Philadelphia Eagles News

Live Blogging On Draft Day

I'm at the NovaCare Complex in the middle of the action, which is to say there is a whole lot going around me and I'm not sure what to tell you. Or, what I can tell you and what I should tell you.

Anyway, you know what is going on, for the most part: The draft is here, the NFL has said teams must open their offices on Friday morning to previously work-stoppaged players and, well, I've got the very latest ...

7:05 p.m. ... In With The Head Coach

I interviewed Andy Reid for nearly nine minutes in his office at the NovaCare Complex and, well, I have a sense that anything is possible. And I think the head coach is telling me the truth. Does he know who he is going to draft in the first round tonight?

"You really don't know. You think of all the variables and all the combinations that could possiblly take place before that 23rd pick and everybody is lying to everybody. Who's knows what's going to go on there? You have no idea, really. You could take the best draftnik and it's probably a 50/50 of the guys he thinks will be picked below that 10th pick, from 10 on. It's kind of a crapshoot," said Reid. "So what you do is you evaluate all of them and you rank them and then you pick. You take the best player. We didn't necessarily need Jeremy Maclin (2009), but we took him. He was the best guy. He had fallen. You evaluate all the time."  

Reid doesn't think having the draft prior to free agency is going to alter the team's draft strategy.

"I don't think it does. I think you have to fight that. The way I explained it to the coaches was like this: 'This is part of our team. This is not the complete package of what you are going to have once the season starts. You're still going to have free agency that is going to take place ... This is a part of the whole.' "

Reid spent the day talking to teams and discussing possible trade scenarios. "Every team calls everybody about moving up or moving back just to see where you're at. So you really don't know what's real and what's not real. But we've all talked. Everybody has talked. And that's honest talk." 

What is very real is that players are permitted at the NovaCare Complex beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, and that he will be ready -- along with his coaching staff -- to welcome in the players with open arms. The coaches have been informed about the rules and regulations now in place, and what might happen in the very near future. Again, though, the situation is fluid and it could change.

"I've met with the coaches and have gone over the rules with them," said Reid. "Really, it's normal offseason as is once tomorrow at 8 a.m. starts. We'll get that offseason program going on Monday and we'll be back involved with that. The guys can come in and lift tomorrow and get back in the swing of things, get into the training room, the locker room and use the facility."

As for Kevin Kolb, Reid said there is nothing to talk about quite yet. The biggest offseason speculation has been about him, but at this point teams can't talk about Kolb and any interest they might have in him.

"We can't get into conversations with teams and say, 'Hey, do you want Kevin Kolb?' That's a no-no right now," said Reid. "So you stay away from that right now. There is going to be a time when you can do it the right way and we will do it the right way and move on. Really, right now, that's a null subject. I can't tell you if people are gung-ho about Kevin or if they're not."

4:26 p.m. ... Pause, And Then Andy Reid In His Office

I've got NFL Network on in our Xfinity Studio, I'm monitoring every possible web site and I've got my phone pressed to my ear. And I'm about to go upstairs to get kicked out of the player personnel department ... and then after that I'm going to get a workout in at this beautiful NovaCare Complex facility.

I have a 6:30 p.m. interview with head coach Andy Reid, so I will post what he says immediately afterward. Right now, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the media. Fun stuff. I just don't believe much of what I read and what I hear.

That said, I'm off to the draft room to see if I can get a peek. And then it's time to hit the gym, with my phone handy. The Eagles set up their final board shortly. Will they let me take a photo?

4:05 p.m. ... Vincent Honored To Announce Pick

Former Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent will announce the second-round draft pick on Friday as part of the NFL's program to have former players announce picks in that round. Vincent if excited to be part of the program after playing eight years, and earning five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, as an Eagle.

"I'm going to text Andy Reid right now and tell him that A) He needs to get a player there, because for years to come people are going to say, 'That's the player that Troy Vincent announced' and B) I need to be able to pronounce the guy's name. I want to look good up there."

