Eagles Roster Breakdown: The 90-Man Rating System

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Back for the second straight year, it’s the 90-man Eagles roster rating system.

Allow this to serve as your training camp primer. The idea is simple. Below you will find every player placed into one of five categories.




Tier 5: These are the longshots. If any of these players land on the 53-man roster, consider it an upset. They will have really opened up some eyes during the summer.

Tier 4: These are the fringe or bubble guys. Don’t count them out, but they’ll very much be fighting for roster spots over the next several weeks.

Tier 3: These are your backups. They might not play a lot this season, but going into camp, they look like pretty good bets to make the team.

Tier 2: These players will be expected to contribute significantly. They’re either starters or true rotational players.

Tier 1: These are your difference-makers. They’ll be the guys responsible for determining how many games the Eagles win in 2014 and what direction the franchise is headed in going forward.

It’s not rocket science (or even sports science, for that matter). So let’s get started, beginning with the bottom of the roster. Note that certain players require longer write-ups than others.

Tier 5: The Longshots

** Note: It’s worth acknowledging that the players below have worked their entire lives for this shot, and I’m not discounting that. The purpose of this exercise is just to assess the roster going into camp. I’ve been proven wrong before.

Kadron Boone, WR - Signed earlier this offseason as an undrafted free agent out of LSU. Would have to leap over several players to earn a spot.

B.J. Cunningham, WR - Bounced between the practice squad and active roster last year. With the additions of Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff, he faces an uphill climb.

Ifeanyi Momah, WR - He definitely looked like an improved player during the spring, but Momah is still a longshot. He'll have to flash during preseason games to get a serious look.

Quron Pratt, WR - An undrafted free agent WR out of Rutgers, he's got a lot of guys ahead of him.

Will Murphy, WR - He has the Oregon connection, and his value is in knowing how Chip Kelly likes to practice.

Blake Annen, TE - An undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati, he could warrant practice squad consideration with a strong summer.

Donald Hawkins, OG - Backup offensive line spots are open, so if you think Hawkins deserves to be in Tier 4, I won't argue with you. But the undrafted free agent out of Texas would have to really impress the coaching staff during camp.

Karim Barton, OG - He has a great story, but is in the same boat as Hawkins.

Kevin Graf, OT - Another undrafted free agent who faces an uphill climb.

Andrew Gardner, OT - Same goes for Gardner.

Josh Andrews, OG - And Andrews too.

Wade Keliikipi, DT - Undrafted free agent out of Oregon. Would have to leap Damion Square and Beau Allen for the backup nose tackle job.

Brandon Bair, DE - Another Oregon guy, but he's 29-years-old.

Frances Mays, DE - At 6-9, the undrafted free agent fills the King Dunlap void.

Alejandro Villanueva, DE - Great story, everyone's rooting for him, but from an on-field perspective, it'll be tough for Villanueva to overtake the guys ahead of him. Something tells me Kelly might try to find a way to keep him in the building in some capacity though.

Jake Knott, LB - He'll go on the reserve/suspended list for the first four games of the season. Knott would have been a bubble guy anyway. The chances of him returning to the 53 depend on how the other backups/special teamers perform the first month of the season.

Davon Morgan, CB - The 25-year-old got a tryout and made the 90-man roster. Played indoor league last year.

Keelan Johnson, S - Was a longshot even before his arrest last week.

Daytawion Lowe, S - Undrafted free agent; a lot of bodies ahead of him.

Damaris Johnson, WR - He got a chance as the returner last year and couldn't hold on to it. Given the personnel changes at wide receiver, it'd be a surprise if Johnson were still here in September.

Carey Spear, K - Hate to do it to Murderleg, but based on what we saw in the spring, it would be a surprise if he were to somehow unseat Alex Henery.

