Eagles' Nick Foles will have to beat odds to become top quarterback
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) is chased and sacked by Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) during the second half at FedEx Field in Landover, MD, Sunday, November 18, 2012. Washington defeated Philadelphia 31-6. (Harry E. Walker/MCT)
Nick Foles focused on the television screen during April’s NFL draft before the power went out in his Austin, Texas, home in the middle of the third round.
Darkness enshrouded Foles. He was still undrafted.
Ten minutes later, Foles saw a 215 area code flash on his cellphone. He knew enough about the Eagles’ interest to recognize the origin of the call. That’s how Foles learned he would become Philadelphia’s potential quarterback of the future.
The Eagles were determined to pick a quarterback from a draft class that might prove to be one of the ripest in years. Their evaluations included meeting with Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins selection who started against the Eagles on Sunday.
Foles replaced Michael Vick and became the sixth quarterback from the 2012 class to start a regular-season game in a 31-6 Eagles loss. It’s the culmination of a rigorous evaluation process that ultimately landed Foles in Philadelphia.
“We liked him, so as we ranked him, we made him one of the guys that if we had an opportunity, we’d draft,” coach Andy Reid said.
“He fell to where we drafted, and it worked out like it did.”
But the draft is never that simple. The six quarterbacks selected before Foles (the No. 88 overall pick) were Andrew Luck (No. 1, Colts), Griffin (No. 2), Ryan Tannehill (No. 8, Dolphins), Brandon Weeden (No. 22, Browns), Brock Osweiler (No. 57, Broncos), and Russell Wilson (No. 75, Seahawks). The Eagles expressed interest in Griffin, but did not have enough ammunition to trade up for him. They worked out Tanne hill but had other needs in the first round.
The Eagles focused on Foles and Wilson. The draft room was unanimous in liking Foles, although Reid preferred Wilson, according to team sources. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg favored size and wanted Foles, team sources said. The comparison became moot when Wilson was taken 13 picks before Foles, and the Eagles were pleased to draft Foles as the highest quarterback selected besides Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb in the Reid era.