Draft a QB? Eagles still aren't done evaluating arms

Draft a QB? Eagles still aren't done evaluating arms
March 13, 2013, 4:30 pm
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The Eagles filled some holes Tuesday during an evening spending spree that netted five free agents, but questions remain about one position that seems unsettled.

Even with five quarterbacks on the roster, including assumed starter Michael Vick, new coach Chip Kelly didn’t shoot down the theory of adding another arm into the mix in next month’s draft.

“You know, I don't know,” he said. “I know the one thing about it, as I've been here since Jan. 16, is that we're going to look at everybody and anybody that can help us win football games. If it takes us getting on a plane to go watch a guy work out or bring someone in, they're not going to be the last two guys that we go out of here to go see or bring in here to see.”

Along with scouring the free-agent market the Eagles were busy this week examining draft prospects, including two quarterbacks.

University of Arizona signal caller Matt Scott, a high-rising talent with plus mobility, came to the NovaCare Complex on Monday for an interview. Later that day, a collection of team brass that included owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and Kelly traveled to Morgantown, W. Va., for a private workout with Geno Smith, a one-time Heisman candidate who is considered the top arm in the draft class.

The interest in quarterbacks has been construed from different circles as either genuine interest or driving the trade market for the team’s fourth overall pick.

“Just because it's quarterbacks, I think people get enamored with that,” Kelly said. “I don't know if it's because of what we do offensively or because we've signed a couple guys. But our job is to win on Sundays, and we're going to look at anybody and everybody to see if we can win games. Does that mean we're going to draft a quarterback in the draft? I don't know.”

Lurie’s presence at the private workout -- believed to be rare, if not a first time -- added more intrigue to the speculation that the Eagles are either very interested in drafting Smith or creating that perception to land a bigger haul in a trade.

Roseman was asked if Lurie is commonly present at private workouts for college prospects.

“You know, I don’t know that we want to get into specifics of who’s coming with the trip,” he said. “For us, we’re going to see a lot of people here in the next few weeks. We’re going to try to make sure we get as much information as possible to make the No. 4 pick in the draft the right one for the Philadelphia Eagles.”

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Smith completed 71 percent of his passes at West Virginia this past season and threw 42 touchdowns to six interceptions. Draft analysts have knocked his precision and accuracy, especially under pressure, and questioned his value as a top-10 pick.

Smith started the season with 24 touchdown passes and no interceptions but quickly fell out of the Heisman race when West Virginia dropped five straight games.

Asked what he took from the private workout, Roseman not surprisingly dodged the question.

“I think at this point in the draft process as much information as we can keep internally, that’s kind of where we’re at at this point,” he said. “Obviously, he’s an impressive guy.”

The Eagles filled some holes Tuesday during an evening spending spree that netted five free agents but questions remain about one position that seems unsettled.

Even with five quarterbacks on the roster, including assumed starter Michael Vick, new coach Chip Kelly didn’t shoot down the theory of adding another arm into the mix in next month’s draft.

You know, I don't know,” he said. “I know the one thing about it, as I've been here since Jan. 16, is that we're going to look at everybody and anybody that can help us win football games. If it takes us getting on a plane to go watch a guy work out or bring someone in, they're not going to be the last two guys that we go out of here to go see or bring in here to see.”

Along with scouring the free-agent market the Eagles were busy this week examining draft prospects, including two quarterbacks.

University of Arizona signal caller Matt Scott, a high-rising talent with plus mobility, came to the Novacare Complex on Monday for an interview. Later that day, a collection of team brass that included owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and Kelly traveled to Morgantown, Va., for a private workout with Geno Smith, a one-time Heisman candidate who is considered the top arm in the draft class.

The interest in quarterbacks has been construed from different circles as either genuine interest or driving the trade market for the team’s fourth overall pick.


“Just because it's quarterbacks, I think people get enamored with that,” Kelly said. “ I don't know if it's because of what we do offensively or because we've signed a couple guys.  But our job is to win on Sundays, and we're going to look at anybody and everybody to see if we can win games.  Does that mean we're going to draft a quarterback in the draft?  I don't know.”

Lurie’s presence at the private workout -- believed to be rare, if not a first time -- added more intrigue to the speculation that the Eagles are either very interested in drafting Smith or creating that perception to land a bigger haul in a trade.

Roseman was asked if the Lurie is commonly present at private workouts for college prospects.

You know, I don’t know that we want to get into specifics of who’s coming with the trip,” he said. “For us, we’re going to see a lot of people here in the next few weeks. We’re going to try to make sure we get as much information as possible to make the No. 4 pick in the draft the right one for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Smith completed 71 percent of his passes at West Virginia this past season and threw 42 touchdowns to six interceptions. Draft analyst have knocked his precision and accuracy, especially under pressure, and questioned his valie as a top-10 pick.

Smith started the season with 24 touchdown passes and no interceptions but quickly fell out of the Heisman race when West Virginia dropped five straight games.

Asked what he took from the private workout, Roseman not surprisingly dodged the question.

“I think at this point in the draft process as much information as we can keep internally that’s kind of where we’re at at this point,” he said. “Obviously, he’s an impressive guy.”

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