by Rob Moseley
After Josh Huff was the lone Duck selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft Thursday and Friday, the final four rounds Saturday featured multiple picks from Oregon.
In the opening round of the day, the fourth, De'Anthony Thomas was selected with the No. 24 pick of the round, No. 124 overall, by the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m very excited," Thomas told the Chiefs' web site. "I’m just ready to play some NFL football and contribute to this team.”
In profiling their drafting of Thomas, the Chiefs highlighted the fact that he is Oregon's all-time leader in kickoff return yards (1,885) and punt return average (17.13), possibly indicating their intention to use him in the return game. Former Chiefs punt returner Dexter McCluster, a Pro Bowler who also caught 53 passes last season, signed with Tennessee in the offseason.
The Oregon-to-Philadelphia pipeline continued in the fifth round Saturday. With the opening pick of the round, No. 141 overall, the Eagles selected defensive lineman Taylor Hart, who will be reunited with his former position coach with the Ducks, Jerry Azzinaro, along of course with Chip Kelly.
"Relentless football player," Kelly said in evaluating Hart following his selection. "Obviously what we're looking for at the defensive end spot — he's got length, he got a million starts for us when we were at Oregon, continued to play at a high level after we left (and) has a good understanding of what we're doing."
Kelly said the Eagles liked Hart's ability to play defensive end in their 3-4, two-gap scheme, similar to what the Ducks have used.
"I've watched some tape when I went and visited, and it's pretty similar, what the Eagles are doing and what I did at Oregon," Hart said. "The defenses are pretty similar, so I'm pretty happy about that."
Hart's selection by the Eagles followed their drafting of Huff in the third round. They join five other Oregon alums on the Philadelphia roster.
The final Duck selected in this year's draft was cornerback Terrance Mitchell, in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys. Mitchell was the 39th pick in the round, No. 254 overall.