Chip Kelly is taking his Oregon bias to a new level. According to OregonLive.com (via Tommy Lawlor), Oregon State defensive end/outside linebacker Obum Gwacham met with the Eagles in Philadelphia recently for a pre-draft visit. Here's a little of what the 2015 NFL Draft prospect wrote about his experience:
"They see me as a 3-4 linebacker. Just going through some of the film, it's definitely I'd feel like I'd be very comfortable doing. Because I'll show up on the line and then occasionally I'll be dropping into coverage. It's definitely that I've been working on and not something that I'm too worried about.
A few questions they asked was just would I play against certain things an offensive tackle might do to me or certain blocks an offensive lineman might do to me. I feel like I gave them the right answers, because they were nodding their heads and agreeing with me on those.
I felt like they're the knd of staff I'd like to be around. When I was with Coach McGovern, I feel like I picked up the same vibe as when I took my visit to Oregon State. Everyone was very welcoming. Everyone there, they went out of their way to introduce themselves to me and all that. Coach McGovern, he seems like a very good coach. He seems like the kind of coach that I'd want coaching me."
The 24-year-old Gwacham measures in at 6-5, 246 pounds. The Oregon State senior started his college career as a wide receiver before eventually moving to defensive end. Gwacham finished his college career with 36 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. He also recorded 11 receptions for 165 yards and one touchdown.
Gwacham projects to be a Day 3 draft pick. The Eagles could have interest in him as a developmental type pass rusher who serves as depth in the meantime.
Here's a scouting report on Gwacham via NFL.com.
"Strengths - Transitioned from wide receiver to defensive end in 2014. Elite explosion traits. Reached 7-foot-1 as a high-jumper and was also a triple-jumper for Oregon State track team. Can unlock hips for sudden change of direction in open field. Locks quarterback in his sights once he shakes free as pass rusher. Has length and foot explosiveness defensive coordinators salivate over. Proved to be effective dropping into space on zone blitzes. Exceptional personal and football character with a desire to learn his new position. Is relentless and dogged in pursuit of the play and will come from across the field to capture a loose running back. Has immediate value on kickoff coverage.
Weaknesses - Play strength is below the necessary levels to play every down. Must continue body transformation for new position. Despite early jump into gap or upfield, is easily redirected out of the play by most tackles who get their hands on him. Needs more upper-body strength and better footwork to become an adequate edge-setter. Basic pass rusher relying on edge burst that is set up by inside head fake. Doesn't have true go-to pass-rush move. Lacking a counter move when initial rush stalls out. Fights hard but lacks ability to hold up at point of attack against base blocks.
Bottom Line - Explosive athlete with only one year of experience at defensive end after transitioning from wide receiver. Gwacham lacks the functional strength to play the run and he's still in the infant stages of learning how to rush the passer. His desire and character combined with his superb physical traits could make him a late-round project who teams show patience with as he gets bigger and continues to learn the position."
Complete list of known Eagles draft visits
OLB Obum Gwacham, Oregon State
WR Rashad Greene, Florida State
OL Terry Poole, San Diego State
WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
S Damarious Randall, Arizona State