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Predicting How the Eagles 53 Man Roster Is Finalized

The preseason exhibitions an now complete.  The Eagles 2nd and 3rd string teams conducted their final auditions for not just Philadelphia, but the entire NFL.

For some players, it has been a forgone conclusion that they’ll still be in midnight green after the final cut.  With others, the 4th preseason game was their final tryout.

After tonight’s 24-14 victory over the New York Jet, this is what I think the Eagles 53 man roster will look like.

  • Quarterback (3):  Michael Vick; Vince Young; Mike Kafka……This was the projected QB lineup the moment Young was signed.  The $100 million Vick is the face of the franchise.  Young is likely the No. 2, but Kafka is No. 2a.
  • Halfback (3): LeSean McCoy: Ronnie Brown; Dion Lewis….This trio has the potential to be the best 3 headed monster since Andy Reid became head coach.  Look for undrafted rookie Graig Cooper to land on the practice squad.  Eldra Buckley played like he’s expecting to be released against the Jets.
  • Fullback (1): Owen Schmitt*…..After reports that the Eagles attempted to claim Jerome Felton off waivers, it makes you wonder how satisfied they are with Schmitt.  They prefer an FB who can be a weapon and a blocker, so the Eagles fullback could very well be another teams cut on Saturday.  Stan Havili’s slim chance dropped when he fumbled in FG range.  He’ll likely be on the practice squad.
  • Wide Receiver (6): DeSean Jackson; Jeremy Maclin; Steve Smith; Jason Avant; Riley Cooper; Sinorice Moss….The first five receivers are locks, but I think Moss beat out Chad Hall based on his punt return ability (especially after Hall fumbled twice).   The other receivers, including Johnny Lee Higgins, had to know they wouldn’t be Eagles in September.
  • Tight End (3): Brent Celek; Clay Harbor; Donald Lee….I’ve never liked the strategy of keeping just two tight ends.  Unlike last season, the Eagles have more talented options and will likely keep three this time around.  Cornelius Ingram showed flashes of why he was considered a steal when he was drafted in 2009.  He’ll land somewhere else (Seattle?) before he lands on the practice squad again.
  • Offensive Linemen (9): Jason Peters; Evan Mathis; Jason Kelce; Danny Watkins; Todd Herremans; King Dunlap; Jamaal Jackson; Julian Vandervelde; Reggie Wells………Say hello to Howard Mudd’s revamped lineup.  These are the versatile, athletic, zone-blocking protectors of the investment know as Michael Vick.  Let’s hope it works.  Winston Justice will start the season on the PUP and replace Dunlap when he returns.  Ryan Harris signed with the Eagles to join their IR.
  • Defensive End (5): Trent Cole; Jason Babin; Darryl Tapp; Daniel Te’o-Nesheim; Philip Hunt…..Jim Washburn’s technique is why Babin’s in Philly and why Tapp and Te’o-Nesheim look much better than last season. Coming from the CFL, not many outside the NovaCare Complex thought Hunt would be this good.  Chris Wilson looked good against the Jets, but he’ll be playing elsewhere.  A $4.3 million cap hit is too high to keep Juqua Parker, especially if they plan to extend DeSean Jackson.
  • Defensive Tackle (5): Mike Patterson; Antonio Dixon; Cullen Jenkins; Derrick Landri; Anthony Hargrove…..The first 3 were locks.  Hargrove’s versatility (DE and DT) makes him extremely valuable.  Trevor Laws didn’t do enough to beat out Landri, but he’ll quickly sign elsewhere.  Cedric Thornton is likely headed to the practice squad.
  • Linebacker (6): Casey Matthews; Moises Fokou; Jamar Chaney; Keenan Clayton; Brian Rolle; Akeem Jordan….This was the easiest to predict because there was never any serious competition at linebacker.  I hope they prove me wrong but on paper, this is one of the weaker spots on the team.  I don’t think Rashad Jeanty did enough to beat out Jordan, whose special teams play and ability to play all 3 LB spots make him very reliable.  Don’t be surprised Greg Lloyd somehow ends up with a leg injury, placing him on IR.
  • Safety (4): Jared Page; Kurt Coleman; Nate Allen; Jaiquawn Jarrett…..Page and Coleman isn’t a bad starting combo, but I’m sure the Eagles have visions of Allen and Jarrett.  Once Allen’s leg is at full strength and Jarrett learns the defense, they’ll be the starting safeties.  Colt Anderson is going to be one of those difficult releases.  Marlin Jackson will either be released on placed on IR.
  • Cornerback (5): Nnamdi Asoumugha; Asante Samuel; Dominique Rogers-Cromartie; Curtis Marsh; Trevard Lindley…..Brandon Hughes has played well in the preseason, but I don’t think he did enough to beat out Lindley.  He’s going to be another one of those tough decisions.  Joselio Hanson should be traded very soon.
  • Special Teams (3): Alex Henery-K; Chas Henry-P; Jon Dorenbos-LS….Like the linebackers, the rookie kickers had no competition.  Growing pains is to be expected, but this unit should be intact the next few years.

