So last night, all of the speculation came to an end. The Philadelphia Eagles missed out on their man Marcus Mariota as he was drafted by the Titans as the second overall pick despite many attempts by Kelly to nab his man. The reactions, were nothing short of broken. The first shot we saw post announcement was a disappointed Mariota followed by some much angrier birds fans. However, 18 picks later, the Eagles may have stolen the best wide receiver in the entire draft. Here’s three reasons Nelson Agholor could actually save Philly.
3) Team Morale
Imagine the scenes if Kelly had actually gotten Mariota. From the reports we have read, Chip was offering up everything possible to get his man with just a few main pinpoints remaining. If that trade had gone through and Kelly had traded away numerous imperative players alongside picks, what kind of message does that send to the roster? That they are all dispensable, that a long term future in the city of Brotherly Love may not be achievable. That would destroy confidence and probably any chance of this unit pulling together and making a push for the Superbowl. This is without mentioning what it would do to the two Quarterbacks brought in during the offseason…
2) Replacing J-Mac
Since Chip Kelly took the reigns of the Eagles it’s very easy to see that the receiving core has been weakened considerably. No more DeSean Jackson, no more Jeremy Maclin following his move to Kansas City and no more Jason Avant. This was a glaring problem coming into the draft, the birds needed a wide receiver alongside some O-Line depth. It would have been easy for Chip to sacrifice a huge amount to get his man but who would he throw to? Jordan Matthews and Riley Cooper. It’s not the most flattering pair of WR’s on the planet..what good is a car without an engine? The team desperately needed to replace Jeremy Maclin. They may have found the perfect man to do so. Nelson Agholor is the type of player that will flourish in Chip Kelly’s spread offense and many have drawn physical comparisons to Maclin. Would the Eagles have been better off re-signing Maclin and drafting someone else? That’s another debate, but Agholor is an incredible receiver, one that should have been drafted much faster. The Eagles have come away with a steal.
1) Kelly’s second coming
Chip Kelly is the mad scientist who made the most bizarre moves this off-season without much conviction or overall goal other than what we saw as the quest for Mariota. Now that quest is over, it gives Kelly a second chance. Times change as does this beautiful game and his man is now sitting in Nashville preparing for mini camp. Kelly HAS to rebuild. This is the year that will show his true coaching ability. After trying to reshape this team from top to bottom, and scrambling for that second pick, he’s come up short. It’s how he comes back from this, who he drafts in the next rounds, how he trades in the coming weeks, and how he rebuilds the faith in this team that will define his Philadelphia legacy. He may have lost a lot of hope from fans last night and Philly fans are hard to win back..but if he can do it, he will do it the only way we knows how…winning.