DANA POINT, Calif. -- Twelve total draft picks. Two in the first round at 21 and 28. How high could the Eagles trade up in the first round to get somebody next month? Pretty much as high as they want to go, general manager Tom Heckert said today.
``With those 12 picks, we feel we can do whatever we want,’’ he said. ``We can get up as high (in the first round) as we want, or sit there (at 21 and 28) and wait for who’s there. But we have enough ammunition to just about anything we want.’’
Heckert said the price to move up into the top seven or eight has decreased considerably because of the reluctance of teams up that high to gamble millions in guaranteed money on untested players.
``It costs less to move up (than it used to),’’ Heckert said. ``Teams are a lot more willing to get out. The teams way up top, because of the compensation moneywise, they want to get out of there.’’
What should be the Eagles' top draft priority?
* On whether the Eagles’ need for an offensive tackle early in the draft is being overstated: ``If we didn’t get Stacy (Andrews), then I think it would be a bigger problem for us. But both Todd (Herremans) and Shawn (Andrews) can play out there. It’s something we’re always looking at, but we think we can line up and play right now with one of those guys at left tackle.’’
* On the possibility of waiting until the second round to take a running back: ``You’d have to hold your breath if you wanted to wait for one (in the second round). You might have to move up.’’
* On the fact that the Eagles never have taken a running back higher than the third round since Andy Reid became coach: ``Obviously, it’s an important position. But it’s been proven over time that you can find backs later on in the draft. We obviously haven’t been great at it. We got Brian (Westbrook in the third round in 2002). But if you look around the league, there are good players that have been taken in the third-fourth-fifth round.’’
Look for more in Tuesday's Daily News ...
For Ron Jaworski's take on the Eagles' need for a running back, click here.