With the draft 11 days away, I'll take a position-by-position look at what might be in store for the Eagles.
Let's start with the offensive side of the ball and quarterback.
On the roster: The Birds currently have three QBs on their roster. We know Michael Vick is slated to be the starter for 2011, but beyond that, things are a bit up in the air.
I think the Eagles would have really liked to trade Kevin Kolb and get 2011 picks for him, but because of the unsettled labor situation, it's unlikely that's going to happen. As I explained on Friday, the question now is whether the Birds will be willing to accept 2012 picks or a player(s) in return for Kolb.
Last year's fourth-round pick, Mike Kafka is also on the roster. I don't think the Eagles would be willing to go into next season with him as the backup, but I could be wrong.
Contract situations: Vick was franchised, meaning as things stand now, he's under contract only through 2011 at just under $16 million. But that could change when the labor situation is resolved if the Eagles decide to offer up a long-term deal.
Kolb is also signed only through next season, but at a much lower price: $1.392 million. His contract is one of the reasons I think the Eagles very well might be willing to still make a trade after the 2011 draft. It could be that they either accept 2012 picks (and/or possibly a player) or lose him after next season for nothing.
Kafka is on a rookie deal ($2.257 million) and is signed through 2013.
Draft history: In five of 12 drafts since Andy Reid has been here, the Eagles have taken a quarterback: Donovan McNabb (1st round, No. 2 overall) in 1999; A.J. Feeley (5th round, 155nd overall) in 2001; Andy Hall (6th round, 185th overall) in 2004; Kevin Kolb (2nd round, 36th overall) in 2007; and Kafka (4th round, 122nd overall) in 2010.
Workouts/visits: There are several QBs the Birds have reportedly taken a look at: TCU's Andy Dalton, Delaware's Pat Devlin, Nevada's Colin Kaepernick, Washington's Jake Locker, Alabama's Greg McElroy and Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor.
How I see it: Don't get too carried away with all the workouts. This is just what NFL teams do in the months between the Super Bowl and the draft. Keep in mind that they're doing their homework not only for this year, but for the future. Maybe three years down the road, the Eagles will be in the market for a quarterback, even if it's only a backup. And maybe the homework they do now will pay off then.
I really cannot see the Eagles drafting a quarterback in the early or middle rounds this year. For a 2011 draftee to even make the roster, one of two things would have to happen:
1. Kolb gets dealt, and the Eagles feel confident enough in Kafka to make him the backup, meaning the rookie QB would earn a roster spot as a third-stringer.
2. The Eagles feel the rookie they select is a better prospect than Kafka.
I don't see either of those two scenarios playing out. They could spend a late-round pick on a QB and dump him on the practice squad, but other than that, quarterback is not a draft need this year.
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