Andy Reid

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Will Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles select a quarterback early in the 2012 NFL draft?  That is a popular question right now and one I’ve been back and forth on in my head since the end of last season.

As the Eagles’ torturous 8-8 season finally came to an end, it was clear that Vince Young was not the answer as Michael Vick’s primary backup.  Therefore, it was a foregone conclusion that Young — aka, the Dream Team season jinxer — would not be back in 2012.

After Young, the next option was 2010 fourth round draft pick Mike Kafka.  However, is Kafka really good enough to be the primary backup for the oft-injured Vick?  Without much evidence to prove he is or isn’t, his pedigree says that no, he isn’t.

The Eagles apparently agree and therefore signed journeyman QB Trent Edwards.  This is the same guy who sat out the entire 2011 season because he couldn’t win a roster spot on the QB-challenged Oakland Raiders last season (prior to Carson Palmer’s arrival too).

However, the job for Michael Vick’s primary backup is still wide open.  Edwards and/or Kafka can just as easily be cut as they could win the job.  In other words, neither is guaranteed a spot on the roster.

Because Michael Vick is who he is — a QB who is just as capable of a dazzling play as he is a big turnover or big injury — the Eagles find themselves in a difficult predicament in regards to the QB position.

Particularly because of the injury concern, the Eagles need a good backup probably more so than any other team in the league.  There is also the aspect that Andy Reid has an affinity for quarterbacks and likes to have prospects to groom for the future.

This is perhaps why he and the Eagles have been connected to several quarterbacks this offseason.

The first scuttlebutt was when they interviewed Robert Griffin III at the combine.  That was followed by much speculation that the Eagles were the “mystery team” that was in trade talks with the Rams about moving up to the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

Following that, there was a report — followed by a semi-confirmation/denial — that Andy Reid was interested in Peyton Manning.  My take was that Reid probably gave Manning a call to gauge his interest and was promptly turned down by Manning.

Therefore it was likely a short discussion and the notion was dropped immediately.  However, it still shows Reid’s desire for a quarterback.

Then, Howard Eskin recently tweeted that the Eagles have worked out QB draft prospects Kirk Cousins, Ryan Lindley and Russell Wilson.  Those three players are projected to be drafted anywhere between rounds two and four.

Andy Reid is sniffing around some quarterbacks on which he would be spending a relatively high draft pick.  If the Eagles spend one of their first three picks (rounds one or two) on a quarterback, what could that mean, if anything?

It could mean that Reid will assuredly be the head coach beyond 2012.

Reid is known for being a QB guru of sorts.  His QB-friendly system has a knack for making average quarterbacks look good.  Over the course of his career with the Eagles, Reid’s system has made QBs such as Koy Detmer, A.J. Feeley and Kevin Kolb look much better than they actually are.

Andy Reid's quarterbacks

Photo: phillysportsblogs.com

The idea of Reid drafting a QB early in this year’s draft wouldn’t be much of an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that many people, myself included, see this as a do-or-die year for him.

In other words, why would the Eagles spend a high draft pick on a quarterback that Reid likes if his future with the team isn’t secure?

Reid is still under contract for two more seasons but if the Eagles fail to make the playoffs, or go deep into the playoffs, 2012 could very well be his last year in Philadelphia.  After all, it’s usually not good when a head coach goes into a season on the final year of his deal.  And if Reid isn’t extended again, he’d be a “lame duck” coach in 2013.

One could argue that whether or not Reid is here beyond 2012, the Eagles still need a quarterback for the future.  However, unless a QB is of a certain high-level status, most new head coaches like to go find “their guy.”

Furthermore, young quarterbacks are often stunted in their development if they lack stability in the coaching staff and offensive system.  Therefore, it would be a waste of a good draft pick if the Eagles select a “QB of the future” only to have Reid leave after this season.

This brings me to my final point: is it fair to say that Reid’s job would be safe beyond 2012 — no matter how the team does this season — if the Eagles invest a high draft pick on a quarterback?

Spending a first or second-round draft pick on a quarterback would be considered an “investment.”  Obviously, the higher the pick, the bigger the investment would be.  And what if the Eagles decided to trade up for a quarterback to ensure they got the one they wanted?

What if a player like Ryan Tannehill is on their radar?  He would require a trade-up in the first round so that would be an even bigger investment of resources.

It’s tough to say what Reid might be thinking about all of this.  On one hand, his only choice may be to proceed as he would as if there was no “clock ticking” on his reign in Philly.  On the other hand, if he feels the pressure that he must win now, then he would have no justification on spending a high draft pick on a quarterback.

Andy Reid is a smart man, but also a stubborn one too.  In the end, I have to think that if he chooses to draft a QB with an early pick, he must feel secure in his job beyond the 2012 season so that he can reap the reward of an heir apparent to Michael Vick.

Either that, or maybe Reid could be making another power play and by drafting a QB early, it will help his cause to have his contract renewed.  I can certainly envision Jeff Lurie saying to himself that Reid is the best guy to groom the promising quarterback who will lead the team in 2013 and beyond.

Or, maybe Reid isn’t as smart as I thought and he would just waste a draft pick that could be used to help his team win this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Category: Eagles Related

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2 Responses to Philadelphia Eagles: Drafting a QB Early May Give Andy Reid Job Security

  1. kyle says:

    2nd round, 2 eagles pick, its a must they draft Osweiler. He a 6’8 QB with a laser arm and his release looks just as fast as phillip rivers. Andy & Marty would be able to make him a great QB for the future. he might not fall to their 3rd round pick, so be safe and draft him while he is still on the board.
    -restructure DE Tapp
    FA-Amobi Akoye DT, S Bell/Atogwe, one more LB. RB Battle, DE Andre Carter?? give him a 1 year deal to be in the rotation?
    -Trade. CB Asante Samuel trade-
    1. to panthers for 4th- with that selection, WR McNutt
    2.Samuel, 2013 1st, 3rd, 2014 1st, 4th, 2015 3rd to Panthers to move up and have 2 1st rounders
    - with panthers pick-LB Kuechly, with own pick, WR Floyd
    draft-
    1st- Kuechly
    2nd-Boykin, Osweilee
    3rd-TE L.Green
    4th-DT Forston
    5th-C Molk
    6th-FB Rodriguez, LB T.Carder, S Gideon
    eagles still would have enough money to sign all draft picks, extend McCoy, possibly Maclin. sign depth at FA. hopefully even Hawthorne if they could strike a deal.
    - if hawthorne was added, still draft Kuechly. Kuechly,Ryans,Hawthorme. Chnaye,Rolle,Fokou, clayton backing up. i think if they re-sign DT Landri, Dunlap. the eagles will be complete. adding Amobi would be great for this rotation, along with drafting Forston.
    -R.Cooper, A.Jordan, G.Llyod, C.Harbor would be released.

    • That’s one hell of an offseason Kyle! Love the Kuechly pick, I have us taking him in my latest mock draft as well. I’m not too sure about Osweiller though…he’s only had 1 full season at QB and played in a shotgun offense. I think he has a huge bust potential in the NFL, but if anybody can get the best out of him, it’ll be Reid and Co.

      I like many of the players you chose, but I can’t see that 2nd trade option ever happening with Samuel and mortgaging two future first round picks in order to get Carolina’s first this year. That’s just too much. Getting a 4th rounder for Samuel is much more realistic.

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