If Michael Vick Fails, Which QBs Would Fit in Chip Kelly's Offense Next Year?
Michael Vick was fantastic in Chip Kelly's offense in Week 1 and Week 2, but Week 3's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs gave some a reason to at least start thinking about the future at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Going into the Thursday night contest, Vick was completing 62 percent of his passes and averaging nearly 316 yards passing per game. He also hadn't thrown an interception.
However, the tides turned against Andy Reid's new club.
Vick completed 43.3 percent of his throws for 201 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He did add 95 yards on the ground, but his past coverage-reading and inaccuracy troubles resurfaced.
It's very early, and things could improve, but let's take a look at the quarterbacks who'd be perfect fits in Kelly's offense in 2014 if Vick needs to be replaced.
Marcus Mariota would be the ideal fit for Chip Kelly's offense in Philadelphia.
Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon, and the 6'3", 215-pound quarterback has flourished in Eugene for the Ducks. He's shown a nice blend of passing ability, athleticism and open-field speed that has kept his team as one of the most efficient offenses in the nation, despite Kelly now being in the NFL.
Mariota completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 2,677 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions as a redshirt freshman in 2012. He also ran 106 times for 752 yards and added five more scores on the ground. This season, his completion percentage is down to 59.8 percent, but he's thrown seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
As a runner, Mariota's accumulated 262 yards on only 15 carries.
If Kelly wants someone to lead his offense in 2014, it's Marcus Mariota.
Another dual-threat quarterback who has proven to be a refined passer in college is Clemson's Tajh Boyd. He likely would have been picked in the first two rounds had he entered the 2013 draft, but instead, he decided to return to Death Valley for his senior season.
Boyd's passing statistics have improved across the board during his career with the Tigers, and his performance in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against a stout LSU defense won't soon be forgotten. He went 36-of-50 for 346 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also scored a rushing touchdown in the 25-24 win.
Though Boyd is only 6'1", he's a deceptive athlete with plenty of read-option and pistol experience.
In three games to start the 2013 campaign, he's completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 683 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions.
The following excerpt was pulled from a recent column written by MMBQ's Greg Bedard on the NFL prospects of the polarizing Johnny Manziel:
To thrive in the NFL, Manziel is going to have to land with a team that rates athletic ability highly among the traits it desires in a quarterback. It just so happens that two coaches who prefer that style of play, the Eagles’ Chip Kelly and the 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh, have intimate knowledge of Manziel. Both offered him scholarships out of high school, to Oregon and Stanford, respectively.
Regardless of his off-field antics, Manziel has legitimate pro potential. He's currently the nation's premier improviser at quarterback and is much faster and more elusive than he looks.
In his Heisman-winning campaign of 2012, Manziel completed 68 percent of his passes 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for 1,410 with 21 rushing scores.
While he comes with baggage, Manziel would be an exquisite quarterback to run Kelly's offense.
UCLA's Brett Hundley is flying under the radar compared to his high-octane redshirt sophomore quarterback counterparts.
At 6'3" and nearly 230 pounds, he has desired size to play the position in the NFL. He is not limited whatsoever in terms of arm strength and is a gifted runner.
Hundley won't outrun defensive backs down the field for many 80-yard touchdowns, but he certainly moves well when he leaves the pocket. As a freshman in SoCal, he completed 66.5 percent of his throws for 3,740 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also scored nine rushing touchdowns.
While Hundley is not especially polished as a passer, he has a tremendous amount of upside.
Braxton Miller is the dark horse to be courted by Kelly in the 2014 draft. An explosive athlete who can score from anywhere on the field, the Ohio State quarterback has slowly but surely exhibited signs of improvement as a passer.
He saw time as a true freshman in 2011 but completed only 54.1 percent of his throws. Last year, as the full-time starter for the Buckeyes, Miller completed 58.3 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 1,271 yards on 227 carries.
He's currently injured, but if he continues to show development in his game, there's a chance the Eagles will give him a long look this offseason.