Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Birds Movin' On Up?

Draft day is finally upon us -- first-round day, anyhow, under the new format -- and everywhere you look, there are predictions that the Eagles will move up from 24th overall. Frankly, that would be nice of them, considering the tight newspaper deadlines tonight and the possibility the 24th selection might not roll around until something like 11 p.m., on a night when the Flyers could wrap up their first-round playoff series and the Phils also are in action.

Birds Movin' On Up?

Draft day is finally upon us -- first-round day, anyhow, under the new format -- and everywhere you look, there are predictions that the Eagles will move up from 24th overall. Frankly, that would be nice of them, considering the tight newspaper deadlines tonight and the possibility the 24th selection might not roll around until something like 11 p.m., on a night when the Flyers could wrap up their first-round playoff series and the Phils also are in action.

But I already texted Andy, Howie and Joe this morning to tell them they shouldn't go to all that trouble just for little old us. Andy texted back: "No trouble whatsover. Happy to help out. Drop by the war room this evening and give us a hand making the pick. Jeffrey says we shouldn't do anything without checking with you. The time, after all, is yours."

So I'll probably amble over from Daily News Live this evening with a few suggestions. Hope Andy leaves me some of the pizza this time.

Meanwhile, Chris Mortensen and the whole ESPN circus are predicting the Eagles move up in the first round, saying that the likely trade partner is Cleveland at No. 7; Mort Eagles brass poses in the war room, preparing for "moving on up."thinks their target is Tennessee safety Eric Berry. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, the only expert who had the Eagles getting Jeremy Maclin in the first round last year, doesn't unveil his 2010 mock until 1 p.m., but emailing with Mike this morning, I learned he also favors the tradeup scenario, with Texas safety Earl Thomas as his target. I know my former Daily News comrade Ray Didinger, now squinting under the bright lights of Comcast SportsNet, thinks a tradeup is likely, for either Berry or Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan, from Coatesville.

As was noted in this space yesterday, in Sports Illustrated, Peter King has the Birds trading up with Miami for the 12th overall pick and getting Morgan.

We've noted previously that the Birds have stayed put in their scheduled first-round draft position just twice in the last seven years.

If the Eagles came out of the first round with Berry, Thomas or Morgan, I think fans would be pretty happy. But I'll say one more time that burning one of those two second-round picks to trade up in the first might not be a great idea in this draft. Everyone says this is the most talent assembled in a draft in many years. There will be players with first-round grades taken well into the second round. And having a night to rework draft boards after the first is very valuable, the Eagles and other teams have said.

So I'd be really reluctant to part with either that 37th overall pick Friday, the Donovan McNabb pick from the Redskins, or the 55th pick the Eagles already had. Certainly, 37, the fifth pick of the second day, is quite a valuable chip.

I'm sure when I inform Andy, Howie and Joe of my views, they will concur.

***

Taking a break from all this frivolity, the Eagles announced that Sav Rocca has made his way back from Down Under and has gotten around to signing his 1-year restricted free agent tender; he was the last Eagle to do so.

***

Tons of draft stories and insights in today's Daily News. Here are some links:

Mock drafts from Domo and Les.

Domo's draft priorities for each team.

Domo's position by position player rankings

Winston Justice reflect on his draft day experience.

Paul Domowitch writes about how the Eagles need to improve their pass defense with this draft.

John Smallwood writes the Eagles should take an offensive lineman in Round 1.

On the 75th anniversary of the NFL draft, Ed Barkowitz looks at the best and worst Eagles picks of all time

Les Bowen looks at how the Eagles evaluates character and off field issues in the selection process.

A roundup of some other mock drafts

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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