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NFL Draft Rumors: Eagles want to pick a quarterback within first three rounds

Who will the Eagles take?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles still have their eyes set on selecting a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft, according to Matt Miller. Here's what he had to say in his post-Combine notebook.

"The Philadelphia Eagles locked up quarterback Sam Bradford with a two-year contract this week, but I'm told by a source with the team that it would prefer to draft a quarterback in the first three rounds this year.

This report isn't exactly Earth-shattering. Head coach Doug Pederson has already hinted the Eagles are interested in acquiring a young signal caller who can develop on the bench. It seems more like a matter of "when" and not "if" the Eagles will draft a quarterback.

If Miller's report is to be believed, the Eagles will either draft a quarterback in the first or third round since they don't have a second round pick due to last year's Bradford trade. Recent comments from Pederson and Howie Roseman indicate the Eagles don't want to force a quarterback pick in the first round. So maybe the third round is the right for the Eagles? The team does have two picks (their own and Detroit's selection) early in the order there. The Birds have nine picks in total so they have enough ammunition to move up into the second if a quarterback they like is within striking distance.

It'll be interesting to see where the quarterbacks in this class land. Right now it's expected Carson Wentz and Jared Goff could be gone by the time the Eagles pick at No. 13. Therefore, the Eagles have often been connected to Paxton Lynch in the first round. But the Memphis quarterback isn't even listed in the first round of Mel Kiper's latest mock draft. Names like Connor Cook, Christian Hackenburg, Cardale Jones, and Dak Prescott seem to be in the next tier of passers after the big three at the top. Where will they go?

The Eagles have a tough balancing act on their hands. They pretty much need to draft a passer at some point but they also don't want to force a pick and miss out on a special player at another position. But if the team waits too long their guy might be gone. And drafting quarterbacks in later rounds is typically a waste and won't provide a real solution should Bradford fail to prove he's the long-term answer. It's a tricky situation and Philadelphia needs to get it right.

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