Over the next four weeks, FishDuck.com Feature Writer Caleb Couturie will be analyzing the 25 teams in the NFL Draft that may look to select Marcus Mariota.
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No. 18: The Philadelphia Eagles
PHI’s Draft Pick: Twentieth
PHI’s 2015 Cap Space: $18,504,544
PHI’s Top Needs: DB, LB, QB
Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. You get the point. Chip Kelly reunited with his prodigy! This is the dream for Duck fans everywhere, and there is no better scheme that Marcus Mariota would fit in other than that of the one designed to let him thrive. Philly is loaded with weapons and next year should be in prime position to take over the NFC East. It’s no secret that Kelly isn’t all that keen on Nick Foles, and Mark Sanchez will forever be the man who butt fumbled. The Eagles are young, too, and with Kelly calling the shots with Mariota under center (again), DCs around the NFL would shake in their boots. Most importantly, it’s the end of Nick Foles rookie contract, and a new deal with likely take a massive chunk of Philadelphia’s current Cap Space.
HOW IT CAN HAPPEN:
Philly trades either LeSean McCoy/Jeremy Maclin, Foles, 2015 first and fourth-round picks to the Buccaneers in exchange for 2015 No. 1 pick. I mean, come on! This is the dream! Maclin is a free agent after the 2015 season and Philly would most likely have to franchise him if they wanted to keep him. Although Maclin is excellent, Jordan Matthews quickly emerged as a future star for the Eagles and they have enough depth at the position to survive losing him. As for McCoy, he’s talented there’s no doubt about that, but Kelly knows that there are plenty of versatile RBs that could fit in his scheme and the Eagles could certainly survive losing McCoy.
Also, since it’s well known Kelly isn’t in love with Foles it’s a win-win for both he and the Buccaneers. The Bucs get an already proven QB who can lead a team to the playoffs, and Kelly gets to work with Mariota. Now although it seems like Philly is giving up a lot, Kelly has seen what Mariota can do first hand and he knows what he’s worth. Again, losing Maclin or McCoy would be hard, but with Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles all proving their value to the offense, the Eagles would be just fine. If they were still concerned they could use their second round pick on a receiver such as Sammie Coates from Auburn or RB Jay Ajayi from BSU who could fall to them.
If for some reason Tampa Bay is set on the number one pick, it will be because they want Jameis Winston. If this is the case, even better for the Eagles, who could keep both McCoy and Mcalin, while letting Foles, the first round pick, and a mid-round pick next year go to Tennessee. The Eagles don’t sacrifice as much, and even though they lose a few picks, they gain by not having to resign Foles to a long term deal, thus giving them additional cap space to work with in the free agent market.
HOW MARIOTA WOULD DO IN PHI:
Freaking fantastic. Kelly calling the shots and a chance to reunite with one of his favorite all-time targets Josh Huff. If you’re Mariota you’d be drooling at the opportunity to go to Philly. This is also realistically the best (in terms of Super Bowl ready) team he could end up on.
Oh, and if we really want to have fun with this hypothetical, picture this. Philly’s OC Pat Shurmur takes what he has learned in Philly and moves to be a head coach in college (more money). Kelly then needs a new OC, so Scott Frost takes over as head coach at Oregon and Mark Helfrich becomes the OC under Kelly again, but this time at the pro level! Then slowly but surely the Oregon Ducks begin to take over the NFL, Nike buys the Eagles Organization… I’m getting ahead of myself, but hey, it’d be cool.
WOULD HE START?:
As long as Foles leaves in a trade he would. This is a way different situation than anywhere else because Kelly has a close relationship with Mariota and knows exactly how to tailor to his skill set. Kelly knows exactly what his limits are, and in the NFL’s leading division for most points allowed, the NFC East, Mariota would all but certainly thrive.
PHI’s Projected Record with Mariota: 12-4
PHI’s Projected Record W/O Mariota: 10-6
Mariota’s first year stats: 3,900 yards/28 pass TDs/13 INTs/7 Rushing TDs
Top Photo by en.wikipedia.org