By Peter Gleason
Since woeful Eagles top dog Howie Boy Roseman is maneuvering to move on from quarterback Sam Bradford, let’s see who’s available to the Eagles at No. 13 in April’s draft:
Christian Hackenberg Penn State
CBSSports.com projects Hackenberg to be drafted in the second or third round, so he could be available for the Eagles.
At 6 feet, 4 inches and 236 pounds, the former Nittany Lion sports the look of a pro quarterback, but his often shaky play at PSU raised some questions about his feel for the game. Though CBSSports.com’s scouting report praised Hackenberg’s arm strength and footwork, the site suggested he looked like a “deer in headlights” when blitzed.
The underlying question for the Eagles or any team interested in Hackenberg is this: Were his struggles in State College a result of poor offensive line play and deficiencies elsewhere or did they come about because he isn’t comfortable in the pocket?
Hackenberg, a three-year starter at PSU, was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2013.
Dak Prescott Mississippi State
New Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was Michael Vick’s quarterbacks coach for a few years in Philly, and if he liked working with the NFL’s prototypically mobile signal-caller, perhaps he’ll want to take a chance on Prescott.
Though he began his Bulldogs career as a change-of-pace quarterback behind pocket passer Tyler Russell, Prescott developed into a legitimate NFL prospect when handed full reins of the offense.
He’s the most intriguing dual-threat prospect in the draft, and CBSSports.com projects that he’ll go in the third of fourth round.
Cardale Jones Ohio State
Jones was the hot name after leading the Buckeyes to a National Championship in January 2015, but he failed to build on his progress this past season.
A mobile, 250-pound gunslinger, Jones has the frame and athleticism that leave NFL scouts drooling. The reason he’s projected as a fourth- or fifth-round pick is that he struggled to prove he could make consistently appropriate decisions with the football.
But in Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich, the Eagles have two offensive mentors that played quarterback in the NFL. And there’s few projects they could take on with more of an upside than Jones.
Jake Coker Alabama
Coker led the Crimson Tide to a national championship last month, but he lost competitions for the starting job at both Florida State and Alabama before finding glory.
Projected as a fifth-round pick, the general consensus on Coker is summed up neatly in one-line phrase of CBSSports.com’s scouting report: “Good, but not great.”