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Chip Kelly’s first (and only) draft class with the Eagles is now gone

Kelly had full control of the Philadelphia Eagles roster in 2015 but every player selected in the draft is no longer with the team

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

It seems like ages ago that current UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly had full control of the Philadelphia Eagles player personnel department. The year was 2015. The draft was the 2015 NFL Draft.

Kelly selected six players and as of the latest wave of NFL free agency, all six players are no longer with the organization.

From our friends over at Bleeding Green Nation — we take a walk through all six players Kelly drafted and their times with the Eagles as well as where they are now.

Round 1, Pick 20 — Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

Agholor was drafted to potentially replace Jeremy Maclin and though he spent five seasons with the Eagles, he never graded out higher than 35th at the position, per the PFF grade rankings.

From BGN:

it looked like Agholor had finally shed the bust label and was about to take another step forward in 2018. He looked great in the offseason but then injuries forced him out of being a full-time player in the slot. Agholor posted similar volume stats to 2017 but his efficiency metrics were down and he just didn’t pass the eye test in the same way.

The Eagles made a predictably unwise decision to keep Agholor at his $9.4 million salary in 2019 despite having time to get out of the fifth-year option before it became fully guaranteed. Agholor ended up grading out as the worst receiver in the NFL after making a number of game-losing errors. The Eagles enjoyed some of their best offensive success late in the year when he was out with a knee injury.

As previously noted, Agholor left the Eagles this offseason to sign a mere $1 million contract with the Raiders.

Round 2, Pick 47 — Eric Rowe, CB, Utah

Rowe was selected after Kelly traded up for him. He didn’t make it through two seasons with the Eagles organization as he was traded to the New England Patriots in 2016. A winner of two Super Bowls with the Patriots, Rowe signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins last offseason and another three-year extension to stay in Miami after that.

Despite being a high draft pick, Rowe was playing late into preseason games and was then traded to the New England Patriots prior to the 2016 season. The Eagles ultimately received a 2018 fourth-round pick for Rowe, which they sent to the Miami Dolphin in exchange for Jay Ajayi ahead of the 2017 NFL trade deadline. Ajayi was a valuable contributor to Philly en route to their Super Bowl win.

Round 3, Pick 84 — Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas

Hicks is arguably the best of the entire class Kelly drafted but after he left for greener pastures and a bigger paycheck in Arizona, I even wrote about how his departure hurt their chances at a great defense again.

The loss of Jordan Hicks hurts their linebacking corps, as he was well above average in coverage and after Hicks, Nigel Bradham was the team’s highest-graded linebacker.

Round 6, Pick 191 — JaCorey Shepherd, CB, Kansas

Shepherd’s NFL career was over before it ever really began. Despite being labeled as a ‘steal’ in the draft, Kelly’s selection of the Kansas corner never came to fruition as he torn his ACL in training camp and was out of the NFL by 2017.

Round 6, Pick 196 — Randall Evans, CB, Kansas State

Evans is now playing in the CFL. That’s it. That’s the write up.

Round 7, Pick 237 — Brian Mihalik, DE, Boston College

Mihalik didn’t even make it to training camp for Kelly and his Eagles at the time. He instead left for Pittsburgh, changed positions to offensive tackle and eventually made two starts at offensive tackle with the Detroit Lions in 2017. He’s out of the NFL now.

What else is interesting is the players selected after a few of the players in Kelly’s draft class.

Though not a great draft class for wide receivers, Agholor’s selection came before that of currently the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback in Byron Jones, which was clearly a position of need for the Eagles. Jones is joining, of course he is, Rowe with the Dolphins next season.

Drafted after Hicks at linebacker were several Pro Bowl players including Kwon Alexander, now with the San Francisco 49ers after several hot and cold years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. D.J. Alexander and David Mayo have also made splashes here and there at the position and were also drafted after Hicks.

Reminder that this was also the year that Eric Kendricks was taken in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings, Osa Odighizuwa was selected in the third by the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers drafted Brett Hundley in the fifth.

Now, coaching at the college level is surely different and Kelly has his proven track record here. It is interesting to note, however, that his first and only class of draft prospects while in charge has left the organization completely.