Now that Nick Foles has made his final start of the 2012 season, the Eagles will have to evaluate what they’ve seen from the rookie and figure out what direction they want to go in at quarterback in the coming months.
As I’ve written in the past, I think the plan should be to develop Foles, while also looking for other options in the draft, via free agency, trades, etc.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films (whose opinion holds much more weight than mine) seems to agree. He spent some time talking about Foles during this week’s podcast with Adam Caplan.
“I’ve watched every game of Foles really closely,” Cosell said. “I think there’s been some steady improvement, some incremental improvement, but I must admit, I’m not blown away by anything. I don’t think there’s a lot of pop in his arm, and I think when you watch him throw live… you probably say his arm is pretty strong. But I don’t think he plays that way, and that concerns me.”
While Cosell is not just talking about the deep ball, it’s worth noting that Foles completed just 6 of 27 pass attempts that traveled more than 20 yards from the line of scrimmage.
“I don’t think the ball jumps off his hand,” Cosell said. “Every once in awhile, it does, but I think overall, he’s not one of those guys you look at and say wow, that ball really jumps. I just don’t think he throws like that, and that’s a concern for me.
“I also think he’s not real comfortable in the pocket at this point. I think he has a tendency to move a little too much. I think he has a tendency to play a little randomly. All this is not a surprise to me, given his college career.”
Meanwhile, Cosell had some interesting things to say about Michael Vick. While it seems unlikely that Vick has a future in Philadelphia, the coach will have the final say. The Eagles owe Vick a $3 million bonus on Feb. 6, so they don’t have a lot of time to spend on the quarterback decision.
“This may seem crazy to people… but I would not rule out Michael Vick, depending on who the coach is,” Cosell said. “With the proliferation of all this option stuff and pistol and shotgun, Michael Vick is still a pretty talented guy.”
“I think he’ll be in high demand because I think there will be a coach who will think, ‘I can take Michael Vick, I can run the read option, do all these option principles, and I can make him RGIII or Russell Wilson.'”
While many snickered when Vick said publicly that he believes he’s a starter in the league, Cosell is not the only one who thinks there will be a market for the veteran quarterback.
“Sunday’s game against the New York Giants might be Michael Vick’s last with the Philadelphia Eagles, but it won’t be his last as an NFL quarterback,” wrote NFL.com’s Michael Lombardi recently. “I hear that several teams will actively pursue Vick’s talents once the Eagles have finished making all their changes.”
Meanwhile, if you want to get a look at some of the top QB prospects available in the draft, be sure to check out the Pinstripe Bowl between West Virginia and Syracuse this afternoon at 3:15. The Mountaineers’ Geno Smith could be the top QB taken in April’s draft. Ryan Nassib, a Malvern Prep product, could be a Day 2 pick and has drawn comparisons to Andy Dalton. ESPN will carry the game.
And click here to listen to the full podcast with Caplan and Cosell.