Tier 4: The Fringe Guys

Matt Barkley, QB - You can certainly make the case that he belongs in the next tier up, but there haven't been a lot of signs that suggest Barkley is making significant progress. Kelly puts a lot of stock in the preseason for QBs. That's where Barkley's fate will be determined. He could end up anywhere from the No. 2 guy to off the roster.

G.J. Kinne, QB - At first, I had him in "The Longshots" tier, but ultimately I decided he at least has a chance to beat Barkley out for the No. 3 job. Again, if that happens, it will be because of Kinne's preseason performance.

Henry Josey, RB - We told his remarkable story earlier this offseason. If the Eagles keep four RBs, Josey has a shot.

David Fluellen, RB - Like Josey, he's an undrafted free agent RB who has a chance for the final RB slot.

Matthew Tucker, RB - I'm on repeat here. The only difference with Tucker is that he was an undrafted free agent last season.

Jeff Maehl, WR - He played 11.5 percent of the team's snaps last year, but that was without a healthy Jeremy Maclin and no Matthews or Huff on the roster. Maehl will have a tough time sticking.

Arrelious Benn, WR - The words "if healthy" have been attached to his name this offseason. The Eagles acquired Benn via trade last offseason because they felt like he could be a fit. He can block and play special teams - prerequisites for the depth spots at WR. Benn will be competing with Maehl and potentially Brad Smith for a spot.

Emil Igwenagu, TE - If the Eagles keep four tight ends, he could stick.

Trey Burton, TE - Pretty much the same stance here as with Igwenagu. Burton, an undrafted free agent out of Florida, has the versatility Kelly covets, but he may be more likely to land a practice squad spot than a spot on the 53 this year.

Julian Vandervelde, C - He and David Molk will battle it out for the backup center job. The loser of that competition won't be on the team.

David Molk, C - Copy/paste from Vandervelde entry, just flip the names.

Dennis Kelly, OT - Suddenly the first backup O-Line spot has added significance, now that Allen Barbre will be expected to fill in for Lane Johnson for the first month. That's good news for Dennis Kelly, who has experience playing guard and tackle. At this point, he has a real chance to make the team and dress on gamedays.

Matt Tobin, OT - Like Kelly, he could benefit from the Johnson suspension and will be competing for a depth spot. Tobin was an undrafted free agent out of Iowa last year.

Michael Bamiro, OT - He probably has more upside than Kelly and Tobin, but Bamiro was labeled a project last offseason when the Eagles signed him. He got reps at tackle and guard in the spring and will be competing for a depth spot.

Beau Allen, NT - He and Damion Square will compete for the backup nose tackle job. The loser is unlikely to make the squad.

Damion Square, NT - He was Bennie Logan's backup last year, but did not distinguish himself. He'll need to hold off Allen to make the team.

Joe Kruger, DE - I'd be lying if I said I had a good read on how the team feels about Kruger. A seventh-round pick in 2013, he could earn a rotation spot with a strong summer.

Brandon Graham, OLB - He's the most well-known of any of the guys in this tier. Others may disagree, but given the numbers at outside linebacker (the Eagles drafted Marcus Smith and signed Bryan Braman), I view Graham very much as a bubble guy. He's entering the final year of his contract.

Travis Long, OLB - When you ask anyone in the organization about Long, they rave about him. When you ask about Graham, the response is lukewarm. If the Eagles keep five OLBs, it'll be Graham and Long competing for the final spot. If they keep four, both could be on the outside looking in. Long was signed as an undrafted free agent last offseason.

Jason Phillips, ILB - Depth spots are up for grabs here. If Phillips shows he is healthy and the special-teams ace the Eagles were looking for last offseason, he'll make the squad.

Emmanuel Acho, ILB - One of the standouts of the preseason last year, he'll be competing with Phillips and potentially Najee Goode for a spot.

Roc Carmichael, CB - He was the team's No. 4 CB last year, but with the addition of Nolan Carroll II and rookie Jaylen Watkins, he's squarely on the bubble.

