Predicting the Eagles 53 Man Roster
August 27, 2013 in Philadelphia Eagles
Quarterbacks (3): Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley
-No real shock here as the Eagles top three QB's are a lock.
Running backs (3): LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk
-Matthew Tucker is a tough guy to cut, especially on a team that will feature the run this year, but I think that is what the Eagles will end up doing. They'll stash him on the practice squad and call him up later in the year if a spot (not just among running backs) opens up.
Tight Ends (4): Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Clay Harbor
-Don't see much of a battle here, all four guys are pretty much locks. Harbor increased his value by lining up at wide receiver and will contribute on special teams as well.
Wide Receivers (5): DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson, Greg Salas
-The top four spots are easily set, and it is pretty likely that Salas is a lock as well. The real question becomes, do the Eagles keep a 6th receiver. Ideally that would be Russel Shepard, who started out with a strong camp but hasn't done as much lately. I think with Clay Harbor as a hybrid WR/TE the team will only stick with 5 receivers and hope to add Shepard to the practice squad.
Offensive Tackle (9): Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Danny Watkins, Allen Barbre, Dennis Kelly, Dallas Reynolds
-The starting 5 are set, beyond that it is a little bit more unknown. Dennis Kelly is nursing an injury, but he's expected back in a couple of weeks so I expect he'll make the roster. Barbre has a lot of positional versatility and will be the swing tackle until Kelly is healthy. Watkins has remained a disappointment, but he'll probably get one more chance with the Eagles. The final spot should be an interesting battle between Reynolds and Julian Vandervelde. Reynolds could have the edge as Vandervelde is practice squad eligible.
Defensive line (7): Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Issac Sopoaga, Clifton Geathers, Vinny Curry, Bennie Logan, Damion Square
-Seven is a good number for the defensive line, especially since Vinny Curry isn't ideal for any sort of every down role. The Eagles should have a strong starting unit of Cox, Thornton, and Sopoaga, and a decent back-up group of Geathers, Curry, and Logan with a lot of upside. Square has earned a spot with a strong training camp.
Outside Linebacker (4): Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Everette Brown
-Cole and Barwin are locks, and Graham should be pretty close to a lock as well. The battle for the 4th OLB spot is a good one, but guys like Travis Long and newly acquired Adrian Robinson are practice squad eligible. Chris McCoy could be in the mix as well, but Brown has more natural pass rush ability and the team could see the former 2nd rounder's potential as worth the risk.
Inside Linebackers (4): DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Emmanuel Acho, Casey Matthews
-This is perhaps the toughest cut for the Eagles to make as UDFA Jake Knott has looked really good in the preseason. I think the Eagles will try to sneak him on to the practice squad. It could be a risky play, but I just don't see him making the team when that is at least a possibility. Matthews has the Oregon connection which doesn't hurt, and Acho was a 4th rounder just a year ago that the Eagles traded for.
Cornerbacks (6): Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Jordan Poyer, Trevard Lindley, free agent/waiver wire pick-up
-This position has been decimated with injuries. Brandon Hughes should have easily made this roster, but with a fractured hand he may be headed to IR. The top three corners are set, and Jordan Poyer will likely make this team due to Chip Kelly's familiarity with him, his versatility and his special teams ability. Lindley ideally wouldn't have made this squad and it is possible the Eagles look to add a pair of corners. It is pretty much a lock that they will need to add at least one guy off waivers, or maybe more likely a veteran free agent.
Safety (5): Patrick Chung, Earl Wolff, Nate Allen, Colt Anderson, free agent/waiver wire pick-up
-Another problem area that will look for outside help, technically Kurt Coleman might make the initial cut, but that should change as soon as the Eagles find a guy on the waiver wire (or free agent) that they like. Wolff has shown some promise and may even be ahead of Nate Allen to start the year. Patrick Chung should be a good starter, but the other spot could be a rotation this year between Wolff, Allen and whomever they can pick up. Colt Anderson is a core special teamer but doesn't offer much as a defender.
Specialists (3): K Alex Henery, P Donnie Jones, LS Jon Dorenbos
-No surprises here, Dorenbos is healthy and the kickers are set.