Monday, August 31, 2009

Projecting the 2009 Eagles 53 man roster, Ver. 5.0

With the all-important 3rd preseason game now out of the way, it's time for the Eagles to start putting the final touches on their roster. By Tuesday, the Eagles have to cut the roster down to 75 players and by Saturday they have to be down to 53, so look for lots of players to get the axe over the next few days. The 3rd preseason game was a crucial one for all the bubble players on the roster; a good effort could ensure them a spot while a bad one could force them to start packing their bags. This is my fifth attempt at predicting the Eagles Week One roster. Below my roster projection I have also listed several players who are on the bubble and I gave reasons why they might not make the final roster. Changes from my previous projection are listed in bold.

QB(3): Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Kevin Kolb

RB(3): Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, Eldra Buckley

FB (1): Leonard Weaver

WR(6): DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, Hank Baskett, Reggie Brown

TE(3): Brent Celek, Tony Curtis, Rob Myers

LT(2): Jason Peters, King Dunlap

LG(2): Todd Herremans, Max Jean-Gilles

C(2): Jamaal Jackson, Nick Cole

RG(2): Stacy Andrews, Mike McGlynn

RT(2): Shawn Andrews, Winston Justice

DE(6): Juqua Parker, Trent Cole, Victor Abiamiri, Darren Howard, Chris Clemons, Jason Babin

DT(4): Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Trevor Laws, Dan Klecko

LB(6): Chris Gocong, Akeem Jordan, Joe Mays, Omar Gaither, Moise Fokou, Tracy White

CB(4): Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Joselio Hanson, Ellis Hobbs

FS(2): Quintin Demps, Macho Harris

SS(2): Quintin Mikell, Sean Jones

Special Teams:
K(1): David Akers

P(1): Sav Rocca

LS(1): Jon Dorenbos

Players who will start the season on the injured list: Stewart Bradley, Cornelius Ingram
Bradley's season-ending injury really exposed how thin the Birds were up the middle. Ingram looked like a promising backup tight end, unfortunately we will have to wait another year to find out.

Possible to start the season on the injured list: Victor Abiamiri, Shawn Andrews
Abiamiri seems to always be injured, so I am going to leave him in this category until further notice. Andrews has returned to practice, which is a good sign. It might still take him a while to return to game shape.

Most likely to get cut/traded: Reggie Brown
The Eagles are searching for a team desperate for wide receiver help so they can unload Brown and keep Brandon Gibson on the roster. Brown still has talent, as he showed against the Jaguars in the 4th quarter, so there has to be trading partner out there somewhere.

Players on the bubble:
QB A.J. Feeley
Feeley didn't play at all against the Jaguars. Shockingly, and I hate to admit this, Kevin Kolb actually looked passable at quarterback in his first preseason action so it looks like the Eagles will stick with the younger Kolb at backup. Feeley is a capable backup and he will find a home somewhere else in the league.

RB Lorenzo Booker
The writing has to be on the wall for Booker by now. In the game against the Jaguars, Booker didn't touch the ball once while Eldra Buckley had 3 rushes and 3 catches. Been nice knowing ya, Lorenzo.

RB/FB: Kyle Eckel
Not enough room for Eckel in the backfield. His fumble against the Jaguars sealed his fate.

WR: Brandon Gibson
Gibson is going to make this team one way or another but I have to put him here until the Eagles do something about Reggie Brown. If Brown isn't traded or cut, then the Eagles must think they can hide Gibson on the practice squad for the year, a risky move because it will make Gibson briefly available to other teams. If I had to put money on it, however, I would say that Gibson is on the Week 1 roster.

TE: Matt Schobel, Eugene Bright
The recently signed Tony Curtis is already practicing with the Eagles and as long as he proves to be healthy he will be the veteran backup behind Brent Celek. That would likely leave Schobel off the roster since the Eagles would be smart to have a 3rd TE with some upside. At that point, it's a toss-up between Rob Myers and Eugene Bright for the final spot. I put Myers on the roster for now but I think this battle will come down to who does better in the final preseason game.

OL: Mike Gibson, Fenuki Tupou, Chris Patrick, Paul Fanaika
I had Mike McGlynn on the cut list last time but he's too valuable to just get rid of. Keeping McGlynn means the Eagles have a backup at every position, so the rest of the guys listed here have to go. Look for Gibson and possibly Tupou to spend the year on the practice squad and be ready to step in when injuries occur.

DL: Bryan Smith
The emergence of Jason Babin will likely cost Smith his job. There is still a chance the Eagles cut DT Dan Klecko and go with 3 DT's since Abiamiri can rotate inside. The Eagles might try to stash Smith on the IR so they can keep him around and continue to develop him.

LB: Matt Wilhelm, Tank Daniels
Matt Wilhelm simply hasn't done enough to earn a roster spot. The emergence of Moise Fokou has essentially cost him a roster spot. There is still a shot for Wilhelm to beat out Tracy White but White is so much more valuable on special teams.

DB: Jack Ikegwuonu, Dmitri Patterson
Jack Ikegwuonu had a shot but he hasn't done enough to force the Eagles to keep a 5th cornerback. The team is already so deep at CB there is really no reason to keep Ike around. I would bet they put Ikegwuonu on the IR for the season and let him work on getting better for next year.

That's the team as I see it. Did I leave anyone off? Who needs to be cut? Discuss in the comments section.


BleedGreen17 said...

No way they only go with 4 CB's, even if Macho is a hybrid ; with teams going to more spreads, they'd be 1 injury away to a CB from being in trouble....Plus Dimitri Patterson has been getting all reps on the starting special teams, which is going to earn him a spot in the 53....Klecko is the man out, since Abiamiri AND Howard can slide inside....They're going to IR both Bryan Smith and Ike.

allthingsphilly said...

Well, seeing as how they went with only 4 CB's last year, it doesn't seem that farfetched that they would do that again. Besides, like you said, Macho can be the 5th CB if needed.

Joe W. Linden said...

heard joe mays lost his chance to be starting MLB. i don't trust omar gaither enough to take over in Bradley's absence.