Chip Kelly + Tavon Austin = happening?

March 26th, 2013 | Written by Rob Staton

Chip Kelly probably kind of likes this guy

Tomorrow is mock draft day and given that we’re doing trades this year, I’m going to look into the possibility of the Eagles moving down and then drafting Tavon Austin.

Theoretically they could see a fair amount of value at #4, it could be the best place to pick in the top-ten. They won’t be grinding their teeth thinking, “what if?” by picking in the top two. Last year you’d get Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III in that range. This year? Not quite so good. The Eagles aren’t worrying quite so much about that.

They’ll be able to sit there and see who goes in the top three, then make a judgement call. They’d have a few options. Eric Fisher, Dion Jordan, Dee Milliner — among others — might be available. So could all of the best defensive lineman. So while the top two or three might be wishing they were picking so high another year, Philly might be in a good place to accept their lot.

Then there’s the other scenario which suggests they might feel like those options are good, but are they exponentially greater than the options a bit later on? And while they might not feel a clinical, desperate need to grab any one of Fisher, Jordan or Milliner — the chances are others might be showing a greater sense of desperation. There are a handful of teams who could use a left tackle like Fisher. Jordan might have more pure upside than anyone else in the draft and Milliner looks like a complete corner. Three premium positions, three big needs for many teams.

The Chargers have shown relative lethargy so far in trying to kick start their franchise. They let a good guard leave for a division rival in Louis Vazquez. As far as we know they barely dipped their toe into the free agent tackle market. And what else have they done? Middling moves, almost as if they see this as a longer re-building process. Philip Rivers might disagree with that approach given he has no weapons, no protection and turns 32 in December.

Moving up might actually be the last thing they’re planning. If the plan is to build through the draft, they might even move down. I still think they have to find a way to get a left tackle. Rivers is a solid quarterback. It wasn’t that long ago he was putting up good numbers and was considered one of the handful of franchise players at the position. And now he has nothing, least of all a chance to succeed. The very least they can do is get him a blind-side tackle and another target.

At #11 it’ll be Lane Johnson (if they’re lucky) or bust. Moving up seems logical. I’m just not convinced it’s what this seemingly inactive franchise wants to do. And moving up from #11 to #4 would be costly, limiting the chance to add other key parts later (receiver, corner, pass rush — all needs).

Miami could consider a move up given they lost Jake Long, while others (Cleveland, New York, Buffalo) might consider it depending on who’s left on the board. Anyone wanting a tackle as good as Fisher probably has to get ahead of Detroit, who currently stand to start Riley Reiff on the blind side (a better fit on the right side).

If the Eagles can move down a bit, would they take Tavon Austin? They already have DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Both players have also been heavily linked with trades (both to the Colts, courtesy of some obscure tweeting by Jim Isray). I just wonder if Chip Kelly would feel like he can use Austin in the same way he’s exploited many other speed merchants during his time at Oregon? Line them up everywhere. Let them make plays. Jackson and Maclin are both quick receivers, but neither were used in the way West Virginia used Austin.

Out of all the teams who could accommodate Austin, Philly seems like the best fit. Kelly’s offense has shown how to make the most of an undersized playmaker like D’Anthony Thomas. There wouldn’t necessarily have to be a ‘Tavon Austin package’. It’s already in there as a functional part of a dynamic scheme.

Let’s say the Eagles get another second or third round pick for moving down. Let’s go one further and say they come out of the draft with Austin, E.J. Manuel and Kyle Long/Menelik Watson. Suddenly you’ve solidified your offensive line, added your answer to D’Anthony Thomas and got a quarterback that can do all of the stuff Oregon’s bevy of quarterbacks did under Kelly. All quick, rare athletes for their positions. Throw in LeSean McCoy and (if healthy) Jason Peters and things could be looking up. If the ambition is to get things rocking in Philadelphia quickly, it wouldn’t be a bad start.

It’s something I’m going to look into in the new mock. Part of me still thinks Kelly might troll the entire NFL by going for a pure west coast, orthodox offense. He did appoint Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator. He does love Matt Barkley. Wouldn’t that be a turn up for the books? Either way I suspect Kelly’s Eagles, like Carroll’s Seahawks, will constantly keep us both entertained and guessing.

Note — Today’s piece isn’t exactly deep. It also isn’t Seahawks related, but you already know that if you’ve got this far. Today was a pretty hectic and significant day as I was able to tell my family that my wife is expecting our first child in September. That took up a lot of time as I’m sure you can imagine. I’ll be back on it tomorrow. Here’s a Sio Moore (LB, Connecticut) video to make up for it:

49 Responses to “Chip Kelly + Tavon Austin = happening?”

  1. Don says:

    Never mind the bulk of the piece. While it was astute and accurate as usual, the most important thing is the last. Congratulations!

  2. Ely says:

    Congrats Rob!

  3. PatrickH says:

    Congratulations!

  4. Senepol says:

    Congrats Rob!

  5. Bill Bobaggins says:

    Congrats Rob! I have a 9 month old at home and it’s the most fun you’ll ever have. And he’s already a die hard Hawks fan.

  6. Aaron says:

    Congrats Rob. (The hardest working man in the blogosphere.) Your offerings are always much appreciated. I’m hopelessly addicted at this point.

    As far as Tavon Austin, I’ll be cheering for the Eagles to take him. As an Oregonian and U of O grad, I’d love see what Chip would do with him. But much more importantly, as a believer in Austin’s NFL level talent I want to keep him out of the hands of the Rams or 49ers.

    • Don says:

      From one U of O grad to another, I to was disappointed to see Kelly leave. But the Ducks will still be in good hands and take their rightful place as pac12 champs for many years to come.

