With Michael Vick returning to Philadelphia and Joe Flacco almost surely staying in Baltimore, finding the right quarterback if you are a franchise in need is difficult. There is tepid interest in the signal callers available during the draft, and available options include unknowns, unlikely, and undesirable free agents.
There will be those who argue Alex Smith is the answer despite a mostly underwhelming resume, and others will pine for Matt Flynn who has played well in very limited action.
If it wasn't for a historically good rookie class of quarterbacks last season, more people would be high on Eagles youngster, Nick Foles. Interestingly, Foles is available for the right offer, and he is a viable answer for now and the future.
When Philadelphia hired Chip Kelly as head coach it signaled a new offensive system for the Eagles. Kelly engineered the fastest tempo offense in the country at the University of Oregon. As the offensive coordinator in Eugene, and then as the head coach, Kelly featured dual threat quarterbacks Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas, and Marcus Mariota under center. While each was capable of throwing, and did frequently for big chunks of yards, they were also all fleet afoot. Having a quarterback who can run is nearly as important in the system as making good reads and being accurate.
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Foles is big, and strong but not incredibly quick or agile. In seven games last year, his rookie season, he ran 11 times for 42 yards. However, he threw six touchdowns, completed 61-percent of his passes, and before getting injured played very well in three of his final four starts.
When last seen Foles was outplaying Washington rookie Robert Griffin III. He completed 32 of 48 attempts against the Redskins for 345 yards and one touchdown on December 23. Two weeks earlier his 381 yards in the air and two touchdowns helped the Eagles win in Tampa Bay.
After throwing for 56 touchdowns and 5,658 yards at Westlake High in Austin, TX, the same high school Drew Brees attended, Foles spent one year at Michigan State before transferring to Arizona. In 2009 he threw for four touchdowns in an overtime loss against Kelly's Ducks. In 2010 he led the Wildcats to a 5-1 start before being injured. He returned late in the year throwing for nine touchdowns and only one interception during the final three weeks of the regular season. His final season in Tucson he tossed 28 touchdowns and threw for over 4,300 yards while completing just shy of 70-percent of his throws.
Locked in to an affordable rookie contract, the Eagles must decide what to do with Foles. Vick enters camp as the starter, and Dixon has been signed to help teach Vick the system and audition for the job himself. Foles, while an intriguing prospect, does fit Kelly's offense. He was selected with the eleventh pick of the third round last season. He may be available for a similar pick now. For a quarterback hungry team, and there are many, Foles has shown some promise, and that is a lot more than most other available options can say.