History doesn't side with Nick Foles

November, 27, 2012
11/27/12
3:04
PM ET
I made reference to this in my column off of Monday Night's Philadelphia Eagles loss, but the research bears a fuller post on the matter, so I hope you'll indulge me. The question is how realistic a chance there is that Nick Foles, picked in the third round this year with the 88th overall pick in the draft, evolves into the Eagles' franchise quarterback of the future. And the answer is that not very many quarterbacks picked that late actually do that.

Foles
Foles
There are 41 quarterbacks who have started NFL games this year, and only eight of them went later in the draft than Foles did. Of those eight, only three -- Arizona's Ryan Lindley (185), New England's Tom Brady (199) and Dallas' Tony Romo (undrafted) -- are still starting for their original teams. Brady and Romo are historic exceptions, and there are others, but in general, if you're hunting for your franchise quarterback, you don't want to look too far past the first round. Heck, you don't want to look too far past the top 10. Some more numbers:
  • Of those 41 who have started games this year, 25 were first-round picks, nine went No. 1 overall and 16 were picked in the top 10.
  • There are six quarterbacks who have started NFL games this year who were picked in the second round, but only two of those -- San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton -- are currently starting for the team that picked them. The others are Arizona's Kevin Kolb (picked by the Eagles), Pittsburgh's Charlie Batch (Lions), Jacksonville's Chad Henne (Dolphins) and New Orleans' Drew Brees (Chargers).
  • There are three quarterbacks who have started NFL games this year who were picked in the third round. Of those, only Foles and Seattle's Russell Wilson are starting for the team that picked them. The other is Houston's Matt Schaub, who was drafted by the Falcons.
  • Arizona's John Skelton (fifth round), Tennessee's Matt Hasselbeck (sixth), Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick (seventh) and Kansas City's Matt Cassel (seventh) round out the list of the remaining non-first-rounders. Skelton's the only one still playing for the team that picked him, and he's not currently the starter.

In short, Foles was picked later than franchise quarterbacks are generally picked. And while he could develop into a top guy, the Eagles may want to hunt around the first round the next couple of years for an elite talent to replace Michael Vick ... just in case.

We'll finish with the list of those 25 first-round picks who have started at quarterback in the NFL this year, since they didn't get named yet. Here's the list and where they were picked overall:

Sam Bradford (1)

Andrew Luck (1)

Eli Manning (1)

Peyton Manning (1)

Cam Newton (1)

Carson Palmer (1)

Alex Smith (1)

Matthew Stafford (1)

Michael Vick (1)

Robert Griffin III (2)

Matt Ryan (3)

Philip Rivers (4)

Byron Leftwich (7)

Jake Locker (8)

Ryan Tannehill (8)

Blaine Gabbert (10)

Jay Cutler (11)

Ben Roethlisberger (11)

Christian Ponder (12)

Josh Freeman (17)

Joe Flacco (18)

Brady Quinn (22)

Brandon Weeden (22)

Aaron Rodgers (24)

Jason Campbell (25)

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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