I’m not ready to anoint this a Super Bowl caliber roster.  The offensive line is still a huge concern.  Beginning the season with two dome games could be a blessing in disguise if it helps the O-line work harder on their communication and gel.  The pressure is on for them to keep Vick upright.

If they don’t allow MV7 to get pummeled and allow him time to make the right decisions, this offense will flourish.

On the defensive side, the pass rush and secondary should make up for what the linebacker group may lack.

While St. Louis won’t be a cakewalk, it’s a good thing they start the regular season against the Rams.  They should be able to squeeze out a win while still working on improvements.

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Posted by on Sep 2 2011. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News, NFL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

11 Comments for “Predicting How the Eagles 53 Man Roster Is Finalized”

  1. My Roster Predictions were very close to yours Haran
    I do think they will keep CB B Hughes and find an injury for C Marsh to hide on IR for the Season since I don’t think MArsh is really ready to contribute in 2011.
    I also think that S Moss is the best option as a 6th WR/Return man over C Hall..
    I could see the Eagles looking for another OLB and FB from around the NFL after these cutdowns where A Jordan would be the odd-man out and also to fine a more athletic FB than Schmitt who is servicaeable but just not quick enough to really do much in the passing game (and we all know how Coach AR/MM like FB’s who can contribute in the passing game) Havilli does have some potential and I can see him on Practice squad and have real shot next year but needs to committ himself to being able to block a lot better if he wants to be a NFL player at FB

  2. 1 last thing is the Safety position where ALlen ro even Jarrett could be moved on the PUP to buy a month of strengthening and keep Colt Anderson until ALlen is 100% for he has not looked 100% or very good all Summer long..

  3. And I have McGlynn making the final cut over Jackson as the back-up CEnter

  4. Based on ability J Parker should beat out Teo N. His salary is probably slated to go to DJax once he is cut. I think Teo should be on the practice team, but $ talks in the NFL.
    Moss is waaaaay better than Hall, it was a nice story and I hope he finds a team.
    I think McGlynn and Dunlap both looked bad last night, but they need Dunlap. I don’t think Mudd wants McGlynn at center when Jackson can be counted on.

    McCoy will be a beast this year with 80+ receptions and some good runs. He gets lots of open space with teams playing back on DJax and Maclin. Celek really needs to catch the ball better this year because his blocking is much better.

  5. I agree down-the-line. Nice assesment, Haran.

  6. we should cut danny watkins lol

  7. What the hell is G talking about nate allen sucks! sure hes ok in pass coverage but that doesnt matter as much when we have three probowl corners. coleman is a better all round saftey.. i do not want nate allen on the field he get run over consistanly healthy or not.. as for page page is a very good player.. hes 225 and can hit and play the pass.. we need safteys that can hit .. i like jarrett also

  8. One safety will be the center fielder, ala Ed Reed, taking the deep ball away
    The other will be in the box as another LB, whether blitzing or on a TE/RB
    I like all of our options at safety (some better than others of course, but all serviceable)

  9. If you think Kurt Coleman is a better player than Nate Allen, then you just don’t now football. Coleman is a nice backup, but that’s it. Allen has the chance to be a very good ball player

  10. Kurt Coleman is more productive at this point in time MJacobs45
    and there is no denying thta for he plays fast and with confidence in what he’s doing..Allen seems to play at about 85% and does not seem sure of himself a lot of times, he continually takes poor angles on tackling and has been caught out of position many times in pass coverage early on so far..
    One thing to keep in mind Mackobs is that I think a lot of fans (like me) are tired of hearing about this potential, or a players upside ir he will be good i nyears 2 or 3 and I am not just talking about Allen, I mean everyone from recent players like Demps, M Harris, O Gaither, S Bradley, C Gocong, Bunkley,Patterson, T Laws and on and on.. Play the players who are up to spped and play with confidence and like their hairs on fire.. and so far early in his CAreer, Nate Allen has not deomstrated much of this in my opinion and seems to be thinking too much on the field instead of letting his natural instincts and talent take over which he has a lot of .. but he needs to let it go and let it rip.. so in the final analysis, If a am the D/C, I am starting K Coleman ahead of N Allen and it’s not even a difficult decision to make .

  11. Haran, great post! I agree 100%.

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