Eagles and the Quarterback Market: K.J. Costello

Another in a series of random QB profiles with the Eagles likely to draft one this spring after trading Carson Wentz
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The size is there, the kind the Eagles typically love.

The production is not there.

It’s going to be a balancing act as to where in the 2021 NFL Draft quarterback prospect K.J. Costello will land or if he even gets drafted at all. The prevailing wisdom is that he will, and it will likely be on the third day, which, in this case, would be the first of May.

Costello began his career at Stanford, a school the Eagles have done business with during the past decade, drafting Zach Ertz, Ed Reynolds, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and Casey Toohill.

The Eagles are in the market for a quarterback. Many believe that QB will come with the sixth pick to pair with Jalen Hurts, who is the lone quarterback on the roster after the team allows Nate Sudfeld to test free agency when the new league year begins on March 17. Others, such as me, believe it will come later.

SI.com’s Eagle Maven is doing a series of quarterback profiles to prepare for the inevitably that somewhere along the three-day draft journey, which is scheduled to begin on April 29, the Eagles will add a passer.

Check the end of the article for links to previous QB profiles.

Costello could be in the Eagles’ mix for the reasons mentioned: size and history with Stanford.

History for him, however, took a turn when he transferred from Stanford to Mississippi State after three seasons with the Cardinal, which included a sophomore year in which he threw for 3,540 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

In his first game at his new school, and against the defending national champion LSU Tigers, Costello threw for 623 yards, which was an SEC single-game record, and five touchdowns.

It was all downhill from there, as he finished the season – just six games worth after suffering a concussion on Oct. 31 against Alabama - with only one more TD throw and had 11 interceptions in those six games.

There are a few theories being floated as to why he struggled at Miss State.

First, transitioning to a pro-style system at Stanford to the Air Raid offense of Mike Leach was challenging due to pandemic restrictions, and not just for Costello, but the entire team.

Second, Mississippi State was one of the youngest teams in the SEC, especially on the offensive line and at receiver.

Again, it’s going to be balancing act for teams to endure as they evaluate Costello.

Here’s more:

K.J. COSTELLO

Size: 6-5, 220

Strengths: The tools are in place to develop and Costello already has strong mechanics, good footwork, and is able to make throws at all levels of the field. The intangibles, such as leadership and good pocket presence are there as well.

Weakness: Running isn’t a strength, though Costello is able to move around well enough in the pocket. He has a tendency to make bad decisions when pressured, leading to interceptions.

Pro day: March 24

Note: If the Eagles are really interested in Costello, maybe they spend a sixth round pick on him or even a seventh. Perhaps the best course of action, from my view, is making him a priority undrafted free agent.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze