Philadelphia Eagles: Examining Khalil Tate’s history as a quarterback

Khalil Tate, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Khalil Tate, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

When the Philadelphia Eagles announced 11 Birds would be wearing new numbers for the 2021 NFL season, most of us were enamored by the fact that QB1, Jalen Hurts, was making the switch from number 2 to number 1. Our staff even took that conversation to unnecessary levels as we began toying with the ideas about conspiracy theories.

Heck, that’s the kind of thing that starts happening when you’ve spent so much time talking about mock drafts and potential scenarios for the Eagles with the 12th-overall selection. Here’s something else that jumped out at us though (and we’re sure you picked up on the same thing).

Did anyone else notice that Khalil Tate is donning the number 6 jersey?

Here’s why that’s relevant. League rules state that three position groups are allowed to wear single-digit jersey numbers: quarterbacks, punters, and kickers. That leads us to believe that Tate has decided if he’s going to make this Philadelphia Eagles roster, he’ll do so as the third quarterback on the depth chart.

This one’s very interesting, but you know what comes next. It’s time to take a look at what his history looks like while he’s been seeing the game from under center or the shotgun formation.

Okay Philadelphia Eagles fans, let’s talk about Tate as a quarterback.

Khalil Tate found his way onto the Arizona Wildcats’ radar after attending Gardena, California’s Junípero Serra High School and, during his senior year, tossing the rock for over 2,000 passing yards. He racked up another 2,000 yards with his legs, accumulating 43 total touchdowns in the process, and that led to a 4-star ranking as ESPN named him one of the nation’s top ten dual-threat quarterbacks.

In four seasons and 40 career games in the NCAA’s Pac-12 conference, this young man completed 459 of 792 passing attempts for his career while tallying 6,318 passing yards and 57 touchdowns versus 31 interceptions. He racked up another 2,285 yards on 366 carries and reached the end zone 18 times with his legs.

Most Philadelphia Eagles fans met him as an undrafted free agent that the Birds added after the 2020 NFL Draft. He was added as a wide receiver prospect, but it appears that Tate has made his mind made up. His NFL fate may be determined by whether or not he can power his way onto this Eagles roster as their third quarterback. Can he do it? It should be interesting to watch the journey

Here are a few things to keep in mind as Philadelphia Eagles fans.

As exciting as it is to watch athletic quarterbacks dash out of the pocket, extend plays, and make things happen with their legs, these last-minute, heart-stopping drives that quarterbacks frantically lead their teams on always end one way, with the signal-caller having to make a throw from the pocket to pull his team out of the fire.

Now, Tate probably won’t have to do that in 2021, but if you know anything about this Philadelphia Eagles team, you know that, with the way that injuries mount up around these parts, that we could be calling on a third-stringer before season’s end.

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Tate had better stay ready, and if we’re able to use history as an indication, while we don’t have much to demonstrate that he will be if called upon, we don’t have anything to tell us that he won’t be either. Keep an eye on this young man as we move through training camp.