A first-round bye for Henne, Eagles

What did Chad Henne and the Philadelphia Eagles have in common during Saturday’s NFL Draft?Neither were players in the first round.We shall see whether that matters a twit down the road … the draft is merely where seeds are planted … it takes time to see whether they sprout gloriously or ignominiously … picking bodies isn’t the same exact science as picking toenails.Henne, the former Wilson and Michigan quarterback with the big arm, had been anointed the second-best quarterback by many draftniks.But he wound up being the fourth QB selected, falling to pick No. 57 in the second round to the Miami Dolphins. He and Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm got plenty of ESPN face time as the revamped draft format sped by at warp speed for seemingly everybody but these two passers, whose date with destiny proceeded at a glacial pace. Brohm was plucked by the Green Bay Packers one pick prior to Henne’s selection.Boston College’s Matt Ryan was the first quarterback chosen, going to the Atlanta Falcons with the third pick of the draft. Delaware’s Joe Flacco was the other first-round quarterback, going No. 18 to the Baltimore Ravens.With the Dolphins rebuilding under Bill Parcells, the wait might have been worth it for Henne. He has an excellent shot at competing for the starting job along with John Beck, Miami’s second-round pick last year, and veteran Josh McCown, a free agent addition who has played with mixed success at various NFL depots.As for the Eagles, they will have to wait until next year to see how their first-round pick works out.The Birds, supposedly so talented even though they are a non-playoff team that they can afford the present to bleed out in favor of the future, traded their first-round choice, the 19th pick, to Carolina in exchange for the Panthers’ first-round pick next season and second and fourth-round selections this year. The Panthers took Pitt offensive tackle Jeff Otah with that pick.Reid’s decision to deal out of the first round for the second straight year raised the Eagle Nation’s voices an octave or two. Apparently Otah didn’t shift Reid’s salivary glands into third, which was surprising. Andy, after all, covets offensive linemen even more than he does calories.Evidently Reid lost his appetite for an offensive lineman in the first round after he failed to trade up to land Virginia O-lineman Branden Albert, who went to Kansas City with the 15th pick after the Chiefs traded with the Detroit Lions.But when the Eagles finally did sit down at the draft trough in the second round, they didn’t do badly. Of course, they landed two situational players, not guys expected to make full-time contributions.After also trading the second-round pick they received from Carolina to Minnesota, the Eagles finally selected Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Laws with the 47th pick overall. Laws, who had a stellar season while the Fighting Irish were having a pathetic season, is projected as a backup who can pressure the quarterback from the middle.Two picks later the Eagles took DeSean Jackson, a wide receiver/punt returner from California who can run holes in the wind but is no bigger than a fruit fly. He should upgrade the Eagles’ special teams and should give Donovan McNabb a vertical dimension in the passing game. But the kid likely is going to be preyed upon by all the Bug Zappers in the red zone.The Eagles also traded a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins yesterday in exchange for running back Lorenzo Booker, whose skills somewhat mirror those of Brian Westbrook. Considering Westbrook is as fragile as fine china, Booker could prove to be a valuable insurance policy. And if Westbrook remains healthy, pairing Westbrook and Booker in the same backfield could allow the Birds to concoct some intriguing offensive components. Gone without saying, by the way, is for the second straight year the Eagles won’t have to pay anybody first-round money.I imagine Jeff Lurie’s wallet likes that, especially in this Bush-depressed economy.