In four to five years, the Eagles are going to need a well primed quarterback to be waiting in the wings. 2010 or 2011 may be the year to prepare by the draft.
Kevin Kolb has a good look about him under center and has also shown nice game-time execution. Along with his display of potential, Kolb has left an unsettling feeling with most observers by his cruelly highlighted performance against the Ravens.
He's fighting the "spread offense conversion to pro-style" label. He's fighting the University of Houston quarterback draft bust history label. He's fighting time as McNabb's career with the Eagles looks to be extended.
Kolb has looked good in preseason, but really hasn't looked like a franchise quarterback yet. That's not to say that he can't be—Kolb just needs more refinement through game-time experience.
The big problem is that Kolb may get a chance to compete for starting job with another franchise before the Eagles are ready for him. If the timing is right, Kolb may very well make the move.
The 2010 draft may be a good opportunity to sure up a competitive environment at reserve and future quarterback. There will be several good looking rookies who should be draft eligible.
Drafting a big name quarterback in 2010 is a bit squanderous and not likely, as the draftee would have to expect to sit for three to five seasons.
Nonetheless, the 2010 crop of quarterbacks run deep, and there will be a quality player available even in the second round.
Sam Bradford, Jevan Snead, and Tim Tebow will likely all be selected before the Eagles 2010 pick unless they trade up, which is unlikely.
Tebow could slip into the late first or second round and he would be a tempting pick if he had a more traditional NFL quarterback game.
If Tebow were available, I think Reid might not take him—waiting for the second round to get a quarterback. Tebow has been a great college quarterback, but the doubt regarding his conversion to a pro style NFL quarterback makes him a risky pick in the first round.
I would rather see the Eagles select Colt McCoy (6'3", 210 lbs) of Texas or Pat Devlin (6'4", 220 lbs) from Delaware (Transfer from Penn State). It is reasonable to assume that the Eagles will get an opportunity for either of these guys. They would be small projects that might not take poorly to the old pines for a few years.
There are many more unmentioned collegiate quarterbacks returning to school in 2009. Expect plenty of surprises as these players move up and down the scout rankings.
The 2011 quarterback draft prospects are far too difficult to predict at this time, but the odds of having a quarterback that has the look of a Pat Devlin or Colt McCoy in the second round might be a stretch.
As far as free agency around 2013 or 2014 goes, who knows?
The Eagles are very lucky to have McNabb. He looks like he could play for another six or seven more years though he probably will not.
All things considered, it seems like the 2010 draft would be a good way to hedge the Eagles longer term bet at quarterback.