Recent reports and rumors suggest the Philadelphia Eagles have interest in selecting a day three quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. This is hardly surprising given the team’s yearly search for young passers to back up Carson Wentz. The team tried to add a rookie to the quarterback room last year when they drafted Clayton Thorson, but the Northwestern signal caller couldn’t even string together good performances in preseason and was eventually cut. This year, while Nate Sudfeld is currently the number two passer for the Eagles, there is no one else who is a lock for number three this summer.
This quarterback class is getting a lot of hype with Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa at the top of the crop, but the quarterback depth in this class is also notable. There should be a few good signal callers available after the third round.
Instead of arbitrarily projecting who will be there come day three, I simulated the draft a few times using The Draft Nework’s excellent draft machine.
A few names of note were consistently there in round four and later. Here is how they would fit in Philadelphia.
James Morgan, FIU
It’s easy to see why NFL teams would like James Morgan as a developmental player. Morgan has great size at 6’4”, 230 pounds and legitimate NFL arm strength. His gunslinger mentality led to a lot of impressive plays in college and partially how he set the FIU single season touchdown record, but it also led to lots of mistakes. 34 interceptions in 42 career starts is a lot of turnovers and he also had a tough time holding onto the ball in the pocket. Morgan has a “play every down like it’s your last” mentality and there’s plenty to say about his toughness and his ability to make big plays out of nowhere. However, his NFL journey will hinge on his ability to temper his aggressiveness and learn to become a consistent, rhythm-based passer to cut down on risks.
As a third string quarterback, Morgan offers a lot of tools that the team could want to develop and there is a relatively low chance he would ever see the field in his rookie season. Not a bad bet to take someone with his upside if you can get him late in the draft.
Anthony Gordon, Washington State
After Gardner Minshew left for the NFL, Anthony Gordon took up the reins as the Air Raid quarterback in college football. Like Minshew before him, Gordon posted eye-popping numbers in his lone 14 starts for the cougars. Gordon’s got a very good football IQ and ran Mike Leach’s system to perfection. He is an accurate passer with a tight release, great anticipation and touch on deep throws. Gordon’s downfalls are his lack of physical tools and experience. Gordon is undersized at 6’2” and just a bit over 200 pounds. He is not a great athlete and his arm strength is only okay. Gordon’s success in the NFL depends on if his football IQ can translate into production against NFL defenses in practices and preseasons early in his career.
Gordon offers a lot to like from a cerebral point of view as a passer, making him an ideal member of any quarterback room. However, a team looking to develop a player with high upside may look elsewhere.
Tyler Huntley, Utah
A lot of people were surprised when Tyler Huntley was snubbed from the NFL Combine and count me among them. Huntley is a bit smaller at 6’1” and 210 pounds, but he has a lot to offer as a developmental passer. Huntley has an NFL arm that he showcased often during his time at Utah. His ability to zip passes from uneven platforms and on the run made him a successful passer even when defenses could pressure him in and outside of the pocket. Huntley also is a careful passer whose low turnover numbers are indicative of his heady ability to avoid risky plays and tuck the ball when defenses clamped down on his receivers. His added ability as a mobile QB, both in terms of improvising on passing plays and making defenses pay as a runner, makes him the type of player who can make an impact for an offense even if he can’t win consistently as a passer. Huntley needs to improve his footwork as a passer, probably his biggest problem, as it affects the way he goes through professions and hurts his accuracy.
I think of Josh McCown basically keeping the Eagles in a playoff game with his legs when he came in for Carson Wentz. The value of a mobile backup quarterback who is careful with the football means you have a player who can come in on the drop of a hat and still keep a team in a game. Huntley’s mix of athleticism, arm strength and intelligence make him a viable day thee option for the Eagles.
Steven Montez, Colorado
Steven Montez is another toolsy passer who might interest teams with upside. He is well built at 6’4” and over 230 pounds and is extremely mobile for his size. Monetz also possesses an NFL caliber arm and flashed accuracy to all levels of the field. The frustration with Montez is a general lack of consistency. Despite starting for over three years, Montez never seemed to improve nor did he carry his team. Big red flags for a quarterback with his experience.
A team that drafts Montez will likely think they will be the ones to unlock the young signal caller. His physical skill set is no doubt tantalizing and if a team can get him to be consistent, he has starter upside. However, there is little in his college career that suggests he can put it together like that.
Nathan Stanley, Iowa
Nathan Stanley produced nicely for the Hawkeyes during his time starting there. He also notably was not a turnover machine. The 6’4” passer has a good arm and flashed the ability to make NFL throws all over the field. Stanley also generally became more accurate over the course of his time starting, a good sign for his general development. Stanley’s biggest weaknesses are that he is a statue in the pocket and he had a tendency to crumble in pressure situations. Stanley tested pretty well for a quarterback, so his lack of mobility is hardly to be blamed on physical limitations. Stanley needs to be more comfortable moving in the pocket rather than depending solely on his arm strength to run the offense. Also it is worth noting his inability to elevate his team against top competition.
Stanley has a lot to like in terms of his big arm and history of running a pro-style offense with a decent amount of success. If a team can improve his footwork, he could develop into a solid backup and spot starter.