Rookie Tanner McKee looks capable of helping the Eagles reopen their quarterback factory

After a solid preseason debut, Tanner McKee could be going places as part of the Eagles QB room.
Philadelphia Eagles v Baltimore Ravens
Philadelphia Eagles v Baltimore Ravens / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The preseason gets a bad rap. Some say it no longer matters. Most of us view the games as 'money grabs' by the owners. The results of every Philadelphia Eagles exhibition are washed away when the games begin counting against the win-loss total.

The stats don't matter. They often won't reflect what transpires when the regular season begins. The play calls are vanilla and less complex. Creativity is saved until later.

There are, however, important takeaways from these games. Teams can uncover diamonds in the rough that play huge roles in the regular season, while players can put out some tape that gives them a chance to land on other rosters if they are released.

We see the evidence of all of this with every Eagles preseason. Their first preseason tilt was intriguing. Different players have begun to stand out. In joint practices with the Browns, other players have started to stand out. One such player is rookie quarterback Tanner McKee.

After a solid performance in the preseason opener, Tanner Mckee may have reopened the quarterback factory.

McKee, a rookie out of Stanford, was a top recruit heading into college. but he started his career later than expected after taking a two-year missionary trip to Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Once arriving at Stanford, McKee was largely effective as a passer. Over two seasons as a starter, he completed 62.8 percent of his passes, resulting in 5,336 yards passing. He threw 28 touchdown passes versus 15 interceptions during his NCAA career, giving him a positive TD/INT ratio.

McKee has no issues with making throws, as his six-foot-six-inch, 231-pound frame gives him the size to hang in the pocket and deliver throws anywhere on the field. He is a good decision-maker and can throw in rhythm with ease.

Despite the decent numbers, McKee had flaws that cast doubt on his potential to play in the NFL. He is constrained athletically. He is often unable to escape pressure, and as a result, his ball placement and throw velocity can suffer.

Due to the concerns about his athleticism and overall game translating to the NFL, McKee slipped to the sixth round of the NFL Draft. There, the Eagles picked him as the 190th overall selection. The former Stanford quarterback was seen as a dart throw that the Eagles could have a chance to develop. Things seem to be progressing well on that front.

In his first game action versus the Baltimore Ravens in the first preseason game, it looked like the Eagles' "QB Factory" may be reopening for business.

McKee looked calm and collected versus Baltimore in Week 1 of the preseason. He was on time with his throws and didn't struggle with the pressure Baltimore sent to rattle him. The rookie threw for 148 yards, demonstrating his skill to hit passes at all levels of the field. Most importantly, he had no interceptions or turnovers in the game.

McKee was even better than expected. He looked more polished than his play at Stanford and already seemed to have a grasp of the Eagles' offense. It was a great starting point for the rookie to build off of in the coming weeks.

While the Eagles currently have Marcus Mariota as their backup quarterback, McKee's emergence would do wonders for the Eagles. Not only would it give them a controllable player at a premium position, but also a trade chip that could improve the roster even further.

There is a lot of progress Mckee has to make to become a serviceable NFL backup, let alone an NFL quarterback. But if he can continue to improve and build off of his first performance, then McKee has a shot to be the next quarterback developed in the Eagles' organization.

Here are a few other Eagles stories for your viewing pleasure.