IN LIFE, and in coaching, it is best to stick with what you know.
Chip Kelly coached at Oregon for 6 years before joining the Eagles. He got to Oregon in 2007 when the Ducks played in the Pac-10 and left following the 2012 season, a year after Colorado and Utah arrived.
An even 25 percent of the players who have joined the Eagles since Kelly's arrival played in the Pac-12. And this doesn't include Nick Foles, an Arizona alum who played against Kelly three times. Foles was drafted by Andy Reid, but has taken over as Kelly's starting QB with the Birds.
Which brings us to this year's draft. Trying to figure out what the Eagles are going to do with their six picks is such a wonderful crapshoot that Luminosity.com ought to think about adding it as a brain exercise.
Ranked according to Eagles needs, here are some of the top prospects coming out of Pac-12 schools:
Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: This is a good year for wide receivers, with at least five projected to go in the first round. At 5-10, 189, Cooks is the same height as DeSean Jackson, but about 15 pounds heavier. Cooks ran a 4.33 at the NFL Combine. Projected round: 1 (possibly there at No. 22).
Marqise Lee, USC: Lee was one of Matt Barkley's top targets at Southern Cal 2 years ago, but injuries slowed him in 2013. The Eagles have never drafted a wide receiver out of USC. Projected round: 1 (likely there at No. 22).
Anthony Barr, UCLA: He's an edge rusher, which the Eagles certainly need. Problem is, lots of teams are looking for this type of player . . . Was recruited as a running back . . . Listed at 6-5, 255. Projected round: 1 (very unlikely to be there at No. 22).
Trent Murphy, Stanford: Had a pair of sacks in 2012 when the Cardinal stymied Kelly's high-flying and No. 1-ranked Ducks to win 17-14 in overtime, something Kelly certainly
remembers . . . Led the nation with 15 sacks last year . . . The conundrum is whether he is strong enough to play the line or quick enough to keep up with receivers in a 3-4 defense. Projected round: 2.
Scott Crichton, Oregon State: A good pass-rusher, who probably won't be around when the Eagles pick in the second round at No. 54 overall . . . Set the school's career record with 10 forced fumbles . . . last name is pronounced CRY-ton. Projected round: 2.
Will Sutton, Arizona State: Was the Pac-12 defensive player of the year in 2012 and 2013, but he was much more productive as a junior which has caused his draft stock to split . . . His father, Mickey was an NFL d-back and punt returner from 1986-90 . . . Probably better for a 4-3 defense than the 3-4 the Eagles generally use. Projected round: 3-4.
Deone Bucannon, Washington State: Punishing hitter who still needs to improve in space . . . First name is pronounced Day-OHN) . . . His father was a Marine and his mother had a career in the Navy. Projected round: 1-2.
Ed Reynolds, Stanford: Had six interceptions and 301 return yards in 2012, coming within 1 yard of the NCAA single-season record. Three of his picks were returned for touchdowns . . . His father, Ed Reynolds, played for the Patriots in the 1985 Super Bowl. Projected round: 3.
Shayne Skov, Stanford: Had nine tackles vs. Oregon in 2010 and 10 in 2012. Did not play against Oregon in 2011 because of a knee injury . . . Had a monster senior season with 109 tackles as the Cardinal reached its second consecutive Rose Bowl. Projected round: 3.
Keith McGill, Utah: At 6-3, 211, McGill has good size, but durability issues. Played in just five games in 2011 and missed all of 2012 with a shoulder injury . . . Could be a third-round option for the Eagles if he's still around at No. 86. Projected round: 2.
Exactly 25 percent of the 40 players who joined the Eagles since Chip Kelly arrived here played their college ball in the Pac-12. Four of those players are from Oregon, where Kelly was a coach for six seasons. Here's a look at the newest players and where they played collegiately:
Pac-12 (10 players, 25 percent)
* Arizona State: Keelan Johnson
* Oregon: Brandon Bair, Josh Kaddu, Jeff Maehl, Will Murphy
* Southern Cal: Matt Barkley, Mark Sanchez
* Stanford: Zach Ertz
* Utah: Joe Kruger
* Washington State: Travis Long
Big Ten (7 players, 17.5 pct.)
* Illinois: Arrelious Benn,
* Iowa: Brandon Fletcher, Matt Tobin
* Maryland: Nolan Carroll
* Michigan: David Molk
* Ohio State: Malcolm Jenkins
* Wisconsin: Chris Maragos
Big 12 (7 players, 17.5 pct.)
* Iowa State: Jake Knott
* Kansas State: Darren Sproles
* Oklahoma: Lane Johnson
* Texas: Emmanuel Acho
* TCU: Jason Phillips, Matthew Tucker
* West Virginia: Najee Goode
ACC (4 players, 10 pct.)
* Boston College: Ifeanyi Momah
* Georgia Tech: Andrew Gardner
* N.C. State: Earl Wolff
* Virginia Tech: Roc Carmichael
SEC (4 players, 10 pct.)
* Alabama: Damion Square,
* LSU: Donnie Jones, Bennie Logan
* Missouri: Brad Smith
Conference USA (3 players, 7.5 pct.)
* Cincinnati: Connor Barwin
* Rice: James Casey
* Tulsa: G.J. Kinne
Division II (3 players, 7.5 pct.)
* Missouri Southern: Allen Barbre
* Washburn: Cary Williams
* West Texas A&M: Bryan Braman<
Independent (1 player, 2.5 pct.)
* Army: Alejandro Villanueva
Division I-AA (1 player, 2.5 pct.)
* Stony Brook: Michael Bamiro
Note: Schools are listed with their current conference affiliation.
Chip's first draft
Four of the eight players the Eagles selected in Chip Kelly's initial draft last year played for Pac-12 schools.
Round - Player, school - League
1. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma - Big 12
2. Zach Ertz, Stanford - Pac-12
3. Bennie Logan, LSU - SEC
4. Matt Barkley, USC Pac-12
5. Earl Wolff, N.C. State - ACC
7. Joe Kruger, Utah - Pac-12
7. Jordan Poyer, Oregon St. - Pac-12
7. David King, Oklahoma - Big 12
Note: Poyer and King are no longer with the Eagles