Philadelphia Eagles 53-Man Roster Prediction

eaglesEarly this week the Philadelphia Eagles‘ coaching staff cut their roster down from 90 to 75. After Thursday’s game against the New York Jets, Chip Kelly will have to cut down his roster to 53. This is Chip Kelly’s first time ever cutting professional athletes from his roster and it is a tough thing to do because he has to look young men in their eyes and tell them that they will have to pursue their dream elsewhere.

With that being said, Chip Kelly will have to end the dreams of 22 more players this weekend and their are a few players that are sitting behind the eight ball. Players like Kurt Coleman and Greg Salas will need to have strong showings against the Jets if they wish to remain on the Eagles roster.

Now with out further adieu, here is my prediction for what the Eagles roster will look like on Saturday at 6:01 p.m. ET.

Quarterback (3):

Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley.

There is virtual no surprise here. VIck and Foles both played well during the preseason and Barkley was the Eagles fourth-round selection in this years draft. Kinne and Dixon didn’t play badly, but the situation just didn’t work out in Philadelphia and there just isn’t enough room on a 53-man roster to hold four or five quarterbacks.

Running Back (3):

LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk

There’s no doubt that LeSean McCoy is a top-10 back in the NFL and is set to have a career year in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo, run-first offense. Bryce Brown showed that he is a very good backup and change-of-pace back behind McCoy, but he will need to hold on to the ball if he wants to remain the teams backup running back. With the emergence of Chris Polk this offseason, the Eagles are loaded in the backfield and unfortunately for Matthew Tucker, he was outplayed by the other running backs on the roster.

Wide Receivers (6):

DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson, Russell Sheppard, Greg Salas

The first four names listed are no-brianers to make this roster, but Sheppard may surprise so people. Sheppard has been impressive all camp long and has shown great improvement from day 1, especially in his route running. Greg Salas has also played well throughout the offseason, with his most notable play being his one-handed catch in Week 1 of the preseason. The most notable cut here is Ifeanyi Momah who is just too raw and will need to continue to develop if he wants to play in the NFL.

Tight Ends (4):

Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Clay Harbor

Before the preseason began, I would have bet money that Harbor would not make the Eagles 53-man roster and right now, I’m happy that no one took that bet because Clay Harbor’s versatility will be key in Chip Kelly’s offense. On Saturday, don’t expect any surprises at tight end.

Offensive Lineman (9):

Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Lane Johnson, Allen Barbre, Dennis Kelly, Dallas Reynolds, Danny Watkins

There are no surprises with the teams starting five and the Eagles starting offensive line unit has the potential to be great, if, and that’s a big if, they can stay on the field. Probably the biggest surprise is Danny Watkins making the roster instead of being cut and the reason for this, if not Watkins than who? Watkins has not and probably will not play up to his first round selection but, god forbid, the Eagles suffer a few injuries upfront, Watkins isn’t the worst third-string player.

Defensive Line (7):

Fletcher Cox, Isaac Sopoaga, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, Bennie Logan, Damion Square, Clifton Geathers

Though the Eagles defense has been a work in progress, the defensive line seems like it could be the defense’s biggest strength. Going from a four-man front to a three-man front is never easy, but the Eagles defensive line has done a great job so far. They have gotten relentless pressure on the opposing quarterback, mainly due to the depth up front. They still need to improve against the run, but the potential for greatness is there.

Linebackers (8):

Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Chris McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Jake Knott, Emmanuel Acho

The Eagles linebacker core is a work in progress. Coordinator Bill Davis is trying to turn small, pass rushing defensive ends into 3-4 outside linebackers and it simply won’t happen over night. The inside linebacker position is a much healthier situation, with DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks looking good so far. The greatest surprise of training camp may be Jake Knott and his very strong play. Knott gives the Eagles depth up the middle and has given the Eagles coaching staff confidence that he can come in and play at a high level.

Cornerback (5):

Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Jordan Poyer, Curtis Marsh

The Eagles secondary is the teams biggest weakness because they have a lack of top end talent and depth. Bradley Fletcher has shown that he can tackle, but he is very soft in coverage. I believe Brandon Boykin may be the teams most valuable corner because he can play outside and inside at a very high level. Behind the Eagles starting three cornerbacks are a lot of question marks that are hopefully not tested this season.

Safety (5): 

Patrick Chung, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Colt Anderson, Kurt Coleman

Patrick Chung has really impressed me this preseason and has shown that he can still play at a high level and he brings physicality to the Eagles secondary. By the Eagles choosing to cut Kenny Phillips, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson seem to be safe, but if the coaching staff decides to cut one of them, the team could fill their roster sport with a waiver pick up or a player like Brandon Hughes.

Special Teams (3):

Jon Dorenbos, Alex Henery, Donnie Jones

The Eagles special teams unit could be very good this year and these three players will play a huge role in their success. With no other players to fill these roles, Henery, Jones, and Dornebos have already secured spots on the Eagles Week 1 roster.