PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles emerged from the draft Sunday with an interesting and lengthy cast of characters, most of whom Andy Reid puts in his 'safe' category of future, rather than immediate starters.While the Big Guy expects criticism for trading out of the first round for the second straight year -- especially after an 8-8 season -- he insists the draft will enhance the club's offseason upgrades in free agency.Speaking of enhancements, Reid indicated the Eagles may adjust the contract of cornerback Lito Sheppard, whom they have been unable to trade.For now Reid expects to discuss the matter with Sheppard at the minicamp that begins this Friday. "We'll work something out," Reid said. "We'll talk about all that. I'll talk to Lito about that."Reid saved most of his enthusiasm for the draft. He's counting on defensive tackle Trevor Laws and wide receiver-kick returner DeSean Jackson, both second-round picks, and running back Lorenzo Booker, acquired Saturday from the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round choice."The three that we picked up on the first day -- and I include Booker in that -- they have a chance if things work out right to come in and help this football team win games," Reid said. "I can't say that I've sat up here every year and felt that way. There are certain guys who we brought in that I thought it would take a year or they were playing behind a player that they probably weren't going to beat out. These three, barring injury or doing something I wouldn't expect them to do, I think they could come in and help us win some games this year."In addition to providing the strongest indication to date that Sheppard could remain on board -- his gear was in the locker room Sunday -- Reid gave his vision of what the depth chart at cornerback would look like including mega-bucks free agent addition Asante Samuel and veteran Sheldon Brown. "The way to use him is just like we used Bobby Taylor, Al Harris and Troy Vincent," Reid said. "We just rotated all of them and they were all starters in our eyes. Just let them play. That's the way I look at this secondary."Until then the Eagles are eager to get a look at the new guys.The Eagles anticipate Notre Dame-product Laws to join the rotation at defensive tackle, which is one of the easier transitions a rookie can make.With 4.27 speed in the 40-yard dash and quickness to match, Jackson quietly is seen as a knockoff of game-breaking Chicago Bears kick returner-wide receiver Devin Hester. At California, Jackson returned five punts for touchdowns. "I see a lot of things that he does that I can do also," Jackson said. "I'm just patiently waiting. We start camp next week and I'll just come in for a couple days and show what I can do."The Eagles think Booker catches the ball well enough they can flex him out at wide receiver as they've done Brian Westbrook, or team him with the Pro Bowl running back to create enormous headaches for the opposition. Reid said he got a good scouting report on Booker from his buddy, Dolphins vice president of football operations Bill Parcells. Reid also said he wanted to draft Booker, a third-round pick out of Florida State, last spring. "I think I'll at least be getting the same player I saw in college," Reid said. "He's done it at this level for a very short period of time but he's done it so I was able to at least see him against players of this speed and caliber. I think he can come in and help us. Considering that I got a third-round pick that has been in the league one year for a fourth-round pick, I think that's a pretty good deal."All of that said, Reid thinks the combination of free agent upgrades, trade acquisitions and draft picks really have helped close the gap on the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys, the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and the Washington Redskins, who also made the playoffs."I appreciate you reminding me that everybody else made the playoffs," Reid said. "Yeah, we do. We're going to be in a pretty good NFC East, and we want to make sure that we do a little better job in it."
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