Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 49-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sometimes it’s hard to swallow your pride and admit you were wrong about something. Sometimes, it’s just plain easy.
When Nick Foles was coming out in the 2012 NFL Draft, I was one of his biggest critics. Having watched plenty of him at Arizona, I felt like Foles had the arm of a first round pick and the excitement value of a sixth rounder.
The Eagles felt obviously pretty strongly about Foles’ ability to lead their team, and he was one of many rookies to start at the QB position in 2012.
Foles showed pretty well in his first few games as an NFL player, but obviously he had a lot to work on. Over the course of the offseason, the Eagles added read-option guru Chip Kelly as their head coach, and drafted a pure pocket passer in Matt Barkley with a top 100 selection.
While Barkley’s draft placement didn’t place any imminent danger on Foles’ ability to be the backup QB, it seemed like it was Mike Vick’s job to lose from the moment Kelly was hired for the Eagles.
Vick has lost the job, alright.
Simply put, Michael Vick can’t stay healthy. He is a liability on the field and there’s really no point to continuing down that path when the Eagles know exactly what they are getting from Vick at this point.
With Foles, there’s some legitimate upside. He had six touchdowns and five picks in seven games as a rookie, completing two touchdowns just once in a win against the Buccaneers. The Eagles were awful last year, so it’s no surprise that Foles struggled to get things going.
In 2013, the Eagles aren’t exactly blowing people away with their improvement, but they are a lot better team than a year ago and Foles is a big reason why.
In five starts this year, Foles has four games where he has multiple touchdown passes including three games with three or more and a seven touchdown romp in three quarters versus the Oakland Raiders.
Simply put, Foles has proven my evaluation of him already incorrect in the fact that I felt like most of his production came in hollow stats. He’s proven he can be a legit starter in the NFL, and I think he has a chance to take a stranglehold on the Eagles’ job and possibly even save them a draft pick come next May when they have some big decisions to make surrounding the status of their signal caller of the future.
Here’s my 2012 Draft evaluation of Foles:
Foles likely will finish his college career as the best quarterback in Arizona history, or at least he will be very, very close to the top of the list, and will find himself holding many school records. One thing that I have noticed about Foles is that he’s a bit overrated, even by myself going into this season. He has the size to hold up in the NFL, and he’s been fairly consistent over the last two seasons as a starter, completing 64 and 67 percent of his passes, throwing 39 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. The biggest issue I take with Foles right now is his yards per attempt (6.08 and 7.49 over last two years), and the fact that he took 23 sacks in 2010 compared to 11 in 2009. I think he’s a better athlete than that, and I’d like to see him become a star player like he showed he could be against Iowa early last season. He has good accuracy, but that’s to be expected as a lot of the throws I saw him make were short passes and underneath routes as well as check downs. When Arizona hit the meat of its schedule last year, Foles was putting up big numbers but the Wildcats were not winning. They finished the season with five straight losses, and I’d like to see Foles come of with an upset or two this year and show he is capable of winning games for his team rather than put up hollow statistics.