The Philadelphia Eagles added another backup quarterback with starting experience Monday morning by signing Nick Mullens.
The 26-year-old has started 16 games in three seasons for the San Francisco 49ers, eight games as an undrafted rookie in 2018 and eight more last season. One of his starts last year was a prime-time loss against the Eagles because Jimmy Garoppolo was sidelined with an ankle injury. The 49ers went 2-6 in games Mullens started last year, although it’s worth noting San Francisco was decimated by injuries for most of those games.
Mullens completed 64.7% of his passes, throwing 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, including an absolute gift directly to Eagles linebacker Alex Singleton for a pick-6 on “Sunday Night Football.”
The Eagles’ quarterback room will require a third chair once again upon Mullens’ arrival.
They essentially swapped reserve quarterbacks with the 49ers this offseason, letting Nate Sudfeld walk in free agency and sign with the Niners earlier this offseason. They waived undrafted rookie free agent Jamie Newman last week, leaving them with Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco. Newman is a dual-threat quarterback prospect out of Wake Forrest and was with the Eagles through OTAs the last three weeks.
Flacco has the upper hand on Mullens in experience and time learning the Eagles offense, but it’s not out of the question that the veteran quarterback would be challenged for the No. 2 spot by Mullens, especially considering Nick Sirianni’s insistence on competition for every position. At the very least, Mullens’ presence will give the Eagles the requisite number of arms to get through training camp.
Over the last three seasons, Flacco has started 21 games to Mullens’ 16.
Flacco has thrown for 24 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and 5,151 yards over that time. By comparison, Mullens has thrown for 4,714 yards, 25 touchdowns and 22 interceptions and completed 64.5% of his passes.
Neither quarterback offers the athleticism necessary to mirror Hurts in the event that the second-year quarterback gets injured, but Mullens is at least coming from a scheme in which he was asked to do plenty of play-action bootleg plays that required him to throw on the move. He ran a 4.9-second 40-yard dash, so it’s safe to say he’s a bit more athletic than the elder statesman Flacco.
Mullens was a four-year starter at Southern Mississippi.
He also played for the baseball team there. He holds the record for passing yards and touchdowns in the college’s history, two spots ahead of Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.