Chip Kelly is a Fan of Likely No. 1 Pick Marcus Mariota

By Vincent Frank

The Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly might find themselves in the market for a quarterback in the offseason. Mark Sanchez is a free agent and will likely look to cash in elsewhere as the No. 1 quarterback on the market. Meanwhile, suggestions are that Philadelphia isn’t sold on Nick Foles as the long-term solution.

So what about Kelly’s old pupil Marcus Mariota, who will almost certainly be the first quarterback off the board when the 2015 draft comes calling?

If you ask Kelly, it seems he might very well be interested in bringing Mariota to Philadelphia.

“I had nothing to do with Marcus. When he was a freshman, I remarked, ‘This kid is going to win the Heisman.’ He’s a special young man and he’s a hell of a football player and he deserves it. But I don’t think it’s any impact that I had. The type of kid that he is, he had an impact on everybody that had an opportunity to coach him,” Kelly continued via Eagles official website,” I’m sure Mark Helfrich and Scott Frost would tell you the same thing. He’s just a special young man and very deserving of the award.”

When asked about Mariota’s progression in the two years since he left Eugene, the Eagles head coach had this to say.

I haven’t had much time – I mean, I don’t get a chance because their games are on so late. Sometimes I watch the first half and I fall asleep, so I haven’t got a chance to watch a full body of work from him. But anything he does numbers wise and things like that don’t surprise me. But I think it’s how he handles himself, his demeanor and all of those things, that really kind of sets him apart. He’s a special young man from that standpoint.

While Mariota primes himself for a Heisman Trophy win Saturday night, Kelly and the Eagles are preparing for a huge matchup with the division-rival Cowboys, who are tied with Philadelphia for first in the NFC East heading into Week 15.

Philadelphia’s success under Kelly may also prevent the franchise from being able to obtain Mariota in the 2015 NFL draft. The team will likely be selecting somewhere near the bottom of the first round, while the Oregon quarterback is slated to go in the top five.

Though, maybe Kelly convinces Philadelphia’s front office to call some of the teams likely to pick at the top of the draft to gauge trade interest.

Just imagine Mariota suiting up for the Eagles in that offense. That idea has dominance written all over it.

Photo: ESPN.com