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Eagles' Chip Kelly: 'I loved Odell Beckham'

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles held the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. So coach Chip Kelly knew he wasn’t going to have a chance to get wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU.

Seven months later, Beckham has exploded into stardom thanks to some amazing plays for the New York Giants. The Eagles’ first-round pick, linebacker Marcus Smith, has barely gotten on the field.

In looking at the draft class, Kelly could only marvel at the abilities of Beckham, Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans.

“We didn't have a lot of conversations about Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham because we knew they were going to go in the top 10,” Kelly said. “When I look at Beckham, I mean, I love the guy.”

Kelly will get a chance to see Beckham up close twice a season, including this Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Against the Eagles’ defense, Beckham is apt to have some chances to impress.

“He's explosive, he's got outstanding hands, he's got great range, outstanding body control,” Kelly said. “He's a dual threat because he's also a tremendous returner, and did it at the college level. I think he could be an inside receiver, he could be an outside receiver. He had everything. He's a guy that I just thought was a real electric player.”

Beckham had just two catches for 28 yards when the Eagles beat the Giants in September. But that was before the rookie really found his way playing in the Giants' offense. In the second half of the season, Beckham has caught 69 passes for 1,014 yards and eight touchdowns.

By comparison, Eagles second-round pick Jordan Matthews has 59 catches for 767 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 games.

“I loved Odell Beckham,” Kelly said. “I thought he was a great player, and he's showing it right now. I was just saying when you looked at tape, that cat can play, and I think he's proved it in 11 games with 79 catches and doing a ton of really good things. So I can tell a really good player, I guess.”