Curtis Marsh, CB - The 2011 third-round pick would have to beat out Carmichael for the final CB spot. And even that might not be enough.

Casey Matthews, LB - Tough to count him out given his connection to Kelly and his ability to play multiple LB spots (along with special teams), but I don't see a spot for Matthews this year.

Josh Kaddu, ILB - Originally a fifth-round pick by the Dolphins in 2012, Kaddu played his college ball at Oregon. The Eagles don't have a lot of depth at inside linebacker, so he has a chance.

TIER 3: LIKELY BACKUPS

Mark Sanchez, QB - He's the favorite to win the backup job. Others are more confident than I am about his ability to step in and win games should Nick Foles go down, but let's see how he grasps the offense in the coming weeks.

Chris Polk, RB - If LeSean McCoy stays healthy, Polk will likely see a handful of snaps per game and contribute on special teams. If McCoy goes down for any period of time, the guess here is he'll split the full workload with Darren Sproles.

Josh Huff, WR - I'm not ready to rule out a larger role for Huff, but at this point, the most likely outcome is he's the No. 4 receiver. He can rotate in outside and in the slot, along with helping on special teams. Huff has a chance to be the Eagles' primary return man.

Brad Smith, WR - You could argue that he's more of a fringe guy, but I think Smith has a leg up on Maehl and Benn, so I put him here. Smith checks off Kelly's "can do a lot of things" box. He's a likely bet to land one of the final WR spots.

James Casey, TE - He came to Philadelphia looking for more receiving opportunities. Instead, Casey found that his best chance at earning snaps was as a blocker in the run game and on special teams. Look for that role to be similar in 2014.

Taylor Hart, DE - Familiarity in the scheme is a plus for the Oregon product. He'll make the roster, but will have to hold off Kruger to dress on gamedays.

Bryan Braman, OLB - Another fascinating story. Braman will be counted on to help on special teams, and don't be surprised if he gets some pass-rushing opportunities on defense in a rotational role.

Najee Goode, ILB - Nothing's a given with the Eagles' backup inside linebackers, but it would be a surprise if Goode didn't make the team. If he proves he's capable, Goode could earn a rotational role and help spell DeMeco Ryans.

Jaylen Watkins, CB - I struggled with where to put him. With a strong summer, the rookie (fourth-round pick) could earn some snaps. But he's an unknown at this point.

Ed Reynolds, S - He missed most of the spring because of NCAA rules. It's tough to place Reynolds because the Eagles don't have a wealth of talent at safety, but if he doesn't pick things up quickly in the summer, this could essentially be a red-shirt year for the rookie.

Chris Maragos, S - He's basically the Braman of the back end. Maragos will be expected to help on special teams, and he'll add some depth at safety.

Alex Henery, K - I wasn't sure where to put the specialists, so I threw them in this tier. Henery needs to improve - both on kickoffs and field goals. But the Eagles didn't bring in serious competition to push him.

Donnie Jones, P - He was excellent last year and one of the few bright spots on special teams.

Jon Dorenbos, LS - If your kid has the right body type, make him into a long-snapper. You can play forever!

CLICK HERE FOR TIERS 1 AND 2.

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  • Token

    You REALLY had to stretch to just get a few difference makers. The Eagles in reality have probably 3-4 true difference makers.

    Foles(maybe), McCoy….. if you consider OL difference makers then Peters and Mathis. Boykin maybe but he only plays half the snaps so I dont know that you can put him in that category.

    Ertz has to be one of the most over hyped Eagles in recent history. That kid has a ton to live up to.

    • Clamdigger

      The Ertz comment makes me wonder if you watched many of the games last season. If you didn’t see him playing out of his mind towards the end of the year, I don’t know what you were watching.

      He has some bad habits, like stumbling/falling down after the catch, but he’s a really impressive route runner and receiver.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Being second in the league in picks while only playing half the time makes you a difference maker, especially when you’re sealing games with some of those picks.

