February 25, 2016
During the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins essentially used three first round picks and more on Robert Griffin III, a move that signaled they were "all in" on RG3. In the fourth round during that same draft, they selected Kirk Cousins, a move that was mostly met with criticism.
Four years later, RG3 is going to be looking for a new team, and Cousins is soon to be a very rich man. That's not exactly how the Skins drew it up, but certainly the decision to draft Cousins has paid off.
The Eagles haven't drafted a quarterback since 2013, when they traded up for Matt Barkley in the fourth round. Barkley is gone, and no quarterbacks currently on the roster were drafted by the Eagles. In other words, the Eagles' young quarterback pipeline is bone dry.
The Eagles don't think Sam Bradford is worth $20 million. If they did, they would franchise tag him. They would like to have Bradford back, but have stated repeatedly that they will only bring him back at a price that works for them.
As a result, the Eagles seem far from sold on Bradford as their long-term answer. They are still very much candidates to draft a quarterback even if Bradford stays, which Pederson acknowledged.
"I think you'd have to look hard at drafting a quarterback," said Pederson. "Every team needs to draft a quarterback. I’m a big believer that you need to keep the pipeline coming and you need to consider drafting one whether you need one in the first, second or third round or sixth, seventh, free agency. You need to bring guys in to keep your pipeline of quarterbacks going."
So here's a thought -- Why not draft two? When asked about the Redskins' decision on Cousins in 2012, Pederson replied, "I think it was smart to do that."
As long as you're developing one rookie quarterback, possibly in the early rounds, you may as well go ahead and try to develop two simultaneously. "Young QB2" can push "Young QB1" (and vice versa) from a competition standpoint, while being able to lean on each other from a learning perspective.
This draft in particular makes a ton of sense to go that route. While there are no sure-fire number one overall type quarterback prospects, there could be as many as four or five taken in the first round, and around possibly 15 or more taken overall. It's not extremely top-heavy, but it is deep.
“The numbers are probably better than they’ve been the last couple of years," Howie Roseman said, speaking about this quarterback draft class.
In Pederson, offensive coordinator Frank Reich, and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, the Eagles' top three offensive coaches have extensive experience playing quarterback or coaching quarterbacks. It feels like a conscious decision was made to structure the staff that way, and the Eagles may as well maximize those strengths.