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Philadelphia Eagles Doing Plenty of Homework on Quarterbacks Heading into the NFL Draft

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COMMENTARY | Some might think the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback of the future is already on the roster.

I don't. And it doesn't appear the Birds' brass does, either.

Michael Vick might be the guy to run Chip Kelly's offense in 2013 -- for the money Philly's paying him, he probably ought to be -- and he might even do well piloting an up-tempo spread offense.

I have my doubts, but I'm taking a wait-and-see approach for now.

I also have doubts about whether Nick Foles is the heir apparent at the position. Kelly can and very well might tweak his offensive approach to accommodate Foles' gunslinging ways, but there's no doubt the new coach would prefer a more mobile QB.

So the Eagles have been doing their homework on the incoming class of 2013 NFL rookies. Much has been made of the fact that team owner Jeffrey Lurie was present at a private workout with West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.

Could the Birds be thinking Smith at No. 4 overall?

They've also hosted Arizona QB Matt Scott, a former backup to Foles who turned heads at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Next up, Kelly confirmed recently, is a private workout with Florida State's E.J. Manuel.

I'm glad the Eagles are doing their homework on quarterbacks, but I hope they come up with the right answer -- there isn't one there worthy of a high draft pick.

Last year's draft was so chock full of talented, franchise-changing quarterbacks that it was going to be pretty much impossible for this year's class to measure up. And it doesn't, of course. Smith could turn out to be an NFL star, but for now, he merely looks like the best option in a subpar crop of incoming rookie QBs.

That's hardly reason enough to spend the No. 4 overall pick on him, especially when the Eagles' needs are much greater at other areas -- defensive back and offensive line, to name a couple.

I'd rather see Philly go after a quarterback a little later in the draft; Manuel might be interesting early in the second round, where the Birds pick third, and Scott could be a project pickup even later in the draft.

Of course, it's always possible that Foles could emerge as the guy for the Eagles. They certainly liked him enough to tell Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs that the backup quarterback was not available for trade discussion. Foles has a ton of talent, there's no question about that.

But the Eagles are on the lookout nonetheless. It's possible Kelly and GM Howie Roseman are merely doing their due diligence, to make sure they don't miss out on a great opportunity in April's draft.

It's also possible and, perhaps, more likely, that they already know their franchise quarterback of the future is someone who's not currently on the roster.


Adam Sparks has followed the Philadelphia Eagles since the 1980s, and has written about the team as a freelancer since 2010.

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