Eagles Look at Florida's Tebow?
By Lance Epstein
Could the Eagles be think of a backup plan incase Kevin Kolb does not turn out to be the star they expected? Well according to SI.com's Peter King, the Eagles have shown some interest in the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, National Champion and University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
A day after the Eagles shipped Donovan McNabb off to the rival Washington Redskins, King came out with the shocking and head scratching news.
"I have heard the Eagles will now focus on Tebow and are likely to join the parade of teams working him out and spending time with him,’’ King reported.
Although Philadelphia Inquirer's Paul Domowitch said a league source told him that head coach Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman have no interest in bringing Tebow in for a workout at the NovaCare Center or in Gainesville.
However, King might have gotten his scoop due to the fact the Eagles had representatives at his Pro Day. In spite of this, the Eagles also had offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg at Oklahoma's Sam Bradford Pro Day as well, even though they have no chance at drafting him.
Still, it makes some sense that the Eagles are looking to draft a quarterback. The only other quarterback on the roster right now not named Kolb is Michael Vick. He is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2010 season and is not anticipated to be back unless Kolb completely falters.
In addition, various sources have reported that the Eagles are still looking to move Vick if the right package came along. His trade might not come before the draft and might actually occur during training camp when a veteran quarterback gets injured or struggles. If that does happen, the Eagles then have no quarterback behind the incumbent Kolb.
Yet, if Vick is dealt, the Eagles be forced to sign a veteran backup because it would make little sense for them to go with a rookie as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart.
On the other hand, with players like Marc Bulger, Chris Simms and Daunte Culpepper on the open market, it would not surprise many if Reid presses hard to move Vick before the draft and sign one of these quarterbacks. Ultimately this would allow the Eagles to think about take a quarterback in the first four rounds.
Despite having a need for a backup quarterback to groom, Tebow' stock has been rising over the past couple weeks and might be out of the Eagles reach. Some NFL draft guru's like NFL Network's Mike Mayock and Charles Davis have stated that he could possibly find himself as a late first round pick. This is surprising considering that ESPN's draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Tebow ranked as the 5th-best quarterback in the entire draft behind Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy and Dan LeFevour.
So the question becomes will the Eagles be willing to invest either the 24th overall pick or the 37th pick on a player like Tebow? Well if you look back at the Eagles draft history, the answer to that question would be a resounding "Yes."
In 2007, when McNabb was on the roster and was only 30 years old, they traded back with the Dallas Cowboys to collect a ton of picks. Eventually with the 36th overall selection the team took. Furthermore, the club has taken gambles with injured players like Brian Westbrook and Stewart Bradley with picks in the first three rounds. Since the Eagles have seven picks in the first four rounds, the Eagles could take a gamble with a quarterback.
Furthermore another reason the Eagles might entertain the idea of drafting Tebow high is because they know in a league with only a handful of capable quarterbacks, they can eventually trade him. Not only trade him, but also get better value then where they drafted him. If the Eagles can assist Tebow in his development like they have done with Kolb, teams around the league will be calling.
Remember a few short weeks ago with the McNabb soap opera, teams were also inquiring about Kolb. During those trade discussions it was reported that Kolb could be had if teams were willing to give up two first round picks. While some will say that no team will ever do that, it is possible. The Eagles only need one desperate team willing to bring fans to the stadium and win like Jacksonville. They might be willing to invest that type of compensation, especially for a beloved Florida product.
Nevertheless, do not expect the Eagles to take a quarterback with their first five picks (all in the top 87). They might consider selecting Tebow at 87, but not any higher then that taking into consideration the massive needs on the defensive side of the ball.
A quarterback that fans should not be surprised if the Eagles target in the draft is Fordham quarterback John Skelton. Skelton has been projected as a mid-third rounder, but he could fall to the Eagles with their recently acquired fourth round pick from Cleveland.
Of course, Skelton (6-5, 243) does not have the glamorous resume or reorganization that Tebow has. Yet he has a big arm, is very intelligent and has a quick release. Certainly, he still has to learn some of the fundaments, but scouts have raved about his athleticism and even compared him to Joe Flacco.