Eagles Combine Prep: Quarterbacks
Ah, quarterback. The most valuable position in all of football. The Eagles haven’t had a good, reliable quarterback under center since 2009, Donovan McNabb’s final season with the team.
Michael Vick started hot, but faded fast. Nick Foles did the same. Sam Bradford did the opposite this past season, but his future with the team is tenuous. And Mark Sanchez throws the ball to the wrong team.
Eagles fans’ interest in drafting a quarterback clearly hinges on what happens with Bradford’s contract situation; if they bring him back in 2016, the likelihood of drafting a quarterback in the first round likely decreases. If they don’t, it likely increases.
Super Bowl-winning teams have stability and continued success at quarterback; if the Eagles want to win a Lombardi trophy eventually, they need to figure out their quarterback of the future within the next two seasons to avoid wasting the prime of a suddenly intimidating defense.
We’ve compiled a handful of the most interesting quarterbacks for you to watch during this week’s combine.
Jared Goff, California
Height/Weight: 6-4, 210
2015 Stats: 64.5 COMP%, 8.9 Y/A, 43 TD, 13 INT
Projected Round: 1
Analysis (NFL.com): While Goff is a little leaner in the lower body than teams might like, he has good size, an NFL arm, advanced pocket mobility and the field demeanor of a franchise quarterback. His accuracy and decision making will suffer from occasional lapses, but he displays the tools to become a good starting quarterback with time.
Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
Height/Weight: 6-5, 233
2015 Stats: 62.5 COMP%, 7.9 Y/A, 45 TD, 14 INT
Projected Round: 1
Analysis (NFL.com): With a body type that is as prototypical as they come and a background in reading the entire field and working through progressions, Wentz will immediately check a couple of boxes that many college quarterbacks won’t be able to check. While his arm strength is OK, he can still make all the throws and he can make them with accuracy. His ability to escape pressure and pick up first downs with his feet will be yet another check mark in his favor. Wentz is still in a developmental phase after just two years at an FBS program, but has the mental and physical building blocks of a future, franchise quarterback.
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Height/Weight: 6-6, 230
2015 Stats: 66.8 COMP%, 8.5 Y/A, 28 TD, 4 INT
Projected Round: 1-2
Analysis (NFL.com): While the hype around “dual threat” quarterbacks has subsided, Lynch possesses the size and athleticism to make NFL teams take a second look. Unlike other size/speed quarterbacks like Vince Young and Colin Kaepernick, Lynch prefers to extend passing plays with his feet rather than bolting from the pocket, but he is still likely to make plenty of plays with his feet over the long haul. Lynch shows the ability to read defenses and make smart decisions, but not yet at an NFL starting level. While he has the physical tools to start right away, a team who is willing to allow him to sit and study his craft for a year could reap maximum rewards in the future.
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Height/Weight: 6-4, 220
2015 Stats: 56.1 COMP%, 7.7 Y/A, 24 TD, 7 INT
Projected Round: 2
Analysis (NFL.com): As a four-year starter, Cook has the big game experience and the production from a pro-style attack that should warrant early consideration.The concern is that his short and intermediate accuracy has never shown the improvement and consistency that scouts expected to see. His inability to take over in big games this year could hurt his cause. Cook flashes the potential of an NFL starter, but he has the makeup of game manager over playmaker.
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Height/Weight: 6-2, 226
2015 Stats: 66.2 COMP%, 8.0 Y/A, 29 TD, 5 INT
Projected Round: 3-4
Analysis (NFL.com): Hard to find an NFL comp for Prescott because he’s built like Donovan McNabb, but lacks McNabb’s ability and polish. Prescott has NFL size, mobility and enough arm, but the tape shows a player who must improve his mechanics, poise and quickness through his progressions if he is to become a full-time starter in the NFL. There are absolutely draftable traits and upside, but he will need extended work to smooth out his flaws. Until then, a team would be wise to utilize him on short-yardage packages.