Eagles brass in Morgantown to workout West Virginia QB Geno Smith
An Eagles contingent that included owner Jeffrey Lurie traveled to Morgantown on Monday to work out West Virginia's Geno Smith, considered by many to be the top quarterback prospect in this year's draft.
The Eagles officially confirmed the visit, first reported by ProFootballTalk.com. That prompted speculation that they aren't really interested in selecting Smith with their first-round pick.
More than likely, the Eagles were doing their due diligence on a top-rated quarterback that should be available when they pick at No. 4. Many draft analysts don't consider Smith a top 10 talent, but quarterbacks tend to go earlier than projected.
If the Eagles appear as if they intend to take Smith, it could prompt quarterback-desperate teams such as the Cardinals or Browns to trade for one of the first three picks. The Birds then would be free to take a player of their choosing.
There's always the chance Chip Kelly sees Smith as his quarterback of the future. The new Eagles coach and general manager Howie Roseman also made the trek to scout Smith.
The 6-foot-2, 218-pound quarterback put up impressive passing numbers at West Virginia. Smith, committed to becoming a pocket passer in college, has said he did not want to be pegged as a running quarterback, despite his athletic skills.
He proved at the NFL combine last month that he had the speed to run an offense that utilizes the read option when he darted 40 yards in 4.59 seconds. Kelly is expected to employ a system that involves a running quarterback.
Michael Vick is the most likely candidate to be that quarterback. The Eagles reworked his contract last month, but the length of the deal is for only one season. Nick Foles, at the moment, is still on the roster, but some question how he may fit into Kelly's hurry-up spread offense.
The Eagles, because they have a plethora of holes to fill, may be better positioned to take a quarterback after the first round. Florida State's E.J. Manuel has been mentioned as a possibility, although some believe he could sneak into the first round.
Matt Scott of Arizona is an intriguing prospect. He ran an offense that had elements of Kelly's Oregon system. He is slated to work out for the Eagles in Philadelphia sometime this week.
Contact Jeff McLane at email@example.com or on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.