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Countdown To Draft Week Is On

Posted Apr 14, 2012

The rumor mill is churning. Days pass by quickly between now and the April 26 first round. A lot is about to happen with your Philadelphia Eagles ...

We know some facts about the upcoming draft, that the Eagles have nine selections, including No. 15 overall. We know the team has very few obvious needs, but that it has needs nonetheless. We know the Eagles are prone to make a move at any time.

Otherwise, the Eagles are keeping things quiet, as they always do at this time of the year. With free agency slowed to a grind, it's time to catch up and then look ahead for this football team ...

  • The offseason conditioning program begins on Monday at the NovaCare Complex. I expect virtually everyone in to start the program. I wonder about Asante Samuel and his mindset, given all of the trade chatter. I'm not sure if there are logistical issues with a player or two, but for the overwhelming most part, everyone is going to take part in the program. We will have full coverage and catch up with the players starting on Monday.
  • Defensive end Brandon Graham has Tweeted that he is in prime-time shape at 260 pounds and that he has been devoted to his workout program at the University of Michigan. That is encouraging, indeed. There isn't a young player on this roster with more on his shoulders than Graham, entering his third season as an Eagle.
  • When a report was issued on Friday that the Eagles were one of "four teams" interested in moving up to acquire Cleveland's first draft pick, No. 4 overall, I kind of laughed. Not that the Eagles would not look to trade -- we know that they are always movers and shakers -- but who at No. 4 makes so much sense? I tried to run down the list of players who might be gone after the fourth pick. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox? Do you trade all the way to four for him? Wide receiver Justin Blackmon? Great player, but the Eagles are in fine shape at wide receiver. A cornerback? No. Running back Trent Richardson? Not with LeSean McCoy in town. The report didn't make a lot of sense to me from the jump ...
  • Not sure where in the draft they might do it, but I think the Eagles are absolutely going to address defensive tackle, linebacker, fullback and quarterback during the three days of selections. And I would not be stunned if they went cornerback at 15, just to challenge the slot position. The truth is, I have absolutely no idea what Andy Reid wants in the first round, other than to know he is looking for a top-line talent to come right in and contribute.
  • My over/under on Howie Roseman trades during the draft: Three.
  • Former running back Brian Westbrook will represent the team and announce the Eagles' second-round draft selections. The team currently has two picks in the second round.
  • Will the Eagles add another free agent prior to the draft? It's possible, as more than half of the league's free agents remain unsigned. There were more than 500 players on the market and the signings have been slow. I tend to think, though, that the Eagles are done until after the draft. Why not wait until after the draft to fill in some areas?
  • The defensive tackle rotation includes Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Antonio Dixon, Derek Landri and Cedric Thornton. The latter is a player to watch. The Eagles really liked him after the draft in 2011 and then he had a good preseason. He has worked hard to add some strength to go along with good quickness and tenacity. Now, can Thornton take that next step and work his way into the rotation?
  • If I had to guess, and I do, I would say that Juan Castillo's depth chart has Brian Rolle at weak-side linebacker and Jamar Chaney at strong-side linebacker. Just a guess, of course. And very much subject to change. The Eagles already have a ton of linebackers and they are going to add in the draft.
  • Remarkable, and a testament to the hunger of Eagles fans, that the 5,000-plus tickets to the April 26 draft party were gone within about 10 minutes. It's a fantastic event at Lincoln Financial Field. Hopefully, the fans will feel great about what the Eagles do in the first round.
  • I'm looking forward to seeing how this whole quarterback picture works out. Are the Eagles satisfied with Mike Kafka as the No. 2 behind Michael Vick? Why has there been so much reported interest in quarterbacks by the Eagles in the offseason? Where does Trent Edwards fit into the equation? How much growth has Vick enjoyed during the offseason? Questions, questions. It's always fascinating at the quarterback position, isn't it?

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