Several surprising quarterback moves occurred during the 2013 NFL Draft and right in the mix were the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles decided that Matt Barkley sitting on the board in the fourth round was too much of a temptation to resist and decided to draft him 98th overall. The move was not without controversy and immediately led many to wonder just what kind of offense Chip Kelly is going to run in the NFL.
Many believed that it was a foregone conclusion that after the signing of Chip Kelly as the head coach and the inflated salary due to QB Michael Vick, that the Eagles would move on from the southpaw signal caller. Vick met with Kelly and then agreed to a salary reduction for the 2013 season and remained with the team.
Nick Foles started a few games for the Eagles last season and likely would have been the starter in 2013 had head coach Andy Reid remained.
Given the fast-paced, high-octane offense that Kelly ran in Oregon, most pundits believed that he would desire a highly mobile, athletic quarterback to run whatever version of his scheme he designed for the NFL. That speculation was intensified with the signing of QB Dennis Dixon. Vick is not as mobile as he used to be and the years of pounding have taken a toll on his small frame.
Many pundits thought that Kelly would target wither Ryan Nassib or E.J. Manuel in the draft, but took neither. Kelly tried recruiting Manuel at Oregon prior to him attending Florida State.
So, as the fourth-round opens on Saturday, the Eagles pull off a real stunner by drafting the quarterback that watched his stock plummet during the draft. Not even the quarterback starved Jacksonville Jaguars, who held the first pick of the fourth-round, wanted Barkley.
Now the speculation regarding the Eagles quarterback situation centers around two things, how does Matt Barkley fit and what does the future hold for Nick Foles?
Many believed that Foles was not going to be involved in the Philadelphia offense this season after the addition of Dennis Dixon. It’s possible there are no long term plans for Foles with the Eagles, after all, he was a product of the last coaching staff but he has starting experience and comes at a salary cap friendly price.
Is Barkley in the plans for the Eagles? That will be difficult to determine until the start of training camp. There is no reason for him to have to play this season with Vick and Foles already on the roster. It is now being speculated that divisional foe, the New York Giants, drafted Ryan Nassib as a security blanket in order to generate a high draft pick down the road. Could the same technique be at work here?
I believe that Chip Kelly’s first year will be a work in progress. He will need to determine what will and won’t work in the NFL realm. After his first season, he might find out that he needs to scale his aggressiveness on offense back. He might find that sending quarterback sprinting outside the tackle box isn’t good for their health. Or perhaps he just saw a player sitting at 98 that he believes he can trade off at a later date for a reward.
They say you can’t have enough quarterbacks in the NFL and the Eagles now have five. G.J. Kinne joins Vick, Foles, Dixon and Barkley. Philadelphia will likely carry three. Kinne and Foles could be on their way out of town, maybe over to Kansas City to join his former head coach.