster, what are the chances Chip Kelly gets the latest Heisman honoree in next week’s NFL draft?
We haven’t touched on Marcus Mariota that much lately, what with the Philadelphia Eagles' signing of 2007 Heisman winner Tim Tebow on Monday. But there were enough small developments on the Mariota front Wednesday to warrant an update.
Wednesday morning, ESPN's ace NFL reporter Adam Schefter said on 97.5 The Fanatic, the ESPN radio affiliate in Philadelphia, that he has come around on the idea of the Eagles trading up for Mariota.
"Count me in the camp that does consider it an option and a possibility," Schefter said Wednesday morning. "And I was not in that camp a month ago, but I've come over to that side."
It’s important to note Schefter doesn’t just comment on random ideas that pop into his head. He is constantly talking to people around the league -- coaches, executives, agents, etc. -- and getting their feel for what’s going on. So if he’s “come over” to the belief that Kelly will try hard to get Mariota, chances are that other, pretty plugged-in people have done the same.
Meanwhile, Portland Oregonian columnist John Canzano is a longtime observer of Kelly and Mariota. Canzano tweeted a thought about the pair.
Covered Chip Kelly long enough to know he gets what he wants. And we all know what he wants in the draft. There's a visor at the poker table— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) April 22, 2015
This addresses Kelly’s often-repeated reluctance to “mortgage the future” by giving up a lot of draft picks and players for any one player. It is possible Kelly is bluffing when he says that. Canzano, who covered Kelly at Oregon, seems to think so.
Finally, there’s Mariota himself. He appeared on WFAN radio in New York and was asked what he would think about joining Kelly in Philadelphia. Mariota’s response? That would be “awesome,” he said.
So while it remains a long shot for the Eagles to move from the 20th pick up to the second or third, there remains a chance. And it’s interesting that people who know the league, who know Kelly and who know Mariota all seem to be thinking the same thing.