      • Token

        Preaching to the choir man. Im probably one of the bigger Boykin supporters here. But its hard to call a part time player a difference maker IMO. Should he be a part time player? No. But thats another discussion.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          Boykin’s playing time is one of the few areas we’re in total agreement on brother. But, he’s still a difference maker, at least he was last year and looks to be only improving. I asked the o/u question on another article regarding his INTs this year and MediaMike made a good point about the under with respect because QBs may very well be less inclined to throw his way. Something that’s possible, IMO, which makes you a difference maker, too.

    • aub32

      Ertz does have a lot to live up to, but it’s not just Eagles fans that are predicting big things for this guy. Ertz is being praised by both local and national sports writers and pundits. There’s probably something to it if everyone is saying it.

      • Token

        I think its just guys looking for a story. Im not gonna sit here and say Ertz sucks. But hes never done anything on the field that tells me hes any better then a Brent Celek caliber tight end. Sure, he may explode this year, but its all a guess. Its not based on anything on the field. Just projection because hes a tall TE in a Chip Kelly offense.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          You don’t think maybe it could be that some people see something in Ertz that you don’t? Personally I think it’s bizarre to say he’s never shown anything to suggest he can be better than Celek. He’s bigger, faster, more athletic, runs better routes than Celek did at this stage of his career and in his first season achieved as much in terms of receptions, yards and TDs as Celek did in his first two years.

          Obviously there are no guarantees, but there’s plenty of on-field evidence to suggest Ertz is going to be a big part of this team.

      • Kev_H

        I think many pundits who love Bill B up in NE are on the record as saying the Gronk/Hernandez thing was the start of an NFL trend. Then you have Jimmy Graham and you can make a case that the offensive minded, NFL trend setters are putting up some big numbers exploiting mismatches with tight end sized receivers. Throw Kelly in there for consideration as an offensive trend setter, and almost by default, you have a buzz that Ertz will be catching balls, gaining yards, and scoring TDs, especially considering they let Jackson go.

    • paul from nc

      Agree there aren’t many
      McCoy – no question
      Boykin – For only playing 1/2 the snaps, he was a difference maker last year. Expect more of the same
      Foles -depends on his play this year. Needs to show he can carry a team.
      Maclin – Solid player. Never has been a difference maker.
      Ertz – Maybe. A lot of expectations
      Jenkins – I doubt it. An upgrade but that’s not saying much
      The rest of them — most are solid, but I don’t expect a difference maker.

  • macadood

    I’m going to be very sad when Jon Dorenbos finally retires, hope he sticks around for a few good more years and a Superbowl ring. Heck of a guy. Can’t imagine having a new long snapper, quite underrated and overlooked position.

    • mtn_green

      I remember a raiders game where there long snapper was injured, hilarious.

  • Andy Six Score and Four

    Not much to argue with there. I’d certainly put Thorton down in tier 2, probably Jenkins, and a case could be made for Donnie Longball living it up in tier 1.

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      I think Jenkins is just there because how well he plays will go a long way to determining if the secondary takes a step forward this year.

      Thornton’s a Tier 2 guy all the way for me (underrated nationally, real solid, but ultimately unlikely to ever really stand out) but apart from that very little to disagree with.

  • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

    If I put the over/under on Smith’s sack total at 4.5 and Boykin’s pick total at 3.5, which do you take for each guy? I’ll take the under on Smith (4) and over on Boykin (4 as well).

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      Ditto.

    • mtn_green

      Under/under. Interceptions are highly variable, a stat that doesn’t just come from talent. Although we do play Eli twice….

