Chip Kelly is 20-12 in his two seasons as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles despite not having a quarterback who truly fits his version of the spread offense.
There is, of course, one quarterback available in this draft who is eminently familiar with Kelly's offense -- Marcus Mariota, who played for Kelly at Oregon and won the Heisman Trophy this season. Mariota recently said of the possibility of playing in Kelly's offense again, "It'd be a lot of fun."
Former NFL coach and current NFL analyst Jon Gruden was asked by csnphilly.com about the Eagles' quarterback situation, specifically about Nick Foles' ability to continue to thrive in the offense. While Gruden was complimentary of Foles' talents, he also created some possible intrigue.
"Chip Kelly, I'm sure, is gonna be looking for quarterbacks -- we all do," Gruden said. "And I'm sure that Marcus Mariota is on his speed dial."
Gruden does an annual "quarterback camp" on ESPN with key members of every year's quarterback draft class, and Mariota will be one of the quarterbacks this year. Gruden was asked if he would give up "a couple of first-round picks" in an attempt to move up and draft Mariota. The Eagles own the 20th pick in the first round.
"Too early for me to say that," Gruden answered. "I've got to sit down and really study him."
Mariota told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Saturday that he might not throw at next month's NFL Scouting Combine because he is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in the Ducks' loss to Ohio State in the national championship game.
Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston are the unquestioned top two quarterbacks available in the draft, but Winston is considered more NFL-ready. In their first mock drafts of the year, NFL Media analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah have Mariota going 18th and sixth, respectively, in the first round.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.