Eagles Have Plenty of QB Options In Draft Not Named Johnny Manziel

ManzielThe Eagles met with Johnny Manziel at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis over the weekend, but the team has plenty of other options at quarterback in the draft. 

Across the Delaware Valley there wasn't a more interesting piece of news that emerged from the NFL's scouting combine in Indianapolis than the fact that the Eagles sat down with Texas A&M quarterback and Hesiman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel

While the hype machine has been working overdrive around Manziel, the simple fact is that he is a gamble at the NFL level and there are better fits for what Chip Kelly and the second-rated offense in the league last season are trying to accomplish than Johnny Football. 

Not to mention, general manager Howie Roseman gave a ringing endorsement last week that Nick Foles is the starting quarterback on this team. With that said though, this is a team that will look to add a backup quarterback and could do so in the draft. 

Let's assume for a moment that the Eagles are intent on selecting a quarterback in the draft, their choice to sit down with Manziel is a puzzling one. He measured in at under six-feet tall at the combine and his game is biult around elusiveness both in and out of the pocket. 

While he was a highlight reel at the college level, it's difficult to imagine him lasting against bigger, faster defenders in the NFL. 

Manziel simply doesn't have the arm strength of a Michael Vick or the pocket presence of a Ben Roethlisberger in a way that Tim Tebow didn't have the throwing motion to make him a viable NFL quarterback. 

He may very well go on to be a servicable quarterback in thsi league, but there is far too much risk to make him a sound investment of a first or second-round draft choice. Not to mention as Foles illustrated in 2013, Kelly's offense thrives behind a quarterback who makes sound, quick decisions in the pocket and allows the playmakers around him to do the work. 

With that in mind, here is a look at some of the quarterbacks the Eagles could target in May's NFL draft that won't cost a first-round pick and have far less risk associated with them than Manziel. 

Brett Smith – Wyoming

Smith stands at 6-3, 206 pounds and his game is very similar to Foles in that he has a solid pocket presence and gets rid of the football quickly while making sound decisions. 

As a junior, Smith finished with 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions while completing 63 percent of his passes for 3,375 yards and adding 573 rushing yards and four touchdowns. 

He won't turn many heads as far as his athleticism but he could be more mobile than Foles and is a polished, pure pocket passer. 

Logan Thomas – Virginia Tech 

At 6-5, 250 pounds, Thomas is a tall, lanky and freakishly athletic quarterback who has the kind of prowess to pick a defense apart from the pocket but the speed and agility to bust out a 25 yard run if necessary. 

In 2013, Thomas completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,907 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He ran for 344 yards with four touchdowns, too. 

Thomas still has areas of his game to improve, but he made significant strides from 2012 to 2013 and could be the type of prospect who develops and thrives under Kelly, specifically in a backup role early on in his career. 

Stephen Morris – Miami

Morris completed 58 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,028 yards with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. 

He struggled at the Senior Bowl, but at 6'1, 208 he showed a good arm and adequate mobility during his collegiate career and has the kind of skill set that easily could transfer from college to the Pro's. 

There seems to be little known about why exactly Kelly and company met with Manziel over the weekend because there remains the chance that he slides to them at 22, or even out of the first round – Ron Jaworksi said Tuesday that he wouldn't use a pick in the first three rounds on him- but one thing is clear, that a backup quarterback is 0n the organization's wishlist. 

Matt Lombardo is the Editor-In-Chief of Eagledelphia and also an on-air personality on 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia. Join the conversation and follow Matt on Twitter.
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