The Philadelphia Eagles have stockpiled more than enough quarterbacks in the last month. However, the Eagles still can’t be completely confident in all of them, especially for their long-term future. As such, Philadelphia raised a few eyebrows when it arranged a private workout for top quarterback draft prospect Geno Smith on March 11.
According to NBC Sports, Smith worked out in Morgantown, West Virginia for Eagles’ owner, general manager and coach Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly. With Smith expected to be the first quarterback chosen in next month’s NFL draft and with the Eagles picking fourth, the implications are obvious.
However, just because Smith is the top rookie quarterback available doesn’t mean he should go as high as fourth. There is a weak crop of college quarterbacks this year, with no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III leading the way and no diamond in the rough like Russell Wilson visible yet. Smith himself started his last year in West Virginia as a Heisman frontrunner before he and the Mountaineers fell down to earth.
Despite how young, mobile quarterbacks like Wilson, Griffin and Colin Kaepernick took off last season, Smith might be too questionable to go as high as the No. 4 pick. In any case, the Eagles made their clear choice at quarterback for 2013 when they kept Michael Vick instead of cutting him as expected. For that matter, they still have Nick Foles and Trent Edwards to back him up along with newcomers Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne.
Adding a sixth man to that mob would be overkill for Philadelphia, even if Smith does fit the prospective mold of a Kelly quarterback. That is why Vick was allowed to stay and why former Oregon signal caller Dixon was acquired to back him up. However, neither Vick nor Dixon appear to be the long-term answer for the Eagles, although a case could be made that Smith might be.
If there was a stronger draft crop, there’d be no question over the Eagles using such a high pick on a quarterback of the future. But the Smith question will plague the Eagles, along with most other teams holding a top 10 pick, until draft night on April 25.