It was Meet The Media day for Eagles General Manager Tom Heckert on Tuesday, and he did his best to answer questions without saying *too *much to probing reporters. It is Draft Scenario time for the Eagles, with the most pressing question of all this one:
"What can we do with these 12 picks?" said Heckert. "How can we maneuver around in the draft to get us the best possible players?"
That's the grand question, and the Eagles have themselves a week-plus to provide the answers. In the meantime, the team is in search-and-discover mode. The phones are ringing. The Eagles are answering. What happens between now and April 25 is anybody's guess.
"The main thing we're doing right now is going over all those scenarios, talking to teams and seeing what is realistic, who would be willing to move up and move down in the draft," said Heckert.
So, anything goes. Literally, given the history of Andy Reid and Heckert together, yeah, anything goes. The Eagles could trade up into the top five, said Heckert, if they packaged picks 21 and 28. There are "a few" teams that could be interested in moving out of the top 10 positions. Would the Eagles go up that high?
Maybe. If the price is right. If the guy they love, and the scenario they envision, is there.
But the general gist of Heckert's message is that the Eagles go into the draft knowing they don't have to reach for a "need" position. They don't have to do something foolish for the sake of filling a deep hole. Oh, they must be aggressive and they must be precise with what they target, but the Eagles don't have to be desperate.
What will they do? I don't know. Heckert gave no clues. At this point, the Eagles are working with groups of players in each round they hope to be able to choose from. They have, said Heckert, a "wish list" and they can bounce around the draft using the ammunition they have in hand and make sure as many of those wishes come true. If the Eagles stay at 21, for example, they have list of four or five players they feel "pretty confident" will be on the board at that time. Same at 28. Probably the same at each of the Eagles' 12 picks they have at this very moment.
There are a couple of positions that the Eagles are very likely to address. One is running back. Heckert and the Eagles think Brian Westbrook is fine and healthy and primed for a great season, and he also thinks that Lorenzo Booker will be far more productive than he was a season ago. But the Eagles lost Correll Buckhalter in free agency and there is a hole.
"We do need a running back," said Heckert. "We think Booker can still play for us and I think he's going to play a lot better for us last year and he's going to play for than he did last year, but we do need another guy. Whether Booker is two or Booker is the third (running back), we need a running back. We will get one in the draft, whether it's the first round or the seventh round. We think it's a pretty good group of running backs all the way through the draft and there are guys we like in the fifth and sixth round."
Add a tight end to the picture, too, but where that player comes from is just as much of a guess. Everything is a guess. Heckert didn't say much. He won't say much. He can't say much. The daily meetings continue and the scenarios change every hour. The Eagles have their wish lists, but they also remain flexible with their abundance of selections.
"I think there are probably more scenarios that we can come up with, which I guess makes it more fun," said Heckert. "We still think that if we stay where we are, we're going to get two really good football players."
Who? What positions? Heckert said he would absolutely consider defense high in the draft picture. The Eagles ranked third on defense in 2008. They want to be No. 1. And if a top defensive prospect they like is there, yeah, the Eagles will take him.
What Heckert said on Tuesday was pretty much what we've all been talking about for weeks and weeks. The Eagles have options. Probably more options than any team in the league. They have the dozen picks and the two first-round selections. They have the cap flexibility to move into the top 10 or swing a trade for a veteran. There are a lot of talks on the table that only about five men know about.
Show time nears. The Eagles like their roster, but they also know they have a rare opportunity ahead. They have to choose the right path to make it all work, as the process winds down to its final precious few days.