Philadelphia Eagles need to draft a quarterback in 2019

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Between Nick Foles’ impending free agency and Nate Sudfeld’s inconsistency, the Philadelphia Eagles need to draft a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Could the Philadelphia Eagles’ biggest question mark heading into next summer actually be at quarterback?

While this may seem insane to think about now, as Philly arguably has the best quarterback room in the entire NFL highlighted by two of the top-30 signal callers in the league, this situation simply isn’t sustainable.

As most fans in the 215 already know, Nick Foles, Carson Wentz‘s once and future backup is now a Super Bowl MVP. This makes Foles arguably the best backup plan in the entire league, but it also likely means that he will be suiting up somewhere else next summer, presumably in a starting role on a team other than the Eagles.

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And then there’s Nate Sudfeld, the team’s current QB number three.

Though Sudfeld came into the league in the same draft class as Wentz, after watching his, shall we say up and down performance in the team’s Week 1 preseason contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s hard to imagine the third-year quarterback from Indiana putting the team on his shoulders and leading them to postseason success like Foles did a few months ago.

Sure, I guess there’s always fourth stringer Joe Callahan, who could potentially string together some dazzling performances in route to a potential long-term contract, but if his preseason debut is of any indication, he’s merely with the team to fill a roster spot while Wentz rehabs from injury.

No, if the Eagles are going to remain competitive over the long haul, and beat the odds to establish a new NFL dynasty in South Philly, they’re going to need to draft another seriously talented quarterback sooner rather than later.

And by sooner, I mean the 2019 NFL draft.

While on the surface this may seem like a crazy idea, as the Eagles already have a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz, who hasn’t even entered his prime yet, but double dipping on the game’s most important position is hardly unprecedented.

Outside of the most egregious example, the Washington Redskins selecting Kirk Cousins in the very same draft they picked presumed franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III second overall, there are plenty of examples of NFL teams drafting young quarterbacks with a franchise signal-caller already in place, like the Oakland Raiders decision to draft Connor Cook last year, or the Dallas Cowboys decision to select Mike White in the 2018 NFL draft.

It’s just smart drafting.

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In the NFL, having a solid backup quarterback is vital, and a major reason why players like Chase Daniel keep earning seven-figure salaries to barely play, but in a hard cap league like the NFL, where a team can’t simply go to the luxury tax, maintaining roster parody at every position becomes more and more crucial.

If a team can draft a young quarterback and utilize them as a primary backup for two-to-three seasons while locked into a very cap-friendly contract, typically no more than a few million dollars a year, it frees up room to invest in other areas of the team, ultimately improving the entire roster.

And if one of these backup quarterbacks can develop quicker than expected and show starting caliber traits, it also gives the team an opportunity to recoup even more assets in a trade.

Former Eagles head coach Andy Reid practically made drafting, developing and then trading quarterbacks a second career, as he flipped players like Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feeley, and Kelly Holcomb to quarterback-hungry teams for all sorts of assets, including former starting cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick.

Now say what you will about Rodgers-Cromartie, or how the Eagles could have instead landed Patrick Peterson had that the league not been in a lockout-shortened offseason (yes, really. More on that here), adding a starting-caliber cornerback with lockdown traits for a player who barely saw the field is a great way to build a team

A way that Reid’s protegé Peterson should consider implementing.

With plenty of young quarterbacks potentially available in the third-through-sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, my personal favorite being Washington‘s Jake Browning, if the Eagles are serious about building the roster for the long-term, and making the most of their current quarterback incubator, adding a young signal-caller to their QB room on a long-term, value conscious deal has to be a priority.

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While the Eagles may not find the next Dak Prescott stashed away in the fourth round, if the organization is able to find a player like Josh Dobbs or Jacoby Brissett, a solid, smart backup with starter traits, it’ll only make the team better down the line.