Commentary from Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly has lead to some serious speculation in regards to what the team might be willing to do in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
According to an AFC Scout, Kelly is willing to mortgage the organization’s future in order to land Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota:
All these teams high in the draft are all going to see the same things on tape with Mariota, and I'll bet he starts to fall on draft day. Once that happens, (Philadelphia Eagles coach) Chip (Kelly) will mortgage the future to go get him. If he misses on him, (Kelly) can just bolt back to college.
In order to do that, the Eagles - who are currently slated to select 20th overall - will need to trade up, as, barring the unforeseen, it’s inconceivable the top QB in the draft falls into the bottom half of the first round.
It also means they’ll need to move a few players on their current depth chart in order to make room for their future franchise signal caller.
According to this report from NJ.com, an anonymous source believes the St. Louis Rams are one of several teams who’ve shown interest in trading for Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles:
According to a person familiar with the situation, but who requested anonymity, the St. Louis Rams have interest in Foles should the Eagles decide to trade him this offseason.
This, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt, as it’s unknown whether this insider information is coming from Adam Schefter or Adam Sandler.
And if the Rams are indeed interested in trading for Foles, because they don’t see a top QB like Mariota or Jameis Winston falling to 10 [when they’re on the clock], how would the trade impact their ability to fill other holes on their roster? As it stands, the Rams only have five picks in the upcoming draft: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.
Why it makes sense
As for Foles, he regressed last season after gaining some name notoriety in his sophomore year in the NFL. He missed the final eight games of the 2014 season after suffering a shoulder injury, and finished the campaign with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Mark Sanchez took over, and impressed many, from there.
More QB Reads
In the 13 games he started in 2013, Foles passed for 2,891 yards, 27 touchdowns, and only 2 interceptions. He finished that season with a 119.3 QB rating.
While it seems clear what Chip Kelly thinks of - and is willing to do to land - Marcus Mariota, his feelings on Nick Foles appear to be a bit mirkier. If this person of anonymity is correct about the Rams’ interest in trading for the Eagles’ QB, the intentions of Jeff Fisher may become a bit more evident over the next few months.
Fisher has gone as far to say that Sam Bradford will have some competition for the starting gig in 2015 "with somebody that is not in the building right now." That could be a draft pick. It, apparently, could be a quarterback acquired via trade.
Why it doesn't
As aforementioned, the Rams would probably be giving up quite a bit [certainly not "mortgaging"] in order to land Foles. Draft picks are sparse for the Rams, and they’ll need the few they have in order to address a number of potential vacancies on their roster; namely a few along the offensive line. It was no secret last season, as injuries piled up along the Eagles’ offensive front, that it took it’s toll on Foles and his ability to effectively lead that offense. That’s nothing new for the Rams, and therefore coughing up a draft pick that could’ve been utilized on an offensive guard, center, or tackle seems...well...unwise.
Chip Kelly is a pretty sly fella, and it sounds as though he was trying to establish some trade value for Foles while at the Senior Bowl. Whether it’s Mariota he’s eyeing, or UCLA QB Brett Hundley - who he’s also rumored to be high on - it appears Kelly wants to go a different direction at QB in 2015.
As far as Foles to the Rams...I’ll take the under on the anonymous source. While I don’t doubt the Rams would show interest, I think Foles would garner attention from several other teams if he hits the trade market. I’m just not certain the Rams have enough firepower to win in this trade situation against other QB-hungry teams.