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Projecting the Philadelphia Eagles’ 53-Man Roster

These are our official projections for the Eagles’ 53-man roster. This article will continually be updated, so check back every day or so, and the changes will be in red.

QBs (3): Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley

The first two are fairly obvious: the Eagles ARE NOT going to cut Michael Vick, the most dynamic QB on the roster, and Nick Foles is here to compete for the starting job.

GJ Kinne has been solid thus far (in both the preseason game and in training camp), but he has not shown enough to unseat Matt Barkley. That is not to say that I believe in Barkley, but he deserves much more time to prove he is the “QB of the future”.

Also, no need to waste a practice squad spot on either Kinne or Dixon unless Kinne shows some real talent over the next three weeks.

Cut: GJ Kinne, Dennis Dixon

RBs (3): LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk

Another fairly obvious position. McCoy and Brown have solidified their roster spots with past performances, and Polk’s incredible training camp has made him a competitor not for a roster spot, but for the primary backup position.

Practice Squad: Matthew Tucker

Tucker is a young player with some upside, especially as a goal-line specialist, and with McCoy banged up it will be nice to have someone in case of an emergency. Felix Jones has shown nothing to suggest he can make an impact on this team.

Cut: Felix Jones

WRs (6): DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Greg Salas, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson, Russell Shepard

DeSean Jackson is a given, Riley Cooper is a given considering how quickly Chip Kelly brought him back from “counseling,” and Jason Avant’s roster spot was solidified when one of the few veteran WRs on this team, Maclin, went down for the season.

This is where it gets interesting. Damaris Johnson has made himself a near-certainty to make the roster thanks to big play after big play in practice and some game-breaking punt returns (including a 61-yard burst against New England). Salas came in as an underdog, but has impressed much more than Ifeanyi Momah or the banged up Arrelious Benn, with several highlight reel catches in practice and a big day in the first preseason game. He’s even earned first-team reps in practice due to his incredible play.

Russell Shepard has also been a solid, young player for this offense, and the Eagles will need some depth given the inexperience of this unit. He has the most upside of any WR left, so why not give him a shot? Kelly definitely likes him, which is why I see him making the roster over an extra defensive lineman.

Practice Squad: Jeff Maehl

Jeff Maehl also runs great routes and knows Chip Kelly’s offense, so I see him as a practice squad candidate.

Final point on wideouts: Ifeanyi Momah has been a big, big disappointment. Everyone thought his size would translate into a fantastic red zone weapon, but unfortunately he has simply not panned out.

Cut: Ifeanyi Momah, Arrelious Benn, Nick Miller, Will Murphy

TEs (4): Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, James Casey, Clay Harbor

Ertz, a second-round picks with great receiving skills, Celek, the incumbent, and Casey, the veteran blocker, all figure to make the roster easily. With Chip Kelly’s emphasis on 2-tight end sets, having three capable ones on roster will be a nice luxury for the Eagles.

Clay Harbor has been getting some work at wideout and tight end, showing his versatility as the most athletic tight end on the team. Keeping him around as depth at both positions would be a smart decision.

Cut: Derek Carrier, Will Shaw

OL (9): Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Danny Watkins, Dennis Kelly, Allen Barbre, Julian Vandervelde

The starters, Peters, Herremans, Mathis, Kelce, and Johnson, are set in stone. Dennis Kelly has earned a backup roles with past performances.

I think the Eagles will keep Watkins around because he has experience, Barbre has impressed, and Vandervelde can take the role of recently cut Dallas Reynolds.

Cut: Matt Tennant, Matt Tobin, Dallas Reynolds, Michael Bamiro, Matt Kopa, Nic Purcell, Ed Wang, Matt Tobin

DL (7): Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Isaac Sopoaga, Bennie Logan, Clifton Geathers, Vinny Curry, Damion Square

Damion Square (via Philly.com)

With the Eagles running a fast-paced offense, having a lot of bodies at defensive end will be key to help keep players fresh. The 3-4 requires much more of ends than the 4-3, which is why I’m keeping 5 (and Joe Kruger, as you’ll see).

Starters Fletcher Cox (5-tech), Cedric Thornton (3-tech), and Isaac Sopoaga (nose tackle) have earned roster spots through strong camp performances. Logan, a third-round rookie, and Vinny Curry, who has been a very strong pass rusher thus far in camp, have also earned their way onto the 53-man roster.

Geathers’ size makes him an ideal 5-tech, so he’ll back up Cox, and Square has impressed immensely in preseason. His great play has come at the expense of versatile DE/OLB Joe Kruger, who’ll start the season on the practice squad.

Practice Squad: Joe Kruger

I give Joe Kruger the edge over others here because of his versatility and youth.

Cut: David King, Daryell Walker, Everette Brown, Phillip Hunt, Isaac Remington, Antonio Dixon

OLBs (4): Connor Barwin, Chris McCoy, Brandon Graham, Trent Cole

Connor Barwin was brought in to help anchor the 3-4 defense as the team’s starting SAM, with Trent Cole and Brandon Graham competing for the starting WILL (Predator/rusher) spot.

Chris McCoy has stood out in camp as someone whose made the most improvement, supplementing his strong rushing skills with much-improved coverage abilities. His 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles against New England have him on the inside looking out.

Cut: Travis Long

ILBs (4): Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans, Jake Knott, Emmanuel Acho

Jake Knott (via The Gazette) 

The obvious ones are Kendricks and Ryans, last year’s starters, while Jake Knott’s extremely strong start to camp has put him right behind them. Emmanuel Acho, who the Eagles got in the Dion Lewis trade, has been similarly good which gives him the edge over special teams specialist Casey Matthews, who ends up on the practice squad.

Practice Squad: Casey Matthews

Cut: Jamar Chaney

CBs (5): Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Jordan Poyer, Free Agent

Brandon Boykin has solidified his place as the top CB on this roster as of now with a very strong camp, and Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams are also roster locks. Jordan Poyer is the rookie with a ton of upside, so expect him to make the roster.

Injuries have decimated this unit. I expect them to sign someone cut from another team’s roster to supplement their four guys already.

Cut: Brandon Hughes, Curtis Marsh, Trevard Lindley, Eddie Whitley

S (5): Earl Wolff, Nate Allen, Patrick Chung, Colt Anderson, Kurt Coleman

Patrick Chung and Nate Allen have been getting most of the first-team reps, so they are virtual locks. Colt Anderson is the special teams maven this team has counted on, and with a Pro Bowl under his belt, there is no way the Eagles are getting rid of him. Earl Wolff has made a ton of interceptions in camp and has impressed coaches and reporters alike. He’s a rookie to watch possibly take over a starting role by November.

Finally, it comes down to David Sims, Kurt Coleman, and very little depth, and I think Sims is the best option out of those three, which isn’t saying much. Kenny Phillips, in case you were wondering, has 0 left in the tank.

Cut: David Sims, Kenny Phillips

STs (3): Jon Dorenbos, Alex Henery, Donnie Jones

The first two are obvious, given that Dorenbos recovers from his recent concussion, and Donnie Jones has been the better punter thus far in camp.

Cut: Brad Wing (P)

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Categories: Eagles, Editorial

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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