Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Projecting the 2010 Eagles 53 man roster, Ver. 4.0

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. Having already cut their roster down to 75, the Eagles must now get down to 53 by Saturday, 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 fourth and final 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): Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, Mike Kafka

RB(3): LeSean McCoy, Mike Bell, Eldra Buckley

FB (1): Leonard Weaver

WR(5): DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, Riley Cooper

TE(3): Brent Celek, Clay Harbor, FA Tight end

LT(2): Jason Peters, Austin Howard

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

C(2): Jamaal Jackson, Mike McGlynn

RG(2): Stacy Andrews, Nick Cole

RT(2): Winston Justice, King Dunlap

DE(5): Trent Cole, Brandon Graham, Juqua Parker, Darryl Tapp, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim

DT(4): Brodrick Bunkley, Mike Patterson, Trevor Laws, Antonio Dixon

LB(7): Stewart Bradley, Ernie Sims, Akeem Jordan, Omar Gaither, Keenan Clayton, Moise Fokou, Jamar Chaney

CB(5): Asante Samuel, Ellis Hobbs, Joselio Hanson, Trevard Lindley, Dimitri Patterson

FS(2): Nate Allen, Macho Harris

SS(2): Quintin Mikell, Kurt Coleman

Special Teams:
K(1): David Akers

P(1): Sav Rocca

LS(1): Jon Dorenbos

Players on IR: Ricky Sapp
Sapp was shut down for the season and may require surgery. He's going to need to make tremendous improvements if he wants to make the team next year.

Could start season on injured reserve: Jamaal Jackson, Victor Abiamiri, Cornelius Ingram
It should be safe to take Jackson off this list now, it almost sounds like he is going to start for the Eagles in Week One. As for Abiamiri, I haven't heard much of anything about his health, likely meaning that he's nowhere close to returning. Ingram better hope he is put on IR, otherwise the Eagles will probably just cut him.

Players on the bubble:

RB: J.J. Arrington, Martell Mallett
Arrington didn't make any impression due to his injuries. I suppose there is a chance that the Eagles stash him on IR but it's more likely that they will just cut him. Mallett has looked impressive at times so expect him to be on the practice squad.

WR: Chad Hall, Kelley Washington
After not looking impressive in the return game this preseason, Chad Hall blew his chance. Perhaps he can be stashed on the practice squad. As for Washington, I still think he loses his battle with Hank Baskett. Unless Washington just amazes them with his special teams play in the last game, the Eagles will go with Baskett simply because they are more comfortable with his knowledge of the offense.

TE: Nate Lawrie
Instead of sticking with Lawrie, I'm betting the Eagles go with a free agent tight end that can block with their third tight end spot. With Celek and Harbor not exactly known as the best blockers, the Eagles would be smart to bring in a tight end that can help in short-yardage situations. Of course, the Eagles could always just go with two tight ends.

OL: Fenuki Tupou, Dallas Reynolds, A.Q, Shipley
Jackson's return makes it pointless for the Eagles to keep more than 10 offensive linemen at the start of the season. Tupou looks likely to spend another year on the practice squad.

DL: Jeff Owens, Pannel Egboh
Owens falls short in his bid to beat out Antonio Dixon for a roster spot. Look for him to spend the year on the practice squad. I don't know much about the recently acquired Egboh but his best case scenario would also be to spend the year on the practice squad.

LB: Tracy White
I've changed my thinking at linebacker and now think that the Eagles will go with a quality depth linebacker like Moise Fokou over a special teams "ace" like Tracy White. Although their coverage in the return game hasn't been great, I don't think the Eagles will just dump one of their starting linebackers from last year. Of course, the Eagles could always try to stash Jamar Chaney on the practice squad and keep both White and Fokou, but there is no guarantee that another team wouldn't try to swoop in and sign Chaney should the Eagles cut him initially.

CB: Geoff Pope, Jorrick Calvin
There isn't enough room for a 6th corner so Pope and the recently acquired Calvin have to go. The recently acquired Calvin has some potential in the return game so he is another solid practice squad candidate.

S: Quintin Demps
The move of Macho Harris to safety and the announcement that Ellis Hobbs will be the primary kick returner means that Demps should start packing his bags. While there is still an outside chance the Birds keep 5 safeties and decide they need a fallback option in the return game, the writing on the wall isn't good for Demps.

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

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