The Andy Reid era in Philadelphia has ended as we usher in the Chip Kelly era. Everyone knows that Kelly used an up-tempo offense at Oregon and may need a specific type of QB to be effective in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles currently have Michael Vick and Nick Foles on their roster. Vick may be the best option on the team, but he is aging and not as effective as he once was. Foles is still raw and it’s no telling what you can get from him.
With Kelly coming from the college game this year, he’s had an up close and personal look at many of the QB prospects jumping to the NFL. E.J. Manuel could be a possible option for the Eagles. It was reported that Kelly met with Manuel a couple of times down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Manuel’s performance in the game could only help his stock with the team who could be his best option.
In the Senior Bowl, Manuel led his South Team to all 3 of their scoring drives in the game. He was 7-10 for 76 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. What stuck out to me the most was the touch pass over the shoulder of TE Michael Williams for a touchdown in the 1st quarter. He clearly proved he can make NFL type passes and is mobile enough to move in the pocket while still attempting to pass the ball down the field.
For his senior season, Manuel amassed almost 3400 passing yards while completing nearly 70% of his attempts. I admit he has a few things to work on, but his efficiency is a major plus moving to the next level. He has all the intangible tools that Kelly would look for to run his offense, as well as a supporting cast of LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and (when healthy) a top offensive line.
Next step for Manuel is to have a good display of his “talents” at the NFL Draft Combine. I think he will raise his stock in that atmosphere where he can just go out and prove to be a top athlete in shorts. Many of the GM’s and scouts are going to go back and watch an awful lot of tape on Manuel from the past 2 seasons, because everyone will be looking for their own Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson this season.