Weekend Reading: Foles And the Future

Some links to pass along:

Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post cautions fantasy players about drafting Nick Foles too high:

In the 880 mock drafts conducted at Fantasy Football Calculator between July 4, 2014 and July 7, 2014, Foles was the sixth quarterback taken, ahead of Robert Griffin III, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick.

That would be a waste of a pick.

For starters, Jackson is now with Washington, pushing Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin and Brad Smith up Philadelphia’s depth chart. Over the past two seasons, Cooper has had comparable stats to D-Jax when Foles was throwing the ball, but their usage tells two very different stories…

Plus, you can’t expect Foles to play a full 16-game season, throw close to 500 times and have just two interceptions. The league saw 2.6 percent of passing plays end in an interception last year and if we ran each of Foles’s 2013 passing attempts in a random simulation 1,000 times, we would expect him to have two interceptions or fewer just 0.6 percent of the time…

The more likely scenario is Foles throws 500 times for 3,100 yards, 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, which puts him more in line with the 15-18 best QBs rather than anywhere near the top 10.

Tommy Lawlor isn’t big on the idea of the Eagles trading for Andre Johnson. 

If the Texans put Johnson on the market, should the Eagles have interest?


If the question was simply about Johnson, the answer would be yes. But he’s not a free agent. Compensation is a factor. Johnson is a band-aid. I would not give up a pick for him. He’s older and expensive. Is he a good player? Yes. But the Eagles don’t need a workhorse WR, which is what Johnson is best at.

Let’s talk about age for a minute. The Eagles gave up a 5th round pick for Darren Sproles. What about that? Sproles is 31. He also impacts STs as well as offense. Sproles cost a cheap pick and has a reasonable salary. Johnson is a starting player. He would cost a higher pick and bigger salary. Do you want to add a 33-year old WR when the current group is young and has potential?

If this were mid-August and someone had gotten hurt, then you make a deal. Right now the Eagles are healthy and WR isn’t a position of “need”. I’m sure several of you will point out that Jeremy Maclin is coming off an ACL tear and that the Eagles have a couple of rookies in key roles. That’s true. But Maclin has looked good so far and the goal is to build up a young corps of WRs. The Eagles need to get Matthews, Huff, Benn and the others on the field.

ESPN rolled out their NFL Future Power Rankings, which takes into account things like quality of the young players on the roster, the quarterback situation, front office strength and coaching. They have the Eagles eighth.

The overview: Is Nick Foles the answer at QB? Our analysts think so, to some extent. Philadelphia jumped eight spots to No. 12 at the position, which puts the Eagles ahead of teams with some of Foles’ 2012 draft classmates, including Washington (Robert Griffin III) and Miami (Ryan Tannehill). Foles has 33 TD passes with only seven INTs to this point in his career. He has a 9-7 starting record and a passer rating in triple digits. The rest of Philly’s roster ranked fifth, and it’s fair to say coach Chip Kelly has won over some skeptics. The Eagles moved up eight spots to No. 9 in coaching, the third-highest gain in that category. The drafting outlook fell three spots to 17th, but that isn’t a significant change. The Eagles improved in every other category. This looks like a team on the rise. –Mike Sando

The youth movement: Kelly’s offense was good enough in 2013 that many would believe he can get it done with just about anybody, but the draft proved that Kelly and GM Howie Roseman aren’t similarly convinced. I believe 2014 second-rounder Jordan Matthews has the potential to overtake Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin as the top option in the passing game over the next season-plus, and 2014 third-rounder Josh Huff is a competitive, tough runner after the catch who could (again) thrive in Kelly’s offense — and soon. –Mel Kiper