Eagles Final Roster

The Eagles roster currently sits at 75 active players after the team cut Charleston Hughes and Brandon Harrison today, and placed Stewart Bradley and Cornelius Ingram on IR for the season. The Eagles will have to get the roster down to the final 53 on Saturday. Here are my thoughts on what I believe the final roster should be, by position.

Quarterbacks (3)
Just a couple weeks ago, you thought this would be the usual lineup of McNabb, Kolb, and Feeley. Then all hell broke loose, and now there are talks of Feeley being traded, and which QB will be lined up as the #2 QB with the signing of Vick. McNabb obviously is the starter, and Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb will make the team. Hopefully we can get maybe a 6th rounder for Feeley, if we cut him, he will obviously not clear waivers.

Running Backs (4)
This number includes the fullback, which will be locked in with Leonard Weaver, who is a beast. The running backs feature one of the best camp battles for the 3rd and final running back spot between Eldra Buckley and Lorenzo Booker. Westbrook and McCoy will make the team, and should both be featured in this offense prominently. Personally, I don't know why people aren't talking about Kyle Eckel, because he is underrated, and can simply get the job done. Eckel probably won't make the team though, and I believe Buckley should make it. Booker essentially brings nothing to the team that the Eagles don't already have. Both Westbrook and now McCoy can do the same things as Booker, but better. Buckley seems to have some strength and should be able to run up the middle, although I'm not sure we will even need him to do that with Weaver on the team, who I believe will get a good amount of carries in short yardage situations.

Wide Receivers (6)
Another position that is featuring a great camp battle as to who will be the final wide receiver on the roster. DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, and Jeremy Maclin are locks. I think Hank Baskett will make the team. That leaves Reggie Brown, and rookie Brandon Gibson for the final spot... sorry Danny Amendola. I like Amendola, and I don't think he will clear waivers, someone will pick him up. Anyways, like Feeley, there is some talk that teams are interested in Reggie Brown. Also like Feeley, if the Eagles can trade him for a low draft pick, they should. Brown doesn't really bring much to the team anymore, and Brandon Gibson, who probably won't contribute much at first, at least has a decent upside.

Tight Ends (3)
Brent Celek is the starter here, and really the only player who will be on the team that the Eagles had a few weeks ago before Ingram went down. I also think the recently signed Tony Curtis makes the team, as he apparently is the best blocker of the tight end bunch, something Celek does not excel at. The final spot is between Rob Myers, Eugene Bright, and Matt Schobel. I do not think Schobel makes the team, and while I think Bright might have a better upside than Myers, and did have a good preseason game 3, Rob Myers still makes the team.

Offensive Line (10)
It's no secret Reid and the Eagles like keeping players at the offensive line, and keeping quality backups. Jason Peters, Todd Herramans, Jamaal Jackson, and the Andrews brothers are your 5 starters. Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles should make the team, especially since Herramans won't be ready to start the regular season. Winston Justice makes the team as the backup at the tackle positions. I think Matt McGlynn and King Dunlap are the final two who will make the team.

Defensive Line (10)
The Eagles should keep 10 here, but they could possibly keep 11. If there is an area where they might keep an extra guy, it could be the defensive line, and have to go one player short at another position. At the defensive end position, the Eagles will keep Trent Cole, and Victor Abiamiri, who if healthy should get the start week 1 at left defensive end. Darren Howard, who actually led the team in sacks last year, will also make the team. Juqua Parker's job isn't as safe as you would think, but the Eagles will probably keep him also. Chris Clemons can rotate in at left defensive end, and did well last season. I also think that both Bryan Smith and Jason Babin will make the team. At the defensive tackle spot, Broderick Bunkley, and Mike Patterson are the starters, and are among the best in the league. Trevor Laws is the backup at the defensive tackle spot, and has also done a solid job. Dan Klecko is the odd man out here, and I say this only because Darren Howard can play defensive tackle in 3rd down situations, and had success there last season. If Klecko makes the team, look for possibly Parker to be cut.

Linebackers (6)
The loss of Stewart Bradley hurts, especially since the Eagles not say they will start Omar Gaither in the middle, who already was the starter in the middle, and had his job taken by the aforementioned Stewart Bradley. Gaither, Akeem Jordan, and Chris Gocong are the starters for now. Joe Mays will make the team, and could see some time in the middle if they don't like what they see out of Gaither. Rookie 7th round draft pick Moise Fokou will make the team also, as he has had a very impressive camp. I believe the 6th spot will go to Tank Daniels, as he is the top rated special teams player on the team. That will knock out Matt Wilhelm, who will be cut in a numbers battle.

Secondary (8)
At cornerback, Asante Samuel, Sheldon Brown, Joselio Hanson, and Ellis Hobbs are locks to make the team. At safety, you throw in the foursome of Quintin Mikell, Quintin Demps, Sean Jones, and Macho Harris. Macho can play either the cornerback or safety position. Jack Ikegwuonu, unfortunately has not played well enough to make the team, and hopefully can clear waivers and sign onto the practice squad.

Special Teams (3)
The usual here with David Akers, Sav Rocca, and Jon Dorenbos making the team. Rocca could be pushed for a job next season if he doesn't have a great year, but he is safe for the start of this season.


Kotite's Corner said...

Some more thoughts - I still want Sean Jones to start over Quintin Demps. Also, I would like to see Jackson or Maclin returning punts, and I want to see Ellis Hobbs returning kicks. I wouldn't mind seeing Klecko make the team and Juqua Parker being cut.

T-Bone said...

Seems Quinton wouldn't agree with you -- he was pretty vocal about feeling "irritated" he has to play the last preseason game, and in response to a question about having a chip on his shoulder about this, admitted he's carrying "two boulders, one for each shoulder." As with so many other sulking NFLers, Quinton is apparently a legend in his own mind. While Demps certainly isn't a bum (for definition of "bum," see Jason Peters), I agree that Jones should start over him.

The million dollar question, which may drag on with little resolution, is how and where Vick is going to fit in. Here we have McNabb reportedly cheerleading to get him on the team, and then grousing that his insertion disrupted the offensive rhythm. It probably did, although the O-Line can easily do that by itself, but I'm not sure in what capacity Vick can be used coming off the bench that doesn't raise this possibility. I personally think the Wildcat option is overblown and unlikely to be effective, especially if opponents know that's why Vick's coming on the field. So it would seem he has to be used more consistently than that, or at least have a more consistent role, in which case we're basically talking about his taking over the #2 QB slot. Now aside from whether this is fair to Kolb, or even logical given Vick's absence from the field for so long, it could raise an interesting tension between Vick and McNabb. Vick has already made it clear that his intention is to regain starting QB status someday, somewhere. And I don't think he has in mind 2 or 3 years in the future. How might Vick being #2, with obviously aspirations to be #1ASAP, affect McNabb's notoriously fragile psyche? On the other hand, if Vick is positioned at #3, and maybe trotted on the field occasionally for a wildcat formation (because otherwise he'd just be sitting on the bench the whole season), we're right back to where we started. So, again, the question becomes: why the hell was Vick signed?