The Philadelphia Eagles‘ successful season last year came with much thanks to the breakout play of quarterback Nick Foles. Not only did he lead the Eagles to a division title, but he was third in the NFL with a 119.2 quarterback rating. He was one of the leaders of the NFL’s second-best offensive attack. So, going into 2014, quarterback shouldn’t even be a question for Philadelphia, right?
Not so fast.
The Eagles were one of several teams who met with the NFL Draft’s most polarizing prospect: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Even though the Eagles hold the No. 22 pick, and have many needs besides quarterback, Philadelphia used one of its 60 player interviews on the highlight reel Aggie quarterback. “Johnny Football,” despite being a projected top-10 pick, accepted the meeting with the Eagles. Although general manager Howie Roseman has come out and said that Foles is the starting quarterback, and the interview with Manziel was just to get his background, this should still be a story to follow in Philadelphia.
There’s no doubt that Manziel is the most talented, versatile, and exciting player to enter the NFL in a long time. A former Heisman winner, Manziel has amazed and awed college football fans everywhere with his jaw-dropping, ankle breaking play. Whatever a quarterback can do, Manziel can do better.
After an impressive combine, it seems like Manziel’s stock is certainly on the rise. So, why would Philadelphia even consider drafting him? It’s not like he’s going to fall to the 22nd pick, as there are plenty of quarterback-hungry teams within the first 10 picks of the draft, never mind the first twenty. Could Philadelphia do the unthinkable and make a blockbuster deal for him?
Any other team, and this wouldn’t make any sense. However, if Chip Kelly‘s first season in Philadelphia tell us anything, it’s that anything is possible. This should be a story that fans should follow leading up to the draft. Kelly has always liked Manziel, as he heavily recruited him to play for him at Oregon. At the last second, Manziel decided to go to Texas A&M instead. Knowing this, of course, if there was an opportunity to draft Manziel, Kelly would at least think about it.
Someone might say the Eagles wouldn’t even consider it with Foles on their roster. However, Foles just had one good season, and the quarterback depth behind him is getting weak. Now, would Manziel be drafted to become a backup? Absolutely not. Despite this, it’s not out of the question that if Philadelphia were to draft him, he would compete for the starting job. Any other team, and this would seem preposterous. With the Eagles and Kelly’s need for a quarterback-filled roster, anything could happen.
Even with reports saying Foles is the guy, the Eagles have never really fully committed to him. It seems like the organization isn’t completely ready to give him the reigns of the offense. There’s always a feeling that Kelly needs to find his quarterback and develop him on his, since Foles was drafted by former coaching and management in Philadelphia. Also, the potential of Manziel in Kelly’s offense just sounds scary. He would be a great fit for Kelly, and fans can’t say they haven’t at least thought about that possibility.
This could be a story that is just being read too far in depth. Maybe Philadelphia just wanted to meet him, or get his autograph (hopefully he didn’t get paid for it). However, there have been crazy stories on draft day, and this could be one of them.