    • MediaMike

      Flip that. Over for Smith and under for Boykin. I think Boykin gets less passes thrown his way this year. #respect

  • Fly High

    #5 and 6 WR – I’m an Oregon fan and love Maehl, but unless he shows more, I don’t want us to keep him, He potentially has Avant-like receiving skills, but if he doesn;t show that skill set, I would rather have Benn. Benn along with Jordan, and maybe Momah in a year or two, these are the only size/speed guys on our roster. This is a valuable skill set, I want us to have a couple.
    I know Brad Smith has the potential to do wildcat kinds of stuff, but is it just potential, an idea, will he ever really shine in that role?
    I hope we keep Benn, and maybe Momah too, unless Smith or Maehl really show something special.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      http://mockdraftable.com/player/632/

      http://mockdraftable.com/player/677/

      I agree with the overall sentiment, but not with the specific statement on “only size speed guy”

      • Fly High

        I meant only sixe speed receivers, not on whole team

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      Smith’s a servicable return man, too, as well as ST in general. Plus he knows the offense now. He’s a solid #5 WR.

      • Kev_H

        Smith doesn’t have much upside. I could see Benn filling in, going nuts, and supplanting Maclin. I don’t see that with Smith. Health, not lack of ability, has held Benn back, but he still is fairly young.

        • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

          He’s the same draft as Cooper, but even when he was healthy for a season or two he didn’t show too much. Good hands, yeah, but he’s not taking Maclin’s spot. And, unfortunately, injuries have to be factored into the assessment. For a #5 receiver, utility is a great quality to have.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            If you look at history, there’s not much cause for hope for Benn. If you look at Benn the player, you still think that if health and opportunity ever synch up he could really cash in.

            You know how I roll, when in doubt, take the optimistic road. I’d rather keep the guy with the higher upside than the guy with the higher floor when we’re talking about #5 and #6 receivers.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            I hear ya. I just need my backups to actually be able to play when needed.

          • Tom w

            So based on your higher upside theory, wouldn’t m smith, Travis long and Reynolds have more upside than career special teamers in maragos and Braman????? ???! Smh

          • Kev_H

            After seeing Cooper become a regular NFL WR having been forced into action due to injuries last year at age 26, I don’t think it is likely, but don’t rule out the possibility that if Benn (26 this year, one year younger than Cooper) is around and Maclin or Cooper get hurt, or Cooper plays like he had in the past, Benn could come in, do well, and end up being a better option size, financially etc. than signing Maclin to a long-term deal going forward.

            I can’t see that happening with Smith, especially at his age, under any circumstances. Just comparing Cooper and Benn, did you think there was a chance in the world, at this time last year (pre-controversy) that today (or ever) Cooper would be on top of the depth chart with a 5 year contract and the Eagles would have a promising team? I’ve always kind of liked Cooper as a player, but I’m very surprised he is an NFL starter with a multi-year deal, so long shots do happen with some of these mid-twenties guys who figure it out or get healthy. Not likely to happen with a guy in his 30s if it didn’t happen yet.

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            And that’s fine, but looking at it that way ignores a rather extensive injury history that really can’t be ignored in his case. I don’t need a #5 WR with upside, even if he is 4 or 5 years younger than the other potential #5 WR. I need him to be able to play ST admirably and reliably fill in should someone go down. Can’t bank on a guy with that injury history to be there ready to go if he’s in the training room.

          • Kev_H

            Obviously, you want your guys healthy and that’s what your training staff is for. If a guy isn’t ready to go, he shouldn’t be in the conversation, but if you start putting too much stock in injury history versus current status, I’m not sure how you make decisions. Brad Smith was put on injured reserve last year and had hamstring issues in 2011. Maclin. Peyton Manning. Wilbert Montgomery (old school).

          • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

            And Benn has missed more time than all of those guys you mentioned because of injury, in a shorter amount of time in the league, too, which is why I can’t see him on the roster.

    • Kleptolia

      Jeff Maehl reminds me of Ed McCaffrey and Wes Welker. A white guy who isn’t very big or fast, but runs smart routes and catches the ball well.
      Maehl does have very good hands. He blocks well. He’s faster than Welker. He’s a good route runner. I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he can do. I think he might not make it out of preseason this year; but if he sticks around, I’ll know why.

