With the draft only 22 days away, speculation is at an all-time high. This time of year, mock drafts are abundant and people spend tons of time rating their top prospects and looking at their team’s needs in an attempt to guess who the newest members of their favorite team will be. That being said, I have been doing this a lot lately.
The Eagles have lots of needs on the defensive side of the ball and a few needs on the offensive side as well. One position that is certainly not a need is quarterback. Last year, second year Eagles quarterback Nick Foles broke numerous franchise records, made the Pro Bowl, and looked like the quarterback of the future for the Eagles. Rookie quarterback Matt Barkley moved the ball well when called upon, but ultimately struggled, tossing 4 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. This offseason, when former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was signed in free agency by the New York Jets, the Eagles signed former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to the team as a backup to Foles. The Eagles also had former Tulsa quarterback GJ Kinne signed to the practice squad all of last season.
With four quarterbacks currently on the roster, two of whom have proven they can win games for a franchise, one could argue that the Eagles should not draft a quarterback due to the other glaring needs on the roster. I would disagree. The loss of Vick in free agency marked the loss of the only dual-threat quarterback from last year’s roster. Foles proved that head coach Chip Kelly’s offense doesn’t need a dual-threat quarterback to thrive, but if Foles were to go down with an injury, I would definitely like to see a backup with dual-threat capabilities come in to add another dynamic look to the offense. Even if it means cutting one of the quarterbacks currently on the roster, it wouldn’t hurt to add a developmental quarterback who can come in a year or two from now and backup Foles.
This year’s draft holds numerous late-round dual-threat quarterback prospects. The two who I wouldn’t mind the Eagles drafting in the fourth or fifth rounds are former Clemson Tiger Tajh Boyd and former Virginia Tech Hokie Logan Thomas. Both of these quarterbacks could come in, learn Kelly’s system, and become solid backups or future starters. Boyd had a good career at Clemson and, before the season, was viewed as a first round quarterback prospect. While inconsistency and inaccuracy ultimately led to him tumbling down draft boards as the season progressed, there were times where he still looked like a starting-caliber prospect. Thomas also showed flashes of brilliance this past year. He has the desired size for an NFL quarterback (though that doesn’t mean as much as it used to) and one of the strongest arms in this year’s draft. I think that both of these guys would be worth a look if they end up falling to the fourth or fifth rounds.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think in the comments below!