Eagles meet with Syracuse's Ryan Nassib and other Senior Bowl quarterbacks
MOBILE, Ala. - Ryan Nassib, an Eagles season-ticket holder, met with his hometown team, and the Syracuse quarterback had the expected reaction.
"That was cool as hell," Nassib said Tuesday in between practices for the Senior Bowl.
Nassib, who grew up in West Chester and attended Malvern Prep, met with coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman for a brief interview on Monday night. He wasn't the only one of six Senior Bowl quarterbacks to sit down with the Eagles, and the Eagles weren't the only team to meet with the 22-year-old.
So little should be taken from their meeting. But it is no secret that the Eagles will likely be in search of a quarterback this offseason. They could find their man in various ways, but the draft is an obvious route.
While the consensus is that this draft does not have a a franchise-type quarterback, it does have a number of intriguing prospects. The two best - at least according to early evaluations - are not in Mobile. West Virginia's Geno Smith and Southern Cal's Matt Barkley backed out of the Senior Bowl.
But Nassib heads a multi-skilled group. Tyler Wilson of Arkansas has shown the most consistency in practices. Landry Jones of Oklahoma ran a spread, no-huddle offense that was similar to the one Kelly used at Oregon. The 6-foot-7 Mike Glennon of North Carolina State has displayed the most downfield arm strength.
Florida State's E.J. Manuel, a dual-threat quarterback, said that Kelly recruited him out of high school. Zac Dysert of Miami of Ohio, probably struggled the most with his throws through two days.
And then there's Nassib, who may have helped his stock this week and could sneak into the first round.
"The way I look at it, it's a wide-open derby because of the need at that position," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "By the end of the day, there's still going to be three or four first-round quarterbacks."
The Eagles have the fourth pick overall. That doesn't necessarily mean they'll pick there. They could trade down if they target Smith, Barkley, Nassib, or another quarterback. But the team still has decisions to make at the position.
Michael Vick is due to receive a $3 million bonus Feb. 6. Many expect the Eagles to release him before that date. Roseman met with Vick's agent, Joel Segal, after the morning practice, but although the lines of communication are open, the Eagles are still waiting on Kelly.
"He hasn't had a chance to watch the tape," Roseman said. "He does have very good impressions of the people on our roster. . . . I think for him, he just wants to get behind closed doors, lock himself in, watch the tape, come out and [say], 'Let's have a discussion.' "
The great unknown with Kelly is how much of the spread offense he used at Oregon he will use with the Eagles. That will dictate how he approaches the quarterback position. Kelly has said he is fond of Nick Foles, but Foles is not going to operate the read option.
However, the Eagles' second-year quarterback could just as easily run a no-huddle, spread offense from the shotgun, if Kelly decides Foles is his man. But it seems likely that Kelly will add another piece to compete with Foles, and that piece is likely to come via the draft.
"I'm not a guy that can say, 'Hey, we've got to do this every year,' " Kelly said. "If there's no one there and there's value to take a defensive back, I don't think you should reach just for the sake of saying, 'I want to keep my record intact of taking a quarterback every year.'"
Nassib (6-2, 228 pounds) ran the West Coast offense at Syracuse. Nassib said that he could run Kelly's Oregon offense.
"I've seen a couple of his games," Nassib said. "They score fast and often."
Mayock compared Nassib to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton or Washington backup Kirk Cousins, who was drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round after they took Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick last year.
"Nassib can make the throws," Mayock said. "This can be a really good week for him because of his intelligence. He understands football. He gets it."
Contact Jeff McLane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.