      But….”Oregon bias.”

      • Dominik

        Difference is: Welker is very agile – you can SEE that. Maehl may had a good combine in that aspect, but you DON’T SEE any of it.

        Now, maybe he hasn’t the self confidence to be effective, but I don’t care. If your talent is limited, you have to show something. He made the team last year because we had nothing behind Desean, Cooper and Avant before we signed Smith. When Smith came, he immediately took the #4 role. And rightfully so.

        Maehl wasn’t even a good #5 WR last year. If he doesn’t show a vast improvement, why would you keep him on the roster? I don’t see upside. I rather have Benn, despite the injury concerns, or even Momah – altough I’d rather keep 5 WR before I take Momah into the 53. If he doesn’t shine in Preseason, best case is PS.

        • Kleptolia

          I watched Maehl through his college years. And as a Dolphins follower, I was a fan of Welker. I would say that Maehl is as agile as Welker, maybe even more so.
          While Maehl didn’t get a lot of catches last year, he did open holes in the outside run game.
          Also, he’s a willing special teams player. I said I thought he might not last through preseason, but if he does, I know the reasons.

  • Tom w

    1) can we please get a backup guard who plays center well for once so we can save the roster spot

    2) Braman and maragos and Maehl do nothing for me and I don’t think it’s guaranteed either make the team by any stretch. Personally I would much rather keep upside backups who can actually play a position on defense like graham, Krueger, Allen, hart, Travis long or acho or a wr or rb or te w upside like momah lsu kid, josey, annen etc. Special team aces did nothing for us last year and we don’t need a bunch of them taking spots when we draft stud rookies like smith, huff, Watkins, and Reynolds who can play along with Boykin Carroll Goode Polk smith Wolfe. Keep one but not 3 or 4 please chip.
    3) I think Krueger is even w hart at this point based on him having a year to out in size and is so so young
    4) bring back geagle.

    • Andy Six Score and Four

      I’ve seen about as much of Braman and Maragos in an NFL defense as I’ve seen of Smith, Long or Reynolds. That is, none. Have you seen so much more to have a strong, educated opinion on these guys?

      • OldDuckMcDoc

        Things I know about Maragos:

        1. Not good enough to start ahead of Kam Chancellor or Earl Thomas.
        2. Looks far less geeky with the shaved head.
        3. Not Patrick Chung.

        Things I know about Braman:

        1. Unafraid to tackle people even when not wearing helmet.
        2. Looks fricking glorious.
        3. Not caseymatthews.

        So nothing negative, and quite a lot of positives there.

        • Andy Six Score and Four

          I’m ready to ink them in as starters after that write up!

        • MagatBrackendale

          Are there ANY safeties in the league good enough to play ahead of Chancellor or Thomas? In the Legion of Boom? Btw, I do get your humour. ~). I am almost tempted to re-post my Casey poem too.

        • Tom w

          Wow wasted a good five minutes writing that and can never get it back.

        • southy

          I watched a few minutes of NFL replay a couple days ago. Eagles Cowboys. I had to relive the moment where we 0-blitzed Orton and put Chung on Dez, and I remember thinking before the snap “WHY IS CHUNG ON DEZ!?!?!?” and boom. TD. Luckily I was able to avoid replacing my remote control a second time.

      • Tom w

        How about that neither of them have done anything to impress their former nfl coaches enough to get on the field and actually play defense, and smith and Long were dominant pass rushers at big div 1 schools and the eagles thought highly enough of Reynolds to spend a fifth rounder on him and a first on smith. you are trying to tell me you want one of the special teams overachievers over Marcus smith than I really can’t help ya. How bout that the eagles thought so highly of long that they purposely didn’t play in preseason last year so they could stash him on the practice squad. I seriously hope you don’t think at this point in Brahmans and maragos career they are gonna suddenly do a 360 and become legitimate olb and s backups beyond a one game stop gap and special team ” ace” whatever that is when backup Rbs and wrs often lead nfl teams in special teams tackles. Smith, long, and Reynolds all have much more potential just based upon their age and pedigree and athletic ability.

