How the Philadelphia Eagles’ Roster Should Look for the 2009-2010 Season


By PFC Writer Bob Cunningham

Training Camp is still about two months away, but everyone is talking about who will make the 53-man roster for the start of the season.

Yes, even now.

I suppose as football fans, we need something to keep us occupied throughout these dark weeks of the NFL offseason. That’s the motivation behind draft grades, all the rumors that are intentionally circulated, and of course, guessing the 53-man roster.

There are bound to be a couple surprises with the final roster, and attempting to guess it is not all that realistic. So instead, I’ll simply be taking a look at how I believe the roster should look come September.

Again, this is a what would I do if I was Andy Reid and not what do I believe Andy Reid will actually do with the roster.

OFFENSE
 
Quarterback (3)

QB 1) Donovan McNabb – Easily a top-five QB in the NFL, easily wins job

QB 2) A.J. Feeley – If McNabb goes down, I’d rather have Feeley than…

QB 3) Kevin Kolb – Has shown nothing but mistakes. Not a better QB than Feeley

*Notes: All three quarterbacks’ contracts are up in 2010, which will show a lot depending on who the Eagles resign next year. These three are locks for now, any other QB brought in knows he’s only a camp body.

Running Back (3)

RB 1) Brian Westbrook – When healthy, the most dangerous RB in the game

RB 2) LeSean McCoy – Perfect complement/replacement for BWest

RB 3) Kyle Eckel – Can play RB, FB, and ST. Too versatile not to keep. Big guy.

*Notes: Unlike most, I am a believer in Lorenzo Booker. Unfortunately he’s just too much like Westbrook and McCoy. Also, Eckel can play three positions, where Booker is limited to one considering he’s no longer needed in the return game with Demps, Jackson, Maclin, and Hobbs.

Fullback (1)

FB 1) Leonard Weaver – Pro Bowl caliber FB, can also run the ball like a RB

*Notes: Weaver’s only competition is an undrafted guy, and that’s almost as good as no competition. Weaver was brought in for a reason. May have to contend with Kyle Eckel if the coaches aren’t sold on him at RB, but either way Weaver wins his job.

Wide Receiver (5)

WR 1) Kevin Curtis – As of now, still the best WR on this team

WR 2) DeSean Jackson – Has potential to be the No. 1, but is still young

WR 3) Jeremy Maclin – First round pick will be called upon for immediate results

WR 4) Jason Avant – Should see a lot of playing time on third down in the slot

WR 5) Hank Baskett – Size and potential keeps him on this team, for now

*Notes: If the Eagles keep six, Reggie Brown will be the sixth receiver they keep. However, I don’t forsee them keeping six. I would like to see Brandon Gibson at least on the practice squad. Gibson could turn into a playmaker.

Tight End (3)

TE 1) Brent Celek – Showed enough in postseason to earn starting job

TE 2) Cornelius Ingram – Hurt in ’08 for senior year but has immense upside

TE 3) Matt Schobel – Makes the team by default. Veteran could help young guys

*Notes: Matt Schobel is really not a guy who I want on this roster. I liked him when they brought him in, but his half-hearted performance against the Bears, and really all year, has turned me off to Schobel. Obviously doesn’t want to block but lacks the hands to get away with it.

Offensive Line (10)

RT 1) Shawn Andrews – If he stays on the field, he’ll be headed to the Pro Bowl

RT 2) Mike McGlynn – Played RT in college, would work as a backup for Andrews

RG 1) Stacy Andrews – Should be healthy and good to go at guard

RG 2) Max Jean-Gilles – Big, tough road-grater. Love MJG as a backup

C 1) Jamal Jackson – Will get pushed in camp and should keep starting spot

C 2) Nick Cole – Possibly the most versatile lineman, could backup at C and G

LG 1) Todd Herremans – Played well last year, looks to improve to next level

LG 2) Mike Gibson – Young guy with a lot of upside, played T in college, G in NFL

LT 1) Jason Peters – Best LT in football? We’ll see how he plays with a fat wallet

LT 2) King Dunlap – Seventh round pick a year ago who Eagles love in the future

*Notes: I would love to see Winston Justice make the team. I think he can blossom into a great talent if given the time and the help. He played well at RT and should get a look there and inside at guard.

