I think most Eagles fans have started to buy the fact that Chip Kelly doesn’t need a mobile QB for his offense. Outsiders don’t fully agree with that. There was a good discussion on Twitter on Sunday about whether Nick Foles would be the starting QB in 2016. A couple of guys felt that Kelly will continue looking for his ideal QB and will find him in one of the next 3 drafts. And these guys were smart football writers and analysts.
I don’t think anyone expects Nick Foles to post the same kind of numbers that he did in 2013. That doesn’t mean his success was a fluke. The numbers were crazy, but the tape doesn’t lie. Foles played well. He was smart and accurate. He found the open receiver and got him the ball. Foles played at a high level and could be even better in 2014, even if his numbers aren’t as gaudy. While Foles will never be viewed as a good runner, he was effective in 2013. I know I was shocked at some of the success he had.
We don’t know just how good Foles can be over the long haul, but there is plenty of reason for optimism. The Eagles will see how he plays this year and then decide whether he’s worth a big deal.
Until the Eagles do commit to him financially, there are going to be people that think Kelly is still looking for a different QB. I understand that it is hard to look at the Oregon attack and Foles and see how those 2 things mesh. Obviously the key point there is that Kelly has changed the offense and is more reliant on a pro passing attack.
The biggest argument for me is to study Kelly’s moves since taking over the Eagles. Kelly hired Pat Shurmur to be his OC. Shurmur is about as West Coast Offense as it gets. Kelly benched Mike Vick in favor of Nick Foles. Kelly drafted Matt Barkley and signed Mark Sanchez. None of these guys are your standard mobile QB.
If Kelly wants a mobile QB, he’s doing a lousy job of showing it.
If Kelly had a chance to get an elite talent with mobility, that might be tough to pass up. The problem there is that the Eagles don’t look like a team that will have a Top 5 pick, which is where you find those types of QBs.
I don’t anticipate the Eagles drafting a QB this year. I could end up being dead wrong, but I think the team wants to stick with Foles, while also seeing how Barkley plays this spring and summer. The Eagles will need to add depth to run the kind of practices they like. I’m sure they’ll address QB aggressively with UDFAs.
But…what if Chip Kelly does covet one of these QBs?
As much as that would frustrate me, go get the QB. I’m not talking about making a value pick. I’m talking about Kelly really falling in love with one of these prospects and thinking the guy could be a special player. Some people see that guy as being Johnny Manziel, but I don’t. Manziel became a very undisciplined player at Texas A&M. This isn’t the same guy that Kelly recruited. Kelly likes a QB who has improvisational skills, but that’s very different from a player who has an over-reliance on them. You can’ argue that Manziel does rely too much on making plays and not just executing them.
When I think of Kelly’s ideal QB, I picture Aaron Rodgers. He is an elite passer with above average mobility. He can run when the situation calls for it, but mostly carves up defenses with accurate throws and smart QB play. The QB in this class who reminds me the most of Rodgers…Derek Carr. I don’t see the Eagles going for him, but he’s a name that almost never gets mentioned. The one big problem for Carr is that he’s got small hands and Kelly likes his QBs to have big hands.
It sounds more and more like teams from the early 2nd round will be trading up to get a QB. Pick 22 could end up being prime real estate for a team looking for a QB. Right now I’m hoping to move back and add more picks. That could work out well.
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Les Bowen wrote a good piece on mock drafts. I was able to provide him with a quote or two to help the story.
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A few people have asked about ILB Shayne Skov. Complicated subject.
And then watch this from 2 weeks ago.
That doesn’t look like the same guy. On the game tape you see a violent ILB who has excellent closing speed and hustles to get to the ball. In the workout he looks slow and stiff. Game tape is 90 percent of a player’s grade…unless there is a medical issue.
Skov tore his ACL back in 2011. He missed the season opener in 2012, but then played the rest of that season and 2013. Since the season ended, Skov hasn’t been healthy. He skipped the Senior Bowl, Combine and Stanford’s Pro Day to try and get healthy. He did a workout 2 weeks ago and ran in the 5.15 range. Clearly he wasn’t healthy.
You didn’t see any major issues on the field, but he’s now battled some issue for 4 months. That’s a bit of a concern.
Skov could go as early as the 4th round or he could be a UDFA. It all depends on what teams think of him from a medical standpoint. Skov could turn out to be a terrific pro or he could be one of those guys who peaked in college. I’m curious to see how he does. I certainly wish him the best and hope he has a long, successful career.
I don’t anticipate the Eagles having interest, but that’s just a guess. They seem to be looking for speed and even when healthy, Skov seems better vs the run than vs the pass. He is fun to watch. Skov is tough and physical. I’m sure Jeremiah Trotter would definitely approve of his play.