PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chip Kelly saw Zach Ertz do enough damage from the opposite sideline that he couldn’t pass on coaching him.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected the Stanford tight end in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night, giving Kelly another weapon for his up-temp offense.
“I didn’t relish coaching against him and I’m happy to have him here,” Kelly said. “When you talk about what he can do, I saw it firsthand.”
Ertz had 11 catches for 106 yards and caught the game-tying touchdown in Stanford’s 17-14 win over Oregon last November that was the Ducks’ only loss and knocked them out of contention for the national championship game. His TD reception initially was ruled incomplete, but was overturned on video review.
Kelly and Ertz joked about the catch during the combine. Ertz later sent Kelly a note thanking him for an interview, but added at a P.S. that said: “It was a catch.”
“I had to get the last laugh,” Ertz said.
Ertz, a 6-foot-5, 249-pound All-American, was chosen with the 35th overall pick. The Eagles took offensive tackle Lane Johnson at No. 4 in the first round.
Ertz has drawn comparison to Dallas Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten. He’s considered a physical blocker, tough runner and solid route-runner. Ertz had 112 catches for 1,434 yards and 15 touchdowns in 37 games at Stanford.
“He’s a mismatch nightmare,” Kelly said. “He’s a very smart player, really gives us a lot of flexibility.”
Ertz was the second tight end selected behind Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert, who went to Cincinnati at No. 21.
“I think I’m a complete tight end,” Ertz said. “I know Coach Kelly is a great offensive mind. I look forward to joining them. I can’t ask for a better situation. The Eagles are a perfect fit for me.”
Kelly said the Eagles were concerned San Francisco would take Ertz ahead of them at No. 31, but the 49ers traded the pick to Tennessee.
“He was tops on our board,” Kelly said.
The Eagles passed on West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who dropped out of the first round and went to the New York Jets at No. 39.
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