The buzz is increasing, no question about it. As we get closer to the start of the 2010 NFL draft, the intensity at the NovaCare Complex has stepped up. I'm blogging throughout the day what I hear, what I know and what people are telling me with the countdown on ...
Reid: Phones Have Been Busy, 6:14 p.m.
Just got out of an interview with head coach Andy Reid, which you can watch in its entirety on the show at 7:30, and he admitted that the conversations and the phone calls today have been "crazy."
Which means, what, exactly?
"That's every year. This year is no different than any other year," he said. "Everybody is talking to everybody and trying to work up, work down, stay where they are, try to figure out what is going on above them and below them.
"This is what I know: If we sit there at 24, we're going to get a good football player. If we move up, we're going to get one, and if we move down we are going to get a good football player. We're going to be aggressive, as we have been in the past. As aggressive as we've been before, Howie (Roseman, general manager) is even more aggressive. I welcome that."
Final thought from Reid after I asked if it is important to keep pick No. 37 overall, the one acquired from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade.
"We like that pick, yeah, we like that pick. We have some flexibility there with things we can do," he said. "It's a good spot to be in. We have looked at all the options with what we can do with that pick, along with staying right there. No matter what way we go with it, it's a win/win."
Carl Lewis To Represent Eagles, Fans, 5:27 p.m.
The NFL is inviting teams to have "celebrity" fans to come to Radio City Music Hall to announce fourth-round picks. Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis is representing the Eagles, and he is thrilled about it.
"Having the opportunity to be part of the draft is amazing," said Lewis. "I'm just a retired former athlete now. I'm a regular fan like everyone else, so to be able to go to New York and be part of the draft is a dream come true for me. I'm truly honored to represent the Eagles and Eagles fans everywhere in the world."
Lewis grew up in nearby Willingboro, New Jersey and has been an Eagles fan for as long as he can remember.
"I go all the way back to quarterback Roman Gabriel," he said. ""I've been with this team through thick and thin. I've gone to games and even when I'm out of town I find a way to keep in touch and watch my Eagles." Lewis continued. "Reggie White and I became very, very close when he played here. I'm excited about the team, about the direction the Eagles are taking. All of this good, young talent is really going to be fun to watch."
How Much To Move Up?, 4:03 p.m.
Si.com's Peter King is reporting that the Eagles could trade up as high as No. 8 to have a chance to select South Florida defensive Jason Pierre-Paul, so that is another country heard from that thinks the Eagles are definitely moving up in the first round. That seems to be the consensus out there, so let's examine what it might take to go way, way up in the first round.
The Eagles would probably have to give up the 24th pick and the 55th pick (their second of the second round) to do a deal with Miami at No. 12, according to the NFL trade value chart. To move to 10, where Jacksonville picks, the Eagles would have to throw in another draft pick in the range of a 6th- or 7th-round selection in addition to the the 24th pick and the 55th pick. To go to eighth overall, where Oakland picks, the Eagles would -- according to the chart -- need to give up the 24th pick, the 37th pick (acquired from Washington in the Donovan McNabb trade) and a draft pick in fourth or fifth round.
This is all just guesswork at this point. Nobody really knows what is going on except for a very small number of people in the Eagles draft room. But all the speculation is fascinating. This will test the axiom, where there is smoke, there is fire.
Quiet Before The Storm, 3:15 p.m.
Nothing much new. One of the rituals of draft weekend is the constant food supply for those who are part of the support staff. Only a few lucky ones are invited into the draft room -- I'm still waiting for the invite -- and the rest of the folks around the NovaCare Complex kill time by eating. While the draft is exciting and the best weekend of the off-season, there is only so much down time one can take.
So, anyway, the food service is setting up. The NovaCare Complex' excellent catering service, FLIK, is doing the honors. Good thing we'll be on the air all night. I'm scheduled to interview Andy Reid at 6 p.m. and I'll blog any information he passes along for you shortly thereafter. At 7:30 p.m., we're live and in color from the studio here.
What's the latest? I'm watching TV, I'm surfing the Internet and I'm talking to reporters. And the stories all seem to be the same: The Eagles want to move up. Which means, based on history, that they really *don't *want to move up and are just feeding that information to the fish.
We shall see. Time is moving too slowly, that is for sure.
