By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If Geno Smith is the guy, Geno Smith is the guy.
In 1999, the Eagles had the 2nd overall pick in the NFL draft. They were coming off a 3-13 season, and a gross three quarterback medley, with Koy Detmer (five games started), Bobby Hoying (four games started), and Rodney Peete (four games started), all starting multiple games.
The Eagles entered 1999 with a new head coach, Andy Reid.
Quarterback was an obvious need.
However, the city of Philadelphia (including myself), wanted the Eagles to select two time All-American and Heisman Trophy running back out of Texas, Ricky Williams.
The Cleveland Browns had the first pick of the draft, and selected an All-American QB out of Kentucky, Tim Couch. The Eagles, of course, selected Donovan McNabb out of Syracuse University to a smattering of boos from the fans in attendance. It is now an infamous moment in Philly sports history, one we will never forget.
Williams was selected with the 5th overall pick by the New Orleans Saints. He went on to have a moderately successful NFL career, until 2004 that is, when he violated a drug policy multiple times and retired early. After a short stint in the CFL, Williams returned to the NFL, but never made a serious impact.
Couch went on to have a dismal NFL career (62 games, 11,131 yards, 64 TD, 67 INT, 75.1 QB rating), starting games in five straight seasons for the Browns. Couch is known to be one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history.
And as for McNabb, well, we all know how that turned out.
In 2013, the Eagles have the 4th overall pick in the NFL draft. The Eagles are coming off a 4-12 season, with Nick Foles and Mike Vick both starting multiple games, neither overwhelmingly successful.
The Eagles enter the 2013 season with a new head coach, Chip Kelly.
Quarterback is an obvious need and I learned my lesson. If the Eagles select Geno Smith with the 4th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, I will be OK with it. Do I know how successful Geno Smith will be? No. But until he fails, or succeeds, I will hold off on my judgment.
The point is, if the Eagles think Geno Smith is the next franchise quarterback they should select him with the 4th overall pick.
Sure, Smith could go on to be the next Tim Couch.
But, Smith could go also go on to be a six-time pro bowl QB, lead the Eagles to five NFC championship appearances, and a disappointing Super Bowl loss, in which he throws-up during the final drive of the game.
We just don’t know.
Andrew Porter is the Audio Roadshow Coordinator for SportsRadio WIP, editor and writer for The School Philly, and a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly. You can follow him on Twitter @And_Porter.