Predicting what the Eagles are going to do in the NFL draft is no way to make a living. Go find the person who had them trading out of the first round in the 2007 and 2008 drafts and you have found a certified liar.

And still we predict.

After listening to general manager Tom Heckert field questions from the local media for nearly an hour today, I'm convinced that Tra Thomas' replacement at left tackle still isn't on the Eagles' roster. Heckert reiterated that the Eagles feel either Todd Herremans or Shawn Andrews -- both tackles in college -- could replace Thomas, but listening to him, you just get the feeling that moving one of those two from guard is only a backup plan.

If that's the case, then the Eagles have to do one of two things: Move up in the draft and take one of the stud offensive tackles or make a deal with the Buffalo Bills for the disgruntled Jason Peters.

Which of these options most appeals to the Eagles remains a mystery, but rest assured that both are still on their radar. The Eagles were really hoping that Carolina's Jordan Gross would hit the free-agent market and he would have been a better option at left tackle than all of the above. Is Peters close enough to that level of player to give up a first-round draft choice and then pay him Gross-type money (six years for $60 million)?

As for drafting an offensive tackle, the Eagles might have to move into the top 10 to get one of the three elite players at that position. In fact, they'd probably have to get into the top five to get either Baylor's Jason Smith or Virginia's Eugene Monroe, which Heckert admitted is unlikely. The wildcard is Alabama's Andre Smith, whose draft position has fluctuated based on some conditioning issues he had at the scouting combine. The current take on Smith is that he seems to be on the rise again.

Heckert downplayed Smith's combine issues.

"You just have to look into (the problems)," Heckert said. "We've kind of made the combine such a media spectacle, which is fine, but what happened (in Indianapolis) really wasn't that big of a deal. The kid is a good kid. It was just something that happened and it snowballed. If the guy is a good player, he's still going to be a good player."

Maybe the Eagles have their eye on Andre Smith. Maybe not. But the feeling here is that the Eagles are going to do something on draft day to land a left tackle.