Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles has plenty of work ahead as he prepares for the NFL Draft, but one draft analyst sees him as a guy teams can project as a starter.
“He doesn’t have anything that necessarily ‘wows’ you on the tape,” said Chad Reuter, a senior writer for NFLDraftScout.com.
“But he does enough in every category for a team to say, ‘If we can make just a little improvement in him, he can be a starter for us.’ You don’t have to have Brett Favre’s arm or Mike Vick’s mobility; as long as you have enough, you can become a starter.
“A good comp is Matt Schaub. Matt Schaub wasn’t great at anything but was good enough at everything that he could succeed.”
Schaub, from Virginia, is an eighth-year NFL veteran who has been the Houston Texans starter for most of the past six seasons.
Reuter, who will be joining the NFL Network, said it is a positive sign that Foles had agreed to sign with David Dunn, indicating that the super agent must be hearing good things about Foles from NFL scouts, possibly as a top 50 pick.
“A lot of people looked at last year’s end-of-season tape and were thinking he was going to be a late-round pick,” Reuter said of Foles, who was slowed as a junior by a dislocated kneecap.
“This year, he was playing as we all expected him. He was throwing better on the run this year. He has been able to get his feet square and be accurate, whether he’s throwing to his left or his right.
“I think he has played his way into being a second-round pick.”
As with almost all quarterbacks coming out of college, especially those from a spread system, Foles will have to show scouts he can make the right reads and adjust to the speed of NFL defenses. For Foles, specifically, one of the questions is the deep ball.
He’ll be able to answer questions during the Senior Bowl, among other postseason workouts.
“His arm is average. It’s good enough to make most of the throws,” Reuter said.
“You’ve seen him try to throw the ball down the middle, where he kind of floats it. In the NFL, corners and safeties are going to be able to run underneath that. But there are other plays when he wings it down the seam.”
Foles, who rewrote the Arizona passing records and some in the conference, also earned praise recently from ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer via Twitter.
Dilfer wrote, after studying nine Arizona games, that he liked Foles’ college game tapes better than those from former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, who was the first overall pick in the 2010 draft. Dilfer on Foles: “Less arm, but equal accuracy & MUCH better instincts.”
Also from Dilfer: “Foles has as good of pocket instincts & climb as any SPREAD QB I have studied the past 10 years. Doesn’t lock on #1 & bail early.”
One more from Dilfer: He said he had “NEVER seen a QB this good get LESS help from his teammates. If Foles was in the SEC he would be a Heisman finalist.”
Another opinion: Wes Bunting of the National Football Post ranks Foles as the fifth-best quarterback prospect in the draft.
Related links at TucsonCitizen.com
Video interview from KOLD, Channel 13: Foles talks about his past, present and future