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April 11, 2019

Eagles 2019 NFL Draft preview: Quarterback

Eagles NFL
040319EastonStick Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports

Could the Eagles dip into the North Dakota State quarterback pipeline again?

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be taking a look at each of the Philadelphia Eagles' positional groups. We'll determine if the Birds are likely to select a player at that position with one of their seven picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, as well as note some players who make sense.

We'll start with quarterback, which is among the lowest positions on the Eagles' draft need totem pole, but still a potential spot that could be addressed with a developmental player. First, a look at the depth chart:

QB1 QB2  QB3
Carson Wentz Nate Sudfeld Luis Perez 


Back in the Andy Reid days, the Eagles used to draft a quarterback every two or three years, which is something Jeffrey Lurie has stated he would like to get back to doing. The following is a list of quarterbacks the Eagles have drafted since the start of the Andy Reid era:

 YearPlayer Round Overall 
 1999Donovan McNabb 
 2001A.J. Feeley 155 
 2004Andy Hall 185 
 2007Kevin Kolb 36 
 2010 Mike Kafka122 
 2012Nick Foles 88 
 2013Matt Barkley 98 
 2016Carson Wentz 


The Eagles would eventually trade McNabb, Feeley, Kolb, Foles, and Barkley, once they were no longer of use to the team, and in three of those cases, they received great value in return.  

While drafting quarterbacks has been a good long-term investment strategy for the Eagles, it wouldn't have made sense for them to draft one last year, with Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, and Nate Sudfeld in place. This year, with Foles now in Jacksonville and Sudfeld scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, it would absolutely make sense to reintroduce that draft-and-develop tradition.

But what kind of quarterback would they be looking for?

"We’re very conscious of the culture," Lurie said, when asked about the getting back to the strategy of drafting quarterbacks with regularity. "We’ve had an incredible quarterback room, with Carson, Nick, and Nate. It’s one of the reasons they’re all so poised for success. That quarterback that we bring in – let’s say it’s this year’s draft or next year’s draft – it needs to be a great fit in that room, so you’re not just drafting a player that can be a good backup quarterback, but somebody that can help the culture with the quarterback who is starting. You want a relationship that is healthy, where they help each other. That’s a key part of it too."

Earlier this week, the Eagles signed former AAF quarterback Luis Perez. To be determined if the Eagles view Perez as a legitimate No. 3 quarterback worth developing, or if they see him as a camp arm. Plucking a quarterback from the AAF instead of using a draft pick on one makes sense, but I'm not certain it closes the door on the team drafting one in the later rounds later this month.

Three quarterbacks who make sense for the Eagles

Tyree Jackson, Buffalo (6'7, 249)

Obviously, Jackson has imposing size at 6'7, 249, he has a big arm (but can also throw with touch), and some nice athleticism. However, he's raw prospect with accuracy issues, a long delivery, and shaky feet. 

A highlight reel:


As a true developmental prospect, Jackson has the size the Eagles covet to go along with an appealing skill set. Selfishly speaking, he'd be a fun player to watch in training camp.

Projected round: 5-6.

Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt (6'4, 230)

Yep, Kyle Shurmur is the son of former Eagles offensive coordinator and current Giants head coach Pat Shurmur. Once you get past that reality, Shurmur's kid is actually a decent Day 3 quarterback prospect who improved each year at Vanderbilt, and who possesses the size at quarterback that the Eagles seem to prefer, and adequate arm strength. A highlight reel:


As the son of a coach, Shurmur is thought of as an intelligent player who could add to the Eagles quarterback room culture.

Projected round: 6.

Easton Stick, North Dakota State (6'1, 224)

Yeah, it's easy to pinpoint the NDSU quarterback, since the Eagles already took one in Carson Wentz, but I do think they'll like Stick for some of the same reasons they liked Wentz.

Like Wentz, Stick had a great GPA (3.91), and he even graduated in 3.5 years. He also ran an offense in Fargo with more pro-style concepts than most quarterbacks coming out of college, and is adept at running RPOs, particularly because of his good timing and mobility. At NDSU, Stick won two FCS National Championships.

Unlike Wentz, Stick is only 6'1, and he does not have good arm strength. A highlight reel:


The Eagles have (mostly) brought in big quarterbacks, with a few exceptions, like Joe Callahan, Matt McGloin, and Aaron Murray, who are all listed at 6'1. 
The Eagles can work with Stick's mechanics behind the scenes, and perhaps get him to the point where his lack of arm talent isn't a significant hindrance. If they can do that, Stick is a prospect worth developing because of his intelligence and other skills.

Round: 7-UDFA


MORE: Eagles 2019 draft prospect visit tracker | Eagles mock draft roundup, version 4.0 | Eagles-only mock draft, version 4.0


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