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Eagles draft news

The draft is just 2 days away and not surprisingly it's dominating the local news.

The courier post says the Eagles will be on the move.

For the Eagles, here's the truth: They have 11 picks in this draft. They may as well have a million. They can't sign 11 players. They couldn't afford 11 players, and 11 players can't make this team. The Eagles will absolutely have to move some of those picks around.

"Can 11 guys make this team? Probably not," Eagles general manager Tom Heckert said. "I don't know if we can keep all of them.

"Now, that's easier said than done, getting rid of those picks. You don't want to just give picks away to move up and get a guy who may have been sitting there anyway. So we may get stuck with them, and we'll make 11 picks and go from there."

Les Bowen said the Eagles "need a good return " yuck yuck...

"We're not going into this saying we have to have a returner," general manager Tom Heckert said in a session with reporters earlier this week. "Now, there are some position players we like, at different positions, who also return. Would we like to have a guy that returns? Yeah. But it's not a position where we're going to draft a kid, move him up, just because he returns . . . We think we have some guys on our team that can do it for us." 

Obviously, they aren't going to target returning kicks as their top priority, and make someone who's primarily a return guy their first-round pick, 19th overall. A returner isn't on the field often enough to have that kind of impact, unless he's Devin Hester (who was drafted 57th overall in 2006, by the way). But it would be an absolute shock if the Eagles emerge from the draft without someone who boasts substantial return credentials, in addition, of course, to being a prospect at corner, safety or wideout. 

That could be their first-round pick, if they go for Michigan State wideout Devin Thomas (led the Big Ten in kickoff returns), South Florida corner Mike Jenkins (30.4 yards per kickoff return last year) or Troy corner Leodis McKelvin (eight college return TDs, seven of them punts). They'd almost certainly have to move up quite a bit to get McKelvin. It could be their second- or third-round pick, if they go for someone like Appalachian State's speedy Dexter Jackson (hand-timed 4.27 40 at the combine) or Kansas State's Jordy Nelson (two punt-return TDs last season). 

Finally, Bob Brookover prepares us for the very real possibility that the Eagles will draft another lineman with their first pick.

Tell a football fan his favorite team is about to use its first-round draft pick on an offensive lineman and you'll probably get the same reaction as when you tell your kid it's time to go to the dentist. 

Sure it's painful to watch another team pluck a big-name wide receiver or a stud running back while your squad gets a beefy mauler who is graded by the number of pancakes he registers and how clean he kept his quarterback in college. Like the dentist, however, it's sometimes necessary, and this may just be the right year for the Eagles to use their first pick on one of the big men paid to protect the quarterback. 

Although coach Andy Reid has a reputation for loving offensive linemen, the Eagles have focused on defensive linemen in the first rounds of his drafts. Four of Reid's eight first-round picks have been defensive linemen, including three tackles. 

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