Eagles Wake-Up Call: What They Said About Foles

Now that we’ve gotten a six-game look at Nick Foles, we have an idea of what he does well and what he needs to work on.

But sometimes, it’s fun to look back.

Below is a roundup of what some analysts had to say about Foles during the draft process last year.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper:

“Has solid mechanics and throws on the move effectively. You can’t argue with the arm strength and size. But he’s not as accurate as you’d like.”

Kiper’s analysis seems pretty accurate, based on what we’ve seen so far. Foles’ best throws have come on the move. But he’s certainly been off-target at times and has completed just 59.4 percent of his attempts.

ESPN’s Todd McShay:

“I spend a lot of time looking at them under pressure. Those are the throws you have to make in the NFL. That’s what separates the good from the great, and sometimes separates whether you can be a starter or not at the next level and win consistently. I have been impressed with Nick Foles in that regard. Doesn’t move very well and while he was underwhelming at the Senior Bowl, I do think that he is a little bit better than maybe what the public opinion is now. He really handles pressure well and knows where to go with the ball.”

For the most part, that seems fair too. Foles’ best performance so far came in the Bucs game. He was under constant pressure, but did a good jog of creating “functional space” when the pocket broke down.

Greg Cosell of NFL Films:

Arm speed slow at this point. Negative impact on velocity. Did not drive the ball on few intermediate throws or sideline throws. Once in a while saw an NFL throw with anticipation + some snap. Major projection based on skill set evaluation + mental acumen.

Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have talked about some of the things Cosell mentioned. Specifically, they’ve pointed out that arm strength is not Foles’ issue. It’s more footwork and mechanics.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com talked to a couple people at Foles’ Pro Day:

“He was average,” one talent evaluator said. “Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t bad and the weather didn’t help but he didn’t drive the ball like you’d expect a quarterback of his size to and he has only average accuracy once you get past 15 yards, so I can’t imagine that anyone is raising his grade based on what they saw Monday.”

Another source wasn’t quite as careful with his wording.

“[Foles] was terrible. He couldn’t throw a spiral. Obviously, the weather conditions played a part in that but in reality, it only accentuated that he couldn’t throw a spiral.”

Clearly, some of the issues that Foles has had through six games were predictable. Of course, you don’t want to draw too many conclusions with such a small sample size, especially considering he’s played without LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson andBrent Celek.

Foles’ development will depend on a number of factors like coaching, scheme and surrounding talent. Seeing how he progresses will continue to be the focus of the last two games.

WHAT YOU MISSED

In his Twitter Mailbag, T-Mac offers up his top-three candidates to replace Reid.

With Clay Harbor sidelined, the Eagles signed tight end Evan Moore.

McCoy says he feels like he’s let Reid down.

A business decision is coming for Jake Scott, writes McManus.

Colt Anderson received the team’s Ed Block Courage Award.

Here’s the All-22 look at what we’ve seen from Anderson.

Would Nnamdi Asomugha be willing to take a pay cut?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

SI.com’s Don Banks has the Eagles 29th in his power rankings:

They get the Redskins and the Giants in the season’s last two games, but I don’t think they even have what it takes to play the spoiler role after watching that second-half self-destruction last Thursday night against Cincinnati. Did I really pick the Eagles to win the NFC East?

Gil Brandt of NFL.com has the Eagles as one of six teams that can bounce back in 2013:

I think the Eagles have good players on their roster. Expectations for Philadelphia will not be nearly as high in 2013 as they’ve been the past few seasons. If rookie quarterback Nick Foles continues to develop, and if some key injured veterans (like offensive linemen Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, running back LeSean McCoy and receiver DeSean Jackson) can play a full season, Philly might surprise.

COMING UP

The Eagles are back at Novacare. We’ll hear from Reid and the players.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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