Who Comes After McNabb?

<p>The 1998 season saw the Eagles stumble to a 3-13 record, the worst in the NFL. The Eagles on any other year would have been awarded the first overall pick in the upcoming draft for such a feat, but not this year. The re-entry of the Cleveland Browns to the NFL brought with it the first overall pick in the draft. Thus, the Eagles, despite being the worst team in the league, were not given the opportunity to have their pick of the 1999 draft. It seemed as though the Eagles were cursed.<p>


But looking back at that draft now, the Eagles come off as being brilliant.  The Browns made the decision between Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb for the Eagles.  Despite many Eagles' fans clamoring for the selection of Ricky Williams, the Eagles took their franchise quarterback.  Now looking at that draft, despite the quality in play in names like Tim Couch, Daunte Culpepper, Ricky Williams, and Edgerrin James, the Eagles made the correct pick.  Donovan McNabb has developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the league.  He demonstrated that he was the best quarterback in that talented 1999 class last year.  The Eagles and the city of Philadelphia got themselves a star.


Last year McNabb was nothing less than spectacular, the catalyst to the team that finished runner up to the St. Louis Rams in the NFC.  McNabb passed for 3233 yards and 25 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.  More impressively, McNabb rushed for 482 yards and two touchdowns.  Donovan gives the Eagles the one-two punch of passing and running that allows the team to be successful despite not being able to establish a running game in many key matchups last year.  He has also shown a knack of being able to lead his team back from deficits in key games.  Let us not forget that, though the Eagles lost twice to the Rams last year, both losses were by less than a touchdown.  Put simply, with McNabb at the helm, the Eagles are a Super Bowl contender.


Backing McNabb up for the past three seasons has been Koy Detmer, Ty's little brother.  Detmer is a bit small, but he also has a fighters mentality.  In 2001 Koy had 5 completions in 14 attempts and threw for but 51 yards.  This being said, Koy is an adequate backup for the resilient McNabb.


The backup job may not be as secure for Detmer as it was last year.  AJ Feeley, a fifth round draft pick a year ago by the Eagles could challenge for those honors.  Feeley is not an extremely mobile quarterback and may be a big change for the rest of the offensive personnel.  This being said, he did look impressive in his limited action in 2001, completing 10 of 14 passes for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns. 


Also challenging for a roster spot is Tim Hasselbeck, currently playing in NFL Europe.  Hasselbeck will have to prove that he can off-set the play of either Detmer or Feeley, which could happen.  Coach Andy Reid likes competition at every position and behind McNabb, there is plenty of competition.



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