Will the Philadelphia Eagles Find Their Franchise QB?

Feb 24, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 24, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The hunt is on to find a franchise quarterback before the Philadelphia Eagles start their season. Can they do it?

It was a clean break for the Philadelphia Eagles. Chip Kelly was out, Doug Pederson was in. Then it seemed that the magic started to work. Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has been behind some signings that have been praised by coaches and players alike.  Yet it seems as if the Eagles are hoping that the NFL Draft or free agency might bring about someone who is their ideal quarterback match. Current quarterback Sam Bradford wasn’t gifted with a lucrative two-year deal, leaving many to wonder what his future will be with the team. He didn’t perform at a consistent level during the course of the season and it wasn’t until the end that he really stepped up to the plate. So if the Eagles have committed to the hunt, can they get it done before the regular season begins?

It’s not a surprise to any that the team is looking for its anchor. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has been saying for the past few years that the Eagles need to find a number one quarterback. They thought former QB Nick Foles could’ve filled that role but he was traded away to St. Louis for Bradford. Now that Bradford isn’t going to be the team’s number one choice, their focus has shifted. Chase Daniels joined the team on a three-year, $21 million contract with $12 million guaranteed. That’s a hefty price to pay for a backup but it could be worth it if he proves to be a better starter than Bradford. It’s not likely that Daniels will become the Eagles’ future franchise QB either, but it can’t be entirely ruled out. Yet in the current moment, the team needs one and it’s going to look wherever it can to make a solid choice.

The NFL Draft is already a hot bed of talent. All signs, especially as of late, have been pointing to the Eagles taking a QB in the draft. They picked up former franchise QB Donovan McNabb, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 Draft, and razed the whole team to get him. If the Eagles really, really want a quarterback that badly, it could happen again. Currently, the Eagles sit at the No. 8 position in the draft lineup after a trade with Miami. While it’s a high number, if they want a top notch quarterback, they could find a way to move up. If not, there is still plenty to work with. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles have been testing the waters.

Jared Goff is the Eagles’ top target. They worked Goff out privately this week and, as mentioned above, took him to dinner. Goff progressed during his time at Cal and his numbers are impressive. He went from 18 touchdowns to 43 his junior year. Goff threw for 3,508 yards his freshman year and threw for 4,714 his junior year. Those numbers look good and shows that he can grow within a coach’s system. However, Goff didn’t have a strong offensive line and the defense at Cal isn’t known for its toughness. It’s hard to tell how he would do against tougher teams. He would need to prove that he’s starter over Bradford and Daniels but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. He’s established that he can grow in a system and it wouldn’t be hard to imagine he would put in the work.

There are other names floating around the Eagles as well. North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz was also worked out by the team. Lurie took him to dinner and Wentz met with Pederson. Memphis’ Paxton Lynch is also a contender. It is a tough call to see where the team is going to go as the draft closes in.

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If they Eagles want to take a quarterback in the draft, they’ll most likely do it. Yet it might not be the smartest move. $24 million is tied up between Bradford and Daniels. How much the team would be able to give to a draftee if he proves himself worthy is up in the air. Bradford and Daniels are both under 30 and have had experience in the NFL. It would seem that they would be the logistical No.1 and No.2 options. Bradford’s poor performance last season can be attributed to lack of consistency and a go-to wide receiver. That could change this season and could maybe make Bradford the clear choice. However, if the team is looking heavily for a quarterback in the draft, it shows that their faith in Bradford is shaky at best.

Looking at the top three draftees for the Eagles, there are pros and cons to both. All lack NFL experience and might not workout in the end. Picking up a running back like Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliot might be better for their current quarterbacks and a better long-term draft decision. They don’t have a second round pick and granted, there might not be any decent quarterbacks left when the Eagles use their two third-round draft picks. It’s going to be anyone’s guess what the Eagles will ultimately end up doing with their quarterbacks. Hopefully, their quest will end with a franchise quarterback at the end of the rainbow.