        • OldDuckMcDoc

          I say with absolute certainty the 124th of our Andys was not advocating keeping Maragos or Braman over any of those guys. He was just poking fun at your assertion that Maragos and Braman “do nothing for you” when you have almost certainly never seen them play any meaningful time in the NFL.

          The league’s full of guys who bounced around as back-ups then found themselves in a good spot on a team where they were a good scheme fit and they were given an opportunity, and just because a guy’s gotten a rep as a ST ace doesn’t mean he magically forgot to play his position.

          • Andy Six Score and Four

            Your absolute certainty is well justified.

        • cheapmeat.mariota.crackwh0re

          Mathis

          • southy

            James Harrison, Fred Jackson, Winston Justice (I know), Daniel Te’o’Neshisorry couldn’t get that one out with a straight face.

  • Kev_H

    Foles’ glaring standout quality is that he is good at everything. I think the guy is scary competitive too. The demonstrative loud mouths are usually that way out of insecurity. I was struck by his answers to Gruden’ s QB camp “why should I draft Nick Foles?” The guy, to me, showed crazy intensity. Like Liam Neeson in Taken; “I have a particular set of skills…” That scary, quiet intensity.

    • NickS FFLC/GM/DPP/Scout/HC/OC

      When you drop comparisons to Liam Neeson in Taken, you know it’s serious.

      • Kev_H

        Another one that stood out to me is an interview I saw with him in the midst of his 2012 pre-season hype. It was the same guy, same comments about working hard every day, getting better, Mike Vick is great….but he dropped in “I hate being on the bench”. It was subtle, but said in a way that made me think he wasn’t going to be on the bench.

    • Kev_H

      It especially struck me cause he looked like a goofy paper boy.

    • Andy

      That Gruden’s QB camp was really good.

  • Rambler

    How dare you put Donnie Football Jones in Tier 3! He is clearly the class of this team and a huge difference-maker. And do not even get me started about Pope Jordan… but we all know that he transcends all tiers and is omnipresent.

  • Kleptolia

    I’m just going to say: I’m a Bennie Logan fan.
    I like what I’ve seen if him on tape (not much, but what I’ve seen is good).
    I like his upside. He seems small for NT, but his weight is well-distributed. He has a good center of gravity. With a year under his belt, I would be surprised if he didn’t show improvement this year at getting leverage at the line of scrimmage.
    I think the Eagles offense will continue to be the media flashpoint in Philly this year, but the defense is what will put them over the top in the close games.
    End of season; Eagles 11-5. Get out of the first round, knocked out in semifinals.

    • GoBirds1

      Logan is still a reach to be an effective 3-4 NT. The Birds D weakness was exploited by the Saints in the PO game. They Logan with Hendricks behind him. Logan could not occupy two OL and Hendricks was dominated down field and the birds we consistanly gashed by the Saints O. Granted, they were playing to stop the pass, but when the game was in the line, they could not stop the run and get off the field. In meaningful games this year, it will be the same Achilles heal to be exploited again this year.

  • Guest

    What an awesome article/blog. I can almost smell the grass in my cleats.

  • Amar, CB who bought in

    You had me at ‘I don’t see a spot for Matthews this year.’

  • MediaMike

    Allen Rodriguez things you need to move Maclin down a few tiers, and I agree.

  • thefadd

    It’s just funny that the slot corner made Tier 1 while the starting corners made Tier 2. There’s a lot that can be said about that and I think the biggest take away lesson is just how specialized the NFL has become — that the guy will be on the field for likely 25% of total snaps in a game but by all accounts will be expected to make a hefty difference in the outcome of the game.