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NFL draft: Foles knows his dream easily worth the wait

2012-04-27T00:00:00Z 2012-04-27T17:13:01Z NFL draft: Foles knows his dream easily worth the waitRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 27, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Nick Foles was just a little guy - in preschool or kindergarten, he says - when his teacher asked his class what they wanted to be when they grew up.

"Kids put fireman, police officer … I wanted to be a professional athlete. I just didn't know if it was going to be baseball, football or basketball," Foles said.

"When I was younger, I was probably the best at baseball, but I gave it up - too slow for me. I was a big basketball player in my early years of high school.

"I always loved the game of football, and I've always loved playing quarterback."

Foles' childhood dream was deferred Thursday, but only for another day or two. Teams, as expected, passed on the Arizona Wildcats star in Thursday's first round of the NFL draft. The second and third rounds are today, with rounds 4-7 scheduled for Saturday.

The Star talked to Foles about his NFL dream, his chances of being drafted and where he might end up:

So you're a little kid, playing in the backyard. Who would you pretend to be?

A: "I was Troy Aikman, John Elway, Brett Favre, Michael Jordan, all those guys. I used to really like (pitchers) Orel Hershiser, Roger Clemens, guys like that. … Dreaming like that, it's the greatest thing kids can do. You need to have that mentality that you're hitting the game-winning shot, making those moves, throwing that pass. I've experienced it in a game, running the two-minute drill. It's because I've visualized that (moment) in my head since I was a kid."

By the end of the weekend, you'll be an NFL quarterback. Is it a strange feeling?

A: "If I'm fortunate enough to get that call, it's going to be really hard to put into words. It's still weird to think that I played at Arizona, I got to experience the great things I've experienced there. I realize how fortunate I am to play this game. It's been a blessing to play this long. The opportunity to go to the NFL, to further my career, and sharing it with people I've known since I was born. … That's what's so weird: It's not about me, it's about all these people."

Do you have a draft prediction?

A: "I've heard the middle rounds. I've heard the second round. To be honest, I really just want my name to get called."

You've visited with the Eagles?

A: "I did. I visited with Coach (Andy) Reid and the whole coaching staff, and visited the whole facility. It's a great atmosphere. All the quarterbacks - Michael Vick, Trent Edwards, (Mike) Kafka - it was great to meet them all and chat with them. I sat down with their quarterbacks coach for an hour and a half and talked about blitzes and protections. I met with him when we worked me out in Austin (Texas), too. It's all about getting to know who you are, what your family's like. Look, they already know everything about me. They just wanted a little bit of insight."

You've been such a cool customer throughout your Arizona career. How do you think you'll react when you're drafted?

A: "You know, I don't know. I can look back throughout my career, and there were a few times when I got emotional. One was the USC game when I was a sophomore. We beat them on my dad's birthday. I said I was going to beat them and give him the game ball, and I did. … I usually stay very composed. Being home, I run into a lot of high school teammates and parents, and they've all been very excited. Thinking about everyone else, that's what makes this so special."

Good fits for Foles

April is "Liar's Month" in the NFL, but these four teams appear to have genuine interest in Arizona's quarterback:

• Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles worked out Foles in Austin, Texas, earlier this month, then flew him to Philadelphia to meet with coaches. It was Foles' only pre-draft visit.

• Buffalo Bills: Buffalo signed starter Ryan Fitzpatrick to a six-year contract extension in October but could be looking for another strong-armed, cerebral quarterback to study under him.

• Green Bay Packers: Team is looking to replace backup Matt Flynn, who signed with Seattle a month ago. Packers coach Mike McCarthy has a magic touch with quarterbacks.

• Denver Broncos: Broncos executive John Elway watched Foles play at Colorado in November and visited the quarterback in Tucson shortly thereafter. Denver's interest has since reportedly cooled, however: The club recently worked out San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley.

Scouting Nick Foles

• Strength: Few quarterbacks in the draft throw a better deep ball than Foles, who averaged 10.73 yards per completion during his college career.

• Weakness: Foles' footwork is just average. The Cats' quarterback must learn how to move in the pocket and extend plays.

• Projection: Draft experts have listed Foles as a pick in the third to fifth rounds.

NFL Draft on TV

• Today: Second and third rounds, 4 p.m., on ESPN and NFL Network

• Saturday: Rounds 4-7, 9 a.m., on ESPN and NFL Network

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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