By Michael McCarthy
If history is any guide — and it usually is — moving up massively to target one player in the NFL draft is fraught with failure.
Do the names Ricky Williams and Robert Griffin III ring a bell?
The Eagles will make their first selection in May’s NFL draft at No. 20. While many believe the team will focus on getting a top pass rusher or potentially a cornerback with that first selection, there is growing belief that Philly is eyeing a quarterback.
The expiring contract of Nick Foles and the departure of Mark Sanchez opens the team up to a number of direction and Philly is exploring all of them.
Getting to the No. 1 spot so coach Chip Kelly can draft his former quarterback star, Marcus Mariota, will be difficult but not impossible.
Kelly is eyeing a big draft deal to acquire Mariota and might try and put together multiple trades in order to move up the board. One NFL executive suggests that the package would have to include multiple first-round picks and additional picks. The Eagles could toss in player like LeSean McCoy to lessen the burden, but ultimately it will not be cheap.
Bold moves like that have not paid off well in recent years. The Washington Redskins sold the farm to acquire RG3 and three years later they are considering releasing him. The New Orleans Saints did the same thing to get Ricky Williams and it ended up costing Mike Ditka his job. However, Kelly continues to refer to Mariota as the “most talented player I’ve ever coached” so clearly the head coach deems it worth it.
The Eagles are considering other options outside of Mariota. According to ESPN reporter Cecil Lammey, the Eagles are also interested Brett Hundley if they cannot move up to grab Mariota. Hundley is certainly not as good as the former Oregon standout. Out of UCLA, Hundley dropped off the map this season and is not playing in the Senior Bowl which could hurt his stock even more.
There is still the option of keeping Foles. The chances the Eagles and Foles get a contract extension done this offseason is slim. The two sides have not met in regards to his expiring deal, but it also would not hurt to keep the quarterback on for one more season. The trade market for Foles is likely slim. Interest in the quarterback would not come immediately if he was made available and might only get the Eagles a fourth-round pick at best. Foles is talented, but does not fit in Kelly’s offense which is hurting his future.