      I would like to see the Hawks take someone similar to Austin, like Denard Robinson or Christine Michael. Better yet, wait a year and take the D’Anthony Thomas. With him and Wilson in the back field, watch out!

      Go Ducks!

  7. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Congratulations to you and your family, Rob! Truly wonderful news!

    • Jon says:

      Congrats, I guess its possible that the first days of finding out such wonderful news can come before the Seahawks! ;)

      I have a four month old, and my wife just quit her job to stay at home. It is such a wonderful time, enjoy it.

      Regarding trades, I have enjoyed it especially as it has seemingly caused us to look at other teams more closely.

      As for the Hawks, who are some posible candidates for the Hawks to trade up for. Of course this would mean that the likelyhood of them making it to the Hawks pick is low, and that they are significantly superior to those who would be available at #56.

      Hopkins, Ertz, Eifert, Datone Jones, Sylvester Williams. others.

  8. David says:

    Congratulations on your big news! Thanks for all of your work; Wednesdays are the best day of the week for me bc of this site!

  9. Jon says:

    Congrats, I guess its possible that the first days of finding out such wonderful news can come before the Seahawks!

    I have a four month old, and my wife just quit her job to stay at home. It is such a wonderful time, enjoy it.

    Regarding trades, I have enjoyed it especially as it has seemingly caused us to look at other teams more closely.

    As for the Hawks, who are some posible candidates for the Hawks to trade up for. Of course this would mean that the likelyhood of them making it to the Hawks pick is low, and that they are significantly superior to those who would be available at #56.

    Hopkins, Ertz, Eifert, Datone Jones, Sylvester Williams. others

  10. Michael Gustafson says:

    Woo hoo. Congrats Rob!!!

  11. dave crockett says:

    Congrats man! That’s big time news.

  12. Bryan C says:

    Congratulations Rob. Better news than any mock draft!

  13. Belgaron says:

    Congratulations.

    LaConfora reporting a three team race in trading for Flynn: Jaguars, Raiders, Bills.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/jason-la-canfora/21953816/jaguars-bills-raiders-in-mix-for-seahawks-backup-qb-matt-flynn

    • Bryan C says:

      Maybe we can trick someone into offering a 2nd rounder for Flynn.

      • Nolan says:

        I would be happy with any pick in any round of the draft any thing we get for him is gold as far as I am concerned

      • Michael says:

        Haha, that would be incredible! I just heard the news driving home that the Jags were the, “leading candidate to acquire Flynn”. I can hardly believe there is one team interested in acquiring him, let alone several that might possibly drive up the price a tad.

        At this point, any trade that gets Flynn’s salary off the books is a win for the ‘Hawks. The more we can get in return, the better. With the sometime foolish “win now” attitude in the NFL, maybe there is a small chance we can recoup that 2014 mid-rounder that we gave up in the Harvin deal. I am constantly amazed at how much organizations devalue picks that are more than a year away.

  14. Nolan says:

    I think the eagles would be more likely to use there second round pick to move up to grab Austin then trade down to get him there second is practically a first and as we have discussed moving up doesnt cost as much.

  15. Kenny Sloth says:

    At least your kid’ll be a Virgo!

    Moore looks good, but I’d like to see more of him at LB

  16. Sam Jaffe says:

    Congratulations. May Russell Wilson Staton arrives safe and healthy.

  17. Michael says:

    Congratulations on the big news Rob!

  18. Stuart says:

    Having a child is what life is all about, congratulations Daddy to be!

  19. Colin says:

    Congrats on the baby Rob! He/she will be due just in time to see the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl! :)

  20. Leonard says:

    Congratulations Rob. My wife and I also are expecting our first in early September. The funny thing is, like an earlier poster suggested, the only names that we have both approved of so far are Russell for a boy and Wilson for a girl.

  21. Christon says:

    Congrats! My wife and I are alos expecting our first in June – it’s exciting stuff.

  22. Ryan says:

    Congrats!

  23. D says:

    Congrats! Your life Will nerver be the same… In good way.

  24. Misfit74 says:

    Congrats! Being a Dad is amazing. Plus, you can now start buying Seahawks clothing for more than just yourself. ;)

    • Hawkspur says:

      Ha! I’m just about to drop my eldest son off at nursery wearing his Marshawn Lynch jersey (it’s probably the most expensive item of clothing I’ve bought in the past 3 years!). I’m just weighing up what jersey to get for my 2nd now that he’s arrived. I’m thinking a Wilson wolf-grey (and yes Rob, I’ll be sure to click on your link).

      Congratulations Rob, and all of you others who are about to have babies. You’ll have a blast.

  25. Jim Kelly says:

    Congrats, Rob! Good luck, man.

  26. Darnell says:

    Nothing against your prognosticating Rob, as it makes for an interesting site.

    But man, if I’m the Eagles I don’t get too cute here. CB is among the most valuable positions in the game, you don’t have any CBs, and a true #1 cb that is worth #4 overall in any draft is there for the taking. Just take Milliner Chip.

    Hawks 2010 was the perfect example of letting the draft fall to you and they ended up with elite players at LT and FS.

  27. Mark says:

    Congratulations, Rob, and thanks for everything you do.

  28. A. Simmons says:

    Congratulations! If it’s a boy, you can raise him to love American football…maybe even play it. Then one day, many years from now, write a draft piece on your own son. Wouldn’t that be something.

  29. fijihawk says:

    Congrats Rob!

  30. JamesP says:

    Congratulations Rob, it’ll be the best thing you ever do. Do they do Seahawks baby-grows?

  31. Rob Staton says:

    Once again thanks for all the kind messages here. Means a lot!

  32. JC says:

    If you needed a research assistant it would be easier to hire one then train one from birth.