"With the 21st pick, the Eagles...."
And what will commissioner Roger Goodell say after that?
Let's list the most likely options:
* draft a running back;
*draft a wide receiver or tight end;
*draft a lineman;
* trade up to get one of the above;
* trade down to get one of the above and something else;
* trade the pick and something else for a wide receiver;
* trade out of the first round entirely.
That's a lot of possibilities and there are others as well. Being certain of what the Eagles will do on draft day has always been a dangerous game during the tenure of Andy Reid.
That's why I am suspicious of the they-gotta-go-running-back crowd. In fact, I will fade all those bets. There are too many variables and, deep down, I don't think Reid believes the rushing problem last season had as much to do with Brian Westbrook as with the deterioration of the offensive line.
Reid has already gone out and gotten a fullback, a runnerish one, to add to the backfield. I just don't believe he's also going to spend the 21st pick in the draft on another runner.
A side benefit of the addition of DeSean Jackson last season was his ability to do many of the same things from the wideout position that Westbrook could do when he lined up wide. There is less reason to use Westbrook that way now, which will keep him fresher.
For a team that doesn't run the ball much, it seems as if the Eagles have enough in that department for next season. To me, a top tight end would be a better pick, and there's a good argument to be made for upgrading the defensive end position, too. Maybe it would involve moving up, but worth the move.
So in the Post Patterns mock draft, which is as meaningful as any other (totally meaningless), right next to "Eagles" at the 21st pick, I'm penciling in: "Definitely Not a Running Back."