Draft Depth Key This Weekend, 2:34 p.m.We're all focused on the first round of this draft, and that is understandable given the fact that tonight is the first round only. Understood. But the Eagles' success in 2010's draft won't be determined alone by the player they draft tonight. With so much depth on the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles have a chance to really make things happen with two picks in each of the second and third rounds.
Does the idea that the Eagles have so many draft picks later in the draft mean that maybe, just maybe, they will go offense in the first round? It could be, and when you take into account that the Eagles are usually as difficult to predict as any team in the league ...
"There is a lot of depth in this draft, but that's the way it is in every draft," said general manager Howie Roseman. "There are good players out there every year. You have to find them."
The Eagles have 58 players on their roster, meaning they will add at least 22 during the weekend to reach the limit of 80 players. Plus, the draft picks won't count against the roster until they sign contracts, meaning the Eagles could add as many as 30 players -- drafted and not drafted -- between now and Monday.
Sal Pal: Eagles Looking For A Move Up, 1:31 p.m.
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio has been at the NovaCare Complex since 8:30 a.m. and has worked the phones all day. He has some good observations about what he thinks the Eagles might be, um, thinking.
"I think the Eagles are trying to move up and do a deal with the Miami Dolphins at No. 12, and then they want to get an impact defensive player," said Paolantonio. "They want a player who gets on the field from day one -- from mini-camp, from training camp -- who gives the defenses an identity in the pass defense. If they can get Earl Thomas, from Texas, and plug him in at free safety, it justifies everything they have done in the off-season. If they can get defensive end Brandon Graham, who is a Dwight Freeney clone, and plug him in at left defensive end, I think i would be fantastic. Derrick Morgan, from Georgia Tech and from nearby here in Coatesville, would be the same thing. Any of those three players are impact players on defense.
"If they sit at 24, they can still get an impact cornerback. Kareem Jackson from Alabama is that kind of player. Devin McCourty from Rutgers could be their guy. Kyle Wilson is, I hear, a hot guy, and he probably won't be there at 24."
What does a reporter do all day? They make good use of their time.
"Since 8:30 I've done live shots for SportsCenter. ESPN has decided to own this draft so we are on all the time and I'm pretty much doing live updates hour by hour," said Paolantonio. "I'm making calls to agents, I'm calling general managers that I know. I hope to hear something from Howie Roseman here later this afternoon. Right now, though, Owners, general managers and coaches want their teams to be in lockdown mode right now. They don't want media contact. As a reporter, you have to be skeptical about what you are hearing, because teams want to use you to get information out, and to get dis-information out. It's very important to use as many sources as you can to use the information properly."
Rocca Signs. Now What At Punter?, 12:50 p.m.
Punter Sav Rocca officially signed his one-year contract, not a surprise at all. What it means, though, is that the Eagles are going to have an interesting punting picture when the post-draft camp begins next week, because youngster Durant Brooks is going to provide a challenge. Brooks has been part of the strength and conditioning program for weeks and should be ready to compete with Rocca.
As for the idea of drafting a punter, some mock drafts suggest the Eagles might use a late-round pick on the position. Could they? Yes, but they also have a pretty good situation, especially if Brooks moves his game to the next level. Both punters should benefit from working with new special teams coordinator Bobby April.
Pauline: Bills, Jags Looking To Move Out, 11:30 a.m.Our buddy Tony Pauline from SI.com and founder of TFYDraft.com says that Buffalo at No. 9 and Jacksonville at 10 are looking to move out of their spots. Why?
"Jacksonville wants to get extra draft picks and they are desperately looking to move out of No. 10. I was told that by a Jacksonville official, so I expect that to happen," said Pauline. "Buffalo wants to get out of No. 9 and then draft Tim Tebow later in the first round. If the Eagles want to move up, those are two prime teams looking to move out.
"If the Eagles stay put, I think they are going to have some good cornerbacks on the board. Alabama's Kareem Jackson is moving up everybody's draft board. Devin McCourty is a good player, likely to begin his career as a nickel back and a great special teams player. The Eagles will get a good player at 24."
What about the rest of the NFC? Pauline thinks the Redskins will land an offensive tackle. He thinks the Giants are "likely to go with a linebacker," he that he also heard they could go for a running back -- Fresno State's Ryan Matthews, not Clemson's C.J. Spiller -- and that Dallas is in line to take Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.
