Thursday, December 25, 2014

Oregon WR Josh Huff reunites with Chip Kelly

At Josh Huff’s Pro Day in March, his offensive coordinator told him that the Eagles would select him. So when the Oregon standout was reunited with his former coach, Chip Kelly, after the Eagles selected Huff in the third round of the NFL Draft, Huff wasn’t surprised.

Oregon WR Josh Huff reunites with Chip Kelly

Oregon receiver Josh Huff is shown during an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Eugene, Ore., Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. (Don Ryan/AP)
Oregon receiver Josh Huff is shown during an NCAA college football game against Oregon State in Eugene, Ore., Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. (Don Ryan/AP)

At Josh Huff’s Pro Day in March, his offensive coordinator told him that the Eagles would select him. So when the Oregon standout was reunited with his former coach, Chip Kelly, after the Eagles selected Huff in the third round of the NFL Draft, Huff wasn’t surprised.

"He said he was going to draft me, and he kept his word,” Huff said of Kelly.

Huff became the second wide receiver taken on Friday – the Eagles drafted Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews in the second round – and the first Oregon player Kelly has drafted since he became head coach in 2013.

“I specifically stayed out of [the Oregon guys] and let the personnel [staff] without any input from me give me their grades,” Kelly said. “You have to convince me this is the direction we’re going because I try to divorce myself from that situation.”

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In Huff, the Eagles get a versatile receiver who can play in the slot and contribute on special teams. Huff is 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, with a 4.51-second 40-yard dash time. He started parts of four years at Oregon, and his finest season was his 1,140-yard, 12-touchdown campaign as a senior. He estimated that he played about 90 percent of the snaps in the slot.

“I had a great offensive team at Oregon, many offensive weapons, and they couldn’t key on one person,” Huff said. “I had a great quarterback in Marcus Mariota, and there’s a great quarterback in Philly right now, Nick Foles.”

Look for Huff to have a role on special teams as a rookie. Kelly said that any non-starter must be able to contribute on special teams. Huff was more of a kick returner at Oregon, but he can also return punts.

The Eagles did not go into the draft planning on selecting two wide receivers, Kelly said, and he would not rule out adding another wide receiver on Saturday.

“We felt like with the depth at wide receiver, there’s still guys there – that is the position that was the deepest in this draft,” Kelly said. “There’s still guys, Day 3 guys, that I think are going to make football teams. The influx of juniors, especially at that position…there’s still guys like Josh, who are seniors and are such good football players and are going to be productive players in the NFL.” 

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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