2012 NFL Draft: Will the Philadelphia Eagles Select a Quarterback?

Cody Swartz@cbswartz5Senior Writer IApril 16, 2012

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass against the Texas Longhorns in the second half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Reports have surfaced that the Philadelphia Eagles may be interested in trading up to the number four spot in the draft in order to select quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Other reports say the Eagles went after Peyton Manning several months ago. So will the Eagles draft a quarterback in a little over one week from now?

Michael Vick was signed to a six-year, $100 million extension after his phenomenal 2010 season but NFL contracts are in no way guaranteed.

Vick regressed mightily in 2011, struggling with injuries, fumbles, inconsistency, and all the drama that plagued the so-called Dream Team. Vick is set to make a base salary of $12.5 million in 2012 but the Eagles can part ways with their quarterback after the season at no cap penalty.

The Eagles can't possibly think Vick will play out all six seasons of his deal; after all, he is 31 years old and plays a physical style of football that leaves him extremely prone to injury. Vick missed three games in 2011 with a rib injury while also dealing with a concussion and right hand contusion. He also missed three games in 2010 with a rib injury.

In fact, Vick has played a full 16-game season just once since he was drafted first overall in 2001.

Reid was able to coax an MVP caliber season out of Vick in 2010 but that didn't carry over to '11 and it is pretty clear at this point that Vick will always be the same quarterback.

He struggles with accuracy, gets hurt too much, can be frighteningly inconsistent, and isn't even a top 10 quarterback in the league at this point. His production isn't worth his contract—especially if he can only stay healthy for 12 games per season—and Reid has to be eyeing the quarterbacks in this upcoming draft.

Tannehill could conceivably slip to the Eagles at number 15 but Reid will likely have to trade up to draft the Texas A&M signal caller. Tannehill is a project and he probably would be best off sitting for at least two seasons behind Vick but he would join a team that is stock full of playmakers like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, and LeSean McCoy (assuming he gets re-signed).

Other options include Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, Kirk Cousins of Michigan State, and Brock Osweiler of Arizona State.

Weeden is by far the most talented of the bunch but at 29 years old in October, he's really not much younger than Vick. Maybe Weeden will be able to play way past his prime considering he spent what should have been the bulk of his NFL career trying to make a major league baseball team as a pitcher. There's upside here—but it comes with a risk.

He would almost definitely sit for 2012 behind Vick—barring another injury to No. 7—meaning that if the team decides to go with Weeden heading into 2013, he will be nearly 30 years old. That's older than Aaron Rodgers and I can't imagine the Eagles fanbase being too thrilled to have a first-year starting franchise QB on the wrong side of 30.

Weeden is said to be a big-time quarterback with a strong arm. But his age may be just too much of a red flag, especially since the last quarterback to come out of the draft at Weeden's age (Chris Weinke) failed miserably.

Cousins was initially seen as a mid round pick in the draft but he could go as high as the second round. Quarterbacks almost always rise on draft day, and Cousins is said to be extremely intelligent and more than capable of directing an NFL offense.

Reid loves smart quarterbacks. After all, Mike Kafka is a mastermind at the quarterback position despite he lacking the physical skills of an NFL starter. Cousins is a three-time captain who is accurate and smart with the ball, but he may never be more than a game manager simply because he has an extremely mediocre arm, a small build, and questionable footwork.

Reid already tried taking with a quarterback like Cousins in Kafka, so I don't think he'll go to Philadelphia.

Brock Osweiler of Arizona State could be a project as a second round pick, but he’s nearly 6’8” and history shows quarterbacks of that height typically don’t play well. He’s got a cannon of an arm though, and although he lacks the ideal accuracy and experience, he may be a player Reid will want to grab with his second pick in the second round.

Reid likes picking quarterbacks to groom. He did so with Kevin Kolb, and although Kolb didn’t pan out, he was able to ship him to Arizona for a second round pick and a Pro Bowl cornerback. Personally, I think Reid will prefer to go after Cousins or Osweiler followed by Tannehill or Weeden.

But when it comes down to it, I do not see Reid picking a quarterback in the draft. At least not this year.