"There are lots of things flying around out there," said Pauline, who is already in New York preparing for the draft, and who will check in from Radio City Music Hall to our Eagles Draft Live! presented by Dietz and Watson tonight. "Sometimes, you really don't know what is true and what is false."
An Interior Offensive Lineman? Maybe, Maybe Not, 10:39 a.m.
There are theories that suggest the Eagles will use an early draft pick on an interior offensive lineman, and that very well could be the case. But I want to defend what the Eagles have in place, and to suggest that the group has the talent, and now needs time to develop.
Stacy Andrews is a far, far different player than he was 12 months ago. He is healthy. He has been at the NovaCare Complex religiously working out in the team's conditioning program. He looks great, and he is moving great and he is full of confidence.
Nick Cole has a chance to be an excellent center and he, too, has been at the NovaCare Complex every day. He has the explosiveness, the strength and the smarts to play center at a high level.
The wild card in all of this is Mike McGlynn, a fourth-round draft pick a few years ago who hasn't played much at all. I'm hearing very good things about McGlynn in this off-season and it wouldn't surprise me if the Eagles like him a whole lot.
And the team isn't giving up on Jamaal Jackson, perhaps the best pass-blocking center nobody ever talks about. Jackson isn't yet healthy, and he may not be by the start of the season, but he is working at it.
Is there a kid in the first round who is going to walk right in and start. Maybe Maurkice Pouncey is the real deal. Mike Iupati seems legit. But if the Eagles go and get one of those two players, will they offer immediate impact?
Just asking ...
What Are Redskins Doing At No. 4?, 10:15 a.m.
What is happening at the very top of the draft is a mystery to me, but I am intrigued fan reading all of the rumors. And the one that has me puzzled the most is this: Would the Redskins really draft a quarterback, either by moving up to take Sam Bradford or staying put and taking Jimmy Clausen, or is all of this talk a ploy to make Cleveland react and try to move up and deal with Washington?
I have to believe that Washington is looking for more picks, and would like to find a way to deal that fourth selection to pick up a second-round or a third-round draft choice. Why would they have any interest in taking a quarterback when they just traded for Donovan McNabb? Is all of this talk a ruse? Or do they see McNabb as a short-term player there?
Interesting stuff, and, likely, more of the pre-draft posturing that we have grown to love so much.
The Hot Prospects, 9:57 a.m.
Just got off the phone with Sirius/XM NFL radio and Scout.com's Adam Caplan, who has this to say:
"The two players who teams are most likely to trade up for at this point are defensive end Brandon Graham from Michigan and probably safety Earl Thomas from Texas. Graham could go as early as 10 to Jacksonville or 12 to Miami, and Thomas could go 12th to the Dolphins. There is a lot of trade talk out there. At the moment, it's quiet. You will hear a lot of rumors later in the afternoon," said Caplan. "As far as the Eagles, I don't hear a lot about them. They don't let their intentions get out. They keep quiet."
Mock Draft Results, 9:41 a.m.All the mock drafts are complete, and they are clearly all over the place. The Eagles are taking either a cornerback, a safety, a defensive end or an offensive lineman. Good thing the mocks have narrowed it down that much for us.
I respect all of the mock draftniks, but Dallas Morning News standout Rick Gosselin's final mock draft is one to really consider. He hammers his sources and really has a lot of credibility in the business. He has the Eagles taking Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty, who is a big, physical player who is also a superior special-teams performer. We'll see. I predict there are going to be trades all over the first round.
However, I can't imagine the Rams moving out of No. 1. Unless they are absolutely blown away by a deal -- and a Redskins' offer of the fourth pick, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and a later-round pick wouldn't be nearly enough for me -- the Rams will take quarterback Sam Bradford. I see no other choice that fits their needs as well.
Just so you know, the national broadcasts are going to include some heavy Eagles presence. ESPN's Sal Paolantonio is going to be at the NovaCare Complex for the draft, as is NFL Network's Derrin Horton. We will try to get both of them on the air during our *Eagles Draft Live! presented by Dietz and Watson, *which starts at 7:30 tonight and runs until the wee hours. Please tune in.