DEFENSE

Defensive Line (10)

LDE 1) Juqua Parker – Still a more-than-capable veteran guy. High motor.

LDE 2) Victor Abiamiri – Could push for starting job, more likely in the rotation

LDE 3) Chris Clemons – Made a push late last year, could be a pleasant surprise

LDT 1) Mike Patterson – Perhaps the most underrated defensive player in NFL

LDT 2) Trevor Laws – Second-year man looks to improve on solid rookie year

RDT 1) Brodrick Bunkley – Pro Bowl caliber guy who stuffs the run extremely well

RDT 2) Dan Klecko – Played well at DT before switch to FB (2.5 sacks in 3 games)

RDE 1) Trent Cole – One of the best in the league, young and looks to improve

RDE 2) Darren Howard – Incredible ’09 campaign should carry over

RDE 3) Bryan Smith – Has yet to play a down, young guy with a lot of upside

*Notes: No surprises here, although it would be no shock to see Abiamiri overtake Parker for the starting spot. The Eagles would love their former second-round pick to become a starter, but they will probably have to wait. Howard most likely won’t repeat in ’09 year, but even half is a great help.

Linebacker (6)

SAM 1) Chris Gocong – Starting job is his without much competition

SAM 2) Tank Daniels – Mostly a ST guy, could help at LB in a pinch

MIKE 1) Stewart Bradley – Starter at MIKE for years to come. Pro Bowl?

MIKE 2) Joe Mays – Would love to see the “Headbuster” get some time

WILL 1) Omar Gaither – Should still be starting. Guy can be a playmaker

WILL 2) Akeem Jordan – Played well but should lose out to experience

*Notes: While Jordan played well last season, I do not believe it was well enough to keep Gaither on the bench. The Eagles have invested a lot in Gaither, a former fifth-round pick. They cut Trot to give him starting MIKE spot, and TKO to give him starting WILL spot.

Cornerback (5)

CB 1) Asante Samuel – Still the best in the game, has his spot locked up

CB 2) Sheldon Brown – Should play well despite contract, another lock

CB 3) Ellis Hobbs – Starting caliber player on any other team

CB 4) Joselio Hanson – Will take back third spot next year after Brown is gone

CB 5) Jack Ickegwuonu – Needs time to shake off the rust and earn a job

*Notes: Hanson and Hobbs will probably split time with Hobbs getting just a couple more snaps throughout the season. Hobbs will start next year and Hanson will move to the nickel corner after Brown is traded. Yes, I believe he will be traded next offseason. Icky needs a wakeup call or the Eagles will be welcoming an undrafted guy.

Safety (4)

FS 1) Quintin Mikell – Yes, I want Mikell playing free safety, his natural position

FS 2) Quintin Demps – Too much hype, he’s not yet ready to start

SS 1) Sean Jones – Not a free safety like originally thought, good SS though

SS 2) Macho Harris – Probably a free safety, but will need to make the team

*Notes: Macho Harris is probably a free safety, but needs to make the team in any way that he can. Demps is not ready to start and should sit behind Mikell/Jones for a few years to learn the ropes, there’s too much hype around him. Did I mention that I love Sean Jones as a starter for this team?

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker (1)

K 1) David Akers – Still the best option for this team, and still a very good K

*Notes: Any kicker brought in is nothing more than a camp body. Sam Swank will have to make an impression and latch on elsewhere, unless he proves absolutely phenomenal and too good to let go.

Punter (1)

P 1) Sav Rocca – His job to lose. Without much competition, doesn’t seem likely

*Notes: Rocca is in the same position as Akers. It’s his job to lose and I don’t forsee that happening. The Aussie stays in Philly.

Long Snapper

LS 1) Jon Dorenbos – “Don’t know who he is? Good, means he’s doing his job”

*Notes: I quoted myself. This is what I said about Dorenbos last year, and the same is true now. Part-time magician works his magic for Philly in ’09.

Practice Squad

OT Fenuki Tupou

WR Shaheer McBride

WR Brandon Gibson

OG Paul Fanaika

OLB Moises Fukou

TE Eugene Bright

WR Danny Amendola

RB Eldra Buckley

If there were a disclaimer on this it would read something like, “Numbers and players are subject to change without notice based on training camp performances and injuries.”

Prepare for the dark weeks of the NFL offseason, football fans. I’m here all year.