Vincent was a first-round pick by the Dolphins in 1992, and he is the only first-round pick to not have his name announced during the live portion of the television broadcast. The ESPN broadcast was away on commercial break as Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Vincent's selection.

"I also got some heat that I didn't have an agent, which is obviously unusual especially for a pick that high. I actually expected to go in the first four picks, but it all worked out in the end," said Vincent, who also played for Washington and Buffalo, and who is now working in the league offices as Vice President of NFL Player Engagement. "It's a special night. It was a relief to me. The time leading into the draft, with all of the scrutiny, is incredibly intense.

"It's going to be an honor to represent the Eagles on Friday night. I'm excited about it. Thanks to the Eagles for selecting me to be part of this."

3:08 p.m. ... Eagles: Not A Peep

All over the web you read about this team's intentions or that team's desires, and who really knows how much of that is true. We'll find out tonight. What I always find interesting is that the Eagles aren't mentioned much at all during these pre-draft hours because this organization is so good at keep its intentions to itself and leaking out the information it wants out there.

Any speculation about what the Eagles plan to do in the first round tonight -- do they go cornerback? Do they go offensive line? Do they trade up, or down, or stay at 23? -- is pure speculation. Andy Reid doesn't say a thing. Howie Roseman has become an expert at providing a charming answer without divulging an ounce of his plans.

Good for them. That's the way it's supposed to be. I like the intrigue of the first round, because the Eagles know what works best for them. Keep their plans quiet. Loose lips sink draft plans.

Or something like that.

2:15 p.m. ... QB Class Is In Question

Let's clarify what we know so far, because I know you are all wondering if the Eagles can make trades tonight: They can still trade draft picks during the draft. They cannot, however, trade veteran players. So, yeah, the Kevin Kolb picture is still a huge question mark.

Speaking of quarterbacks, I spoke with SI.com's Tony Pauline today and he really questioned the anticipated strategy of teams going crazy for quarterbacks in this year's draft. Frankly, he doesn't like the quarterback class.

"Vastly overrated," he said. "I do not agree with teams trading up into the top 10 to draft quarterbacks. They are going to be very, very disappointed in this quarterback class."

It makes me wonder if a player or two will drift down into the teens, someone who the Eagles might want to trade up and select.

Who could that be?

1:38 p.m. ... NFL Soon Open For Business?

  • The NFL clubs have been notified that we have requested from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals a stay of the preliminary injunction issued late Monday afternoon by the Federal District Court. Pending further guidance from the Eighth Circuit, we believe it is appropriate for clubs to take additional steps in response to the preliminary injunction. The clubs were informed of the steps below that will be effective on Friday at 8 am ET following tonight's first round of the NFL Draft. Clubs are free to contact players immediately to advise them of the hours that the facility will be open for their use, to schedule medical and rehabilitation activity, and to arrange meetings with coaches or related activity, such as film study or classroom work.
  • Players will be permitted to use club facilities for physical examinations, rehabilitation and medical treatment, as scheduled by the club.
  • Clubs will be permitted to distribute playbooks, game film and other similar materials to players.
  • Coaches may meet with players for the purpose of discussing any materials distributed to players under item 2 above, as well as the club's off-season workout program, its schedule of mini-camps, Organized Team Activities ("OTAs"), and other similar matters.
  • Voluntary off-season workout programs, including OTAs and classroom instruction, may begin subject to the rules in Article XXXV of the 2006 CBA and Appendix L.  Participating players will be paid $130 per day, provided the player fulfills the club's reasonable off-season workout requirements.  Such workouts will count toward the requirements of any off-season workout bonus in the player's contract.

There is more, and there is this: There are no trades permitted through the draft. Free agency starts, well, it could very well start next week. The league is still hoping for a stay from the Eighth Circuit Court.

Stay tuned. The draft, round 1, is almost here!

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