Friday, December 26, 2014

Heckert Talks Draft

Eagles general manager held his annual predraft briefing with reporters Tuesday morning.

Heckert Talks Draft

Eagles general manager Tom Heckert talked with reporters about the upcoming NFL Draft today. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Eagles general manager Tom Heckert talked with reporters about the upcoming NFL Draft today. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Eagles general manager held his annual predraft briefing with reporters Tuesday morning.

One of the first questions he was asked was whether he or coach Andy Reid have had any trade conversations with teams like the Cardinals (about Anquan Boldin), the Browns (about Braylon Edwards), the Bengals (about Chad Ocho Cinko) and Bills (about offensive tackle Jason Peters.

He answered with your basic non-denial denial. ``No, not really,’’ Heckert said. ``You hear all these rumors (about players being shopped). But nobody’s called and said they’re willing to trade this guy or that guy.’’

Heckert said once again that the Eagles have the ammo to trade up near the top of the draft if they want to.

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"Obviously, we have the ammunition to go pretty high up if we want to,’’ he said. ``We can move up.’’

He said it’s not a given that the Eagles will take a running back in the first round, even with Brian Westbrook about to turn 30 and coming off a knee injury.

``It’s still not at a point where we’re going to say, `We have to come out of the first 2 rounds with a running back,’’ he said. ``There are good running backs you can get in the third and fourth rounds. There always are guys there that can play. It’s not like we’re in a panic mode (at running back) at any stretch.’’

Here is a transcript from some of the 60-minute session. Look for more in tomorrow's editions of the Daily News.

(On the possibility of trading up in the first round) Obviously, we have (enough) ammunition to go pretty high up if we want to. We can move up. But if we (stay at) 21 and 28, we think there are going to be guys there that will be just fine. Not the caliber of (guys in the) top 10. But we’ll see what happens.

(On the possibility of selecting a running back in the first round) The reason we haven’t taken one (in the first round) isn’t because we’re philosophically opposed to taking one that high. It’s just that we’ve had solid running backs and figured we’re not going to draft a first-round guy that’s not going to play a whole lot for us. We didn’t feel it was a necessity to have that guy. Even with Buck (Correll Buckhalter), we already had two good running backs. So we didn’t feel we needed to draft one early.

(Now?) It is (a possibility). But it’s still not at a point where we’re going to say we have to come out of the first two rounds with a running back. We think there are good running backs in the third and fourth rounds. There always are. We think there will be some guys (in the middle rounds) that can play and help us. It’s not like we’re in a panic mode (at running back) by any stretch.

(On the status of RB Lorenzo Booker) For whatever reason, it didn’t work out great for him last year. But we think he can still play. It’s tough to say he’s going to be our No. 2 guy just because he didn’t get a lot of opportunities last year and didn’t play much for us. But we do like him.

(How many offensive tackles do you expect to go in the first 15 picks? ) At least 3, maybe 4. Three could go in the top 10 realistically.

(On your left tackle situation) That has not been determined yet. Right now, if nothing else happens, it’s probably going to Todd (Herremans) or Shawn (Andrews). But nothing’s etched in stone.

(On Shawn Andrews) Shawn’s been here and he’s been great. Right now, I’d say everything is good. He’s been here. He’s working out. No problems with his back. He’s in great shape.

(On the tight end crop in the draft) It’s a very interesting group because now in college football with all this spread stuff, there are a lot (of tight ends) you never see on the line of scrimmage ever. At that position, what you’re looking at is a lot of big receivers. You just don’t see them block.

(On tight end Brent Celek) He’s going to be fine. If Brent’s our starting tight end, which he is right now, we have no problem with that.

(On Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith) The kid’s a good kid. There are no (character) questions.

(On what it would take for eagles to trade up into the top 10) We don’t know that yet. Teams we’ve talked to have say, `Hey, we’re willing to move. Next week, we’ll probably find out (the price). Nobody is going to move out just to move out. If there’s a player there they like, they’re going to stay there and take him. A few teams have called. But they haven’t say they want to get out. They said if somebody’s not there, they’d be willing to move out.
& nbsp; (on whether you could get into the top 10 without trading both of your first round picks) I would assumed it wouldn’t (take both of our first-round picks). But I don’t know the answer to that right now.

(On whether you would trade both No. 1 picks to move into the top 10) You never say never, but I would say that’s highly unlikely.

(On whether you like West Virginia quarterback Pat White as more than just a Wildcat weapon) We like him as a quarterback. Now, he can do other things. But he can play quarterback.
 

Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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