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NFL GM candidate ranks Nick Foles over Dak Prescott and Eli Manning

How would YOU rank the NFC East quarterbacks?

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Today is very much a #SlowNewsDay so let’s take some time to talk about NFC East quarterbacks.

We’ll start by looking at these rankings from former NFL scout and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick. Riddick has received some general manager interviews in recent years so his football opinions are clearly valued by some.

Riddick notably has two Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks in his top three.

1 - Carson Wentz

2 - Alex Smith

3 - Nick Foles

4 - Dak Prescott

5 - Eli Manning

Riddick also explained why he has the 2018 Super Bowl MVP over a quarterback whom Cowboys fans wanted to have benched in favor of Cooper Rush last year.

“Nick Foles, in this system … this is why I put Nick over Dak Prescott. If Nick Foles had gone somewhere else, if they had traded him to another football team that has a totally different situation, I would’ve put him maybe even last behind Eli Manning. But because he’s with Doug Pederson, because he’s in that system, I believe they got unique performance out of him. Who’s to say they couldn’t duplicate it, right? Dak Prescott, look, he could very well vault up those rankings right there. And Eli, we all know that he’s in the twilight of his career. But, look, I understand why people would go ‘you’re crazy putting Nick Foles ahead of Dak Prescott.’ But again, in that system, with that coach, with that relationship, if someone said ‘hey, you’ve got to pick one of these two situations: Jason Garrett with Dak Prescott or Nick Foles with Doug Pederson?’ I’m going with that.”

I think that’s a fair argument. I also think Riddick’s ranking as a whole are pretty fair.

Wentz obviously deserves to be first. There’s a real chance he would’ve been awarded NFL MVP if he didn’t get hurt in Week 14. The Eagles will be in good shape to repeat as Super Bowl champions if Wentz is healthy.

It’s fitting that Smith used to be Andy Reid’s signal caller because he’s probably the Reid of quarterbacks; pretty good in the regular season but not elite enough to get you over the hump in the playoffs. Still, Smith is coming off a really strong year where he completed 67.5% of his passes for 4,042 yards (8.0 average), 26 touchdowns, five interceptions, and a league-high 104.7 passer rating. Washington lowered their ceiling by acquiring Smith but they also raised their floor.

Foles was obviously red hot in the playoffs as he helped the Eagles win their first Vince Lombardi Trophy. Some might argue he should be over Smith but that would involve ignoring his struggles late in the regular season where he only completed 47% of his passes for one touchdown, two interceptions, 202 yards (4.1 average) and a 48.2 passer rating. Foles is burning when he’s hot but he’s freezing when he’s cold. His highs still qualify him as the NFL’s best backup passer.

Prescott skeptics (myself among them) should feel very validated after the second season of his career. His struggles were super predictable. It was apparent that the Cowboys’ elite run game in 2016 was masking his weaknesses as a passer. Prescott could rebound with the return of Ezekiel Elliott in 2018 but it’s clear he’s not going to ever be able to carry that team on his own the way a rare Wentz-level talent can. Prescott has the potential to mire Dallas in mediocrity, which would be a delight for Eagles fans.

Manning, now 37, is clearly a declining player. It’s insane that the Giants took a running back at No. 2 (while turning down big trade offers in the process) instead of trying to find his replacement there. Manning’s passer rating over the past five seasons is 84.6. His yards per attempt have dropped every year since 2014. Manning randomly saved his best games against the Eagles in 2017, which was annoying, but the overall picture isn’t pretty for him.

Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld (aka Nate STUDfeld) are the names who deserve consideration right outside of the top five. After that, it’s pretty much a crapshoot.

Here’s a look at my NFC East quarterback rankings. Feel free to post your own in the comments below this article.

1 - Carson Wentz

2 - Alex Smith

3 - Nick Foles

4 - Dak Prescott

5 - Eli Manning

6 - Colt McCoy

7 - Nate Sudfeld

8 - Kyle Lauletta

9 - Cooper Rush

10 - Joe Callahan

11 - Mike White

12 - Davis Webb

13 - Kevin Hogan

14 - Alex Tanney

15 - Dalton Sturm


(Hat tip Tommy Lawlor and Jimmy Kempski)

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