In years past, as the first day of the NFL draft moved into its latter stages, the first round melted into the second round and by the time we all took notice, the teams were into the middle of that round lining up their draft boards and arranging trades. This could all change, and the Eagles could very well be one of the teams caught in all the action.
How much of a difference will this year's format mean to the draft proceedings? The Eagles are certainly going to find out, because the 37th overall selection, the one acquired from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade, is going to carry a lot of weight.
The Eagles can do just about anything they want in this draft, largely because they own the fifth pick in the second round. If they really want to jump up higher in the first round from their current spot at 24, the extra second-round selection helps the cause. If the Eagles want to add more picks, they are going to have plenty of offers from teams who see great value at the top of the second round.
And if they want to stay put at 37, the Eagles will have an opportunity to select a very good football player, maybe even one on whom they had a first-round crack who slipped through the first 36 picks.
It is a good position to hold, an opportunistic pick to have, and the Eagles know that, in a lot of ways, their draft success could hinge on what they do with the 37th pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
And had the format not changed -- the NFL holds the first round of the draft on Thursday night, the second and third rounds on Friday night and rounds four through seven on Saturday -- the Eagles may not have had as many options from which to choose.
Now, though, each and every NFL team is going to wrap up the first round of the draft somewhere just before midnight on Thursday, then report back to the office on Friday morning and re-evaluate its draft board. Players are going to move around on every team's board. There are going to be teams that see a player they really like who is still available, that they are going to want to jump up and get. And because they are going to have all of the extra prep time -- figure teams will start calling each other around 9 a.m. until the draft picks again at 6 p.m. -- offers could very well pile up.
And the Eagles will have some power, no question about it.
"Having an extra pick at the top of the second round," said Peter King from Sports Illustrated on Sirius/XM NFL Radio on Wednesday morning, "is going to give teams a lot to think about. There could be a lot of movement when the second day of the draft begins."
We'll see how the Eagles play it when the draft begins next Thursday. Andy Reid has never been what you would consider a draft traditionalist. The Eagles move around as much as any team in the league already, so this added ammunition, and a setup that encourages more trade activity, means the Eagles will have to be very careful with their dealings and not simply move for the sack of movement.
I know everyone wants to know what the Eagles are going to do with the first-round draft pick, but the truth is that nobody has a real sense quite yet. The Eagles probably have a grouping of players who they think will be available at 24 and there is no doubt that those players are good prospects. There are going to be good players throughout the draft, and the Eagles have to use their arsenal of picks wisely and get some impact players to help this football team in 2010 and for years to come.
There are 11 draft picks and the focus is on the very first one. From this perspective, though, 37 is the one that could very well determine just how successful this draft is for the Eagles. That pick represents opportunity in any direction for the Eagles.
**NEWS, NOTES AND A LITTLE BIT OF THIS AND THAT
- The NFL schedule is released on Tuesday, so Eagles fans can tune in to PhiladelphiaEagles.com for a great double dip of fun and entertainment. We will release the schedule at 7 p.m. and then follow that with live coverage of the Eagles Cheerleaders Final Auditions Show. Tune in and check out this year's crop of Eagles Cheerleaders!
- Analyzing the Denver trade of wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins and I honestly feel that it is as close to a win/win as there is in a trade situation. Denver gets a second-round draft pick this year and another second-round pick, reportedly, next year. And the Broncos get rid of a huge headache. Miami acquires a premier talent at wide receiver, a go-to player for quarterback Chad Henne. The fallout? Well, maybe the Dolphins trade wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., who would make a nice reserve wide receiver and an option in the return game for some team out there. Come to think of it ...
- Neither offensive guard Max Jean-Gilles nor punter Sav Rocca has signed his contract tender as a restricted free agent, but I anticipate no problems there. That restricted free-agent market didn't take off at all in the off-season, did it? Only Mike Bell, who joined the Eagles after his time in New Orleans, moved teams.
- Anything brewing on the trade front? Not that I know of, but we're sure going to find out as the rumor mill heats up one week away from the draft.