Philadelphia Eagles: Trace McSorley is a perfect Mayfield-esque project

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

With Nick Foles set to test the open market, the Philadelphia Eagles should look to another PA favorite to fill his spot: Penn State QB Trace McSorley.

In a game filled with potential NFL players, scouts, fans, and coaches from around the country eagerly tuned in to watch the Penn State Nittany Lions face off against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium in the most attended White Out game of all time.

With a score of potential future Philadelphia Eagles filling up the field, one unlikely player that should seriously be on the team’s radar has to be Trace McSorley.

Wait, what? A quarterback? Totally.

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As many fans already know, this very well could be Nick Foles‘ final season as an Eagle, and the team will eventually need to find a replacement who can not only fill his incredibly large shoes but also has a skill set that more closely matches that of current franchise face Carson Wentz.

While Foles has done a great job as a reliever, Doug Pederson deserves a ton of credit for his willingness and ability to essentially create a second version of the team’s playbook to highlight either player’s strengths and mitigate their deficiencies.

That is hardly an ideal situation.

So, when Foles does eventually leave the team, either through free agency or retirement, the Birds have to eventually find another signal caller to join Wentz and Nate Sudfeld in their QBs room.

Trace McSorley could be a perfect fit in Philly.

Though he’s hardly a prototypical pocket passer, standing a very slight 6-foot-0, 208 pounds, McSorley has proven over the last three seasons that he’s the textbook definition of a winner, going 22-5 as a starter including only one loss at home.

However, that one loss, yesterday’s White Out, certainly shouldn’t have been.

Fighting tooth and nail with the Buckeyes for the entire evening, McSorley had his team within one point of a surprise, come from behind victory over a top-five opponent, only to have his head coach, James Franklin, inexplicably throw it all away with an absolutely unconscionable play-calling decision on fourth-and-five.

As controversial as it may be to say, McSorley was the best pound-for-pound player on the field.

When it’s all said and done, it’s clear that McSorley will finish out his career as the most decorated signal caller in Penn State history, but that’ll hardly translate into draft capital.

Considered a ‘college quarterback’ by many scouts, it seems almost impossible for McSorley to receive a draft grade in the first, second, or even third round, but on Day 3, Trace could provide serious value to a team interested in a unique project.

As we all know, Philly has one of the most quarterback-friendly systems in the entire league.

Sure, their initial quarterback incubator that transformed Wentz from a North Dakota project into an MVP candidate may be gone, with Frank Reich now in Indianapolis, and John DeFilippo in Minnesota, but Pederson and company could surely still work wonders on a young winner like McSorley, and craft innovative plays to highlight his unique skill set.

I mean, it has worked for the Browns up in Cleveland.

With many pundits questioning John Dorsey‘s decision to select Baker Mayfield first overall over players like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen, the diminutive Heisman winner has brought his winning tradition to a fanbase desperate to watch competitive football.

Mayfield has brought hope back to Believeland.

Now don’t get me wrong, McSorley is hardly the player that Mayfield was coming out of college, and likely has a much lower ceiling than his fellow Mighty Mouse compatriot, but the pair do share one trait that’s essential to success in the NFL: an unbreakable will to win.

In a scheme like Pederson’s, McSorley could shine as a grizzled reserve, capable of winning games when called upon. With a commanding presence and vast experience running a shotgun heavy, RPO-laced offense, Trace could serve as a wonderful understudy for Wentz, and provide yet another offensive mind in the team’s meeting room.

Who knows, if he runs a fast enough 40, maybe Philly could put both McSorley and Wentz on the field at the same time, a la Lamar Jackson, and run a freaky wild amalgamation of the Philly Speical.

Philly Philly.

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So, as Philadelphia continues to push towards another postseason bout in 2018, definitely keep an eye on Happy Vally down the stretch, as we could be watching the final college games of the Eagles’ next break backup quarterback. Though he’s far from prototypical, Trace McSorley could be an absolute steal for a Day 3 draft pick.