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More smoke connecting Lane Johnson to Eagles in NFL draft

Published On: Apr 25 2013 10:28:03 AM CDT
Lane Johnson

Lane Johnson

There is increasing speculation that the Philadelphia Eagles will select Lane Johnson with the No. 4 pick in the first round when the NFL draft kicks off Thursday night.

And it’s not just the growing number of mock drafts that have Chip Kelly selecting the Oklahoma tackle.

Two independent NFL insiders told The Inquirer that the new Birds coach has zeroed in on Johnson even if top-rated tackles Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher are on the board.

Another NFL insider, however, questioned the Eagles’ supposed interest in Johnson and whether it was just a smokescreen designed to entice a trade.

General manager Howie Roseman has already explored the idea of trading back in the first round.

The Eagles, though, have remained in steady contact with Johnson as of Wednesday evening, according to an NFL source. They spent significant time with the tackle in the last few weeks.

Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland worked Johnson out in his hometown of Groveton, Tex. over two weeks ago and the Eagles brought him to the NovaCare for a pre-draft visit two weekends ago.

Johnson’s stock has risen dramatically in the last few months.

He has only played two seasons on the offensive line, but had a strong senior year for the Sooners and put up remarkable numbers in the 40-yard dash, vertical leap and broad jump at the combine in February.

Follow the draft using the Philadelphia Eagles Draft Guide.