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Potential Jets: Nick Foles


GGN member ProfScorpio pointed out this article in another thread that suggests Eagles quarterback Nick Foles might be available on the trade market. Philly based writer Rob Maaddi says it would probably take a first or a second round pick to get the Eagles to listen.

The Eagles probably are not going to get a first round pick for Foles. It is very rare for a player to fetch a first round pick in a trade, and they are almost always very established players, not those who started half of a rookie year. It does seem possible that Foles will be available, though. Chip Kelly seems intent on installing some version of his Oregon option offense that requires a mobile quarterback based on his re-signing of Michael Vick and signing of Dennis Dixon. If Foles was his guy of the future, it would stand to reason that he would have the job already, and Vick would be gone.

Based on trades of similar quarterbacks who have shown promise in limited action like Matt Cassel, Kevin Kolb, and Matt Schaub, my guess is Foles could probably fetch a second round pick as a starting point and probably another decent piece. When the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb, they got a second round pick and a conditional third or fourth rounder. Foles and McNabb are different players with different salaries at different points of their respective careers, but that sounds like a decent ballpark figure to me. Now let's talk about the idea of the Jets grabbing Foles. This idea is actually one that I really like.

We can start with familiarity. Marty Mornhinweg was Foles' offensive coordinator last year so he knows and is comfortable with the system. In the grand scheme of things, that's a secondary concern, but it helps when the quarterback can help implement a new offense.

More convincingly, I liked what I saw from Foles as a rookie. He was thrust into an impossible situation. The Eagles' season was lost when he played. Everybody knew the coach was going to be fired. His offensive line was a mess, and he had to work without playmakers. He still played pretty well, and that was as a fourth round rookie. He still hit over 60% of his passes. His numbers look uninspiring, but they were brought down by a handful of rough performances mixed with some very good ones. It wasn't a case of consistent badness. It was two really rough outings combined with four that were anywhere from solid to very good. As he gets more used to the NFL, the hope is that the game will slow down for him, the good moments will become more regular, and the moments he is overwhelmed become less.

What I really like about Foles is he was pretty good under pressure. His sack rate when under pressure was around the middle of the pack according to Pro Football Focus. That's pretty good for a rookie and again can grow as he gets more comfortable with the pro game. He also was the 11th most accurate throwing under pressure according to them.

The big problem with Foles was his deep ball. He was pretty inaccurate by any measure on throws down the field. I did catch a bunch of his games, and I thought he had nice zip on a lot of his throws. This leads me to believe his deep ball issues are more mechanical and can be corrected through coaching and experience.

Foles is also playing under a cheap rookie contract, which he cannot even attempt to renegotiate for another two years due to the CBA so unlike a lot of the other potential veteran targets, you are getting two years of cost controlled play.

There are some pros and cons to Foles. He showed some flashes of potential, but was nowhere close to some of his fellow rookies. Had he been, he wouldn't be available. I think of it this way. If the Jets are going to use a pick in the second to third round range on a quarterback, I prefer using it to trade for Foles to using it to select a player from this year's class by a wide margin. I also prefer Foles to a veteran like Alex Smith whose ceiling is known to be relatively low or a one game wonder like Kirk Cousins (who probably won't be available anyway).

I've always liked Foles going back to his college days at Arizona. I don't consider him a must get for the Jets, but I would think about it quite a bit if I could get him for a second round pick.