Eagles 53-Man Roster Projection

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

If memory serves, I have outdueled the venerable Sheil Kapadia each of the last two years in this exercise. I think we can all agree that the chances of a three-peat are high.

If you want to see his roster projection (and why would you?), click here. If you prefer a more accurate read, continue on.

Teams must trim their rosters to 75 on August 26th, then down to 53 on August 30. Here’s how I see it playing out heading into the team’s second exhibition game:

Quarterbacks (3): Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley.

Sanchez is the clear favorite to win the backup job. I actually think he’s had the best camp out of any of the Eagles quarterbacks. He’s been running with the second team, granted, but it has to be encouraging for Chip Kelly to see that Sanchez has taken well to the system to this point. Barkley hasn’t dazzled but has looked better overall. Don’t see G.J. Kinne pulling the upset.

Running backs (4): LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker.

The Eagles like Tucker. I think they want to keep him around on merit. I also believe they want some insurance in case Polk, who has been sidelined for much of camp with a hamstring ailment, can’t get over the injury bug. Sounds like both Polk and Matthews will be out for Friday’s game and David Fluellen has been sitting out practice as well. An opportunity, then, for Henry Josey to showcase his ability.

Wide receivers (5): Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Brad Smith

Between Jeff Maehl, Ifeanyi Momah and Arrelious Benn, Momah has looked the best in my opinion. He is running with the first team in Cooper’s absence and has some upside. Can’t really get past Kelly’s remarks, though, that he needs his reserves to be great special teams contributors. Don’t think Momah fits that description. If they feel like he can develop into something special, they’ll make an exception. Otherwise the move may be to put him on the practice squad and hope nobody snags him.

Maehl is probably the best special teams player out of the receivers fighting for a spot, which gives him a chance. Benn hasn’t flashed a whole lot in camp.

Tight ends (4): Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Emil Igwenagu.

Igwenagu made the team out of camp last season to the surprise of many. I’ll say he does it again.

Offensive linemen (9): Jason Peters, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, David Molk, Dennis Kelly, Andrew Gardner.

Lane Johnson goes on the reserve/suspended list after the preseason and won’t count against the 53-man.

Molk’s chances of making the squad improved dramatically after it was learned that Julian Vandervelde needed back surgery. Kelly, after having back surgery of his own last August, says that he is now back to his old self.

Defensive linemen (6): Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Cedric Thornton, Taylor Hart, Vinny Curry, Beau Allen.

Sheil and I agree when it comes to both the offensive and defensive linemen.

Allen has outplayed Damion Square to this point. Joe Kruger was hoping to burst onto the scene this season and maybe he will, but he’s had a pretty quiet camp. Alejandro Villanueva is a great story but is still raw.

Outside linebackers (5): Connor Barwin, Trent Cole, Marcus Smith II, Bryan Braman, Brandon Graham.

Graham isn’t an ideal scheme fit but he’s a good pass rusher on a team that desperately needs a pass rush. Unless they get a really nice trade offer for him, I think he sticks.  Travis Long has gotten some love from the coaching staff and has a chance to make the team — particularly with a strong showing in the remainder of the preseason — but I’m leaving him off for now.

Inside linebackers (4): DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Casey Matthews.

Like Johnson, Jake Knott will start the season on the suspended list and doesn’t count against the 53-man.

Before you get on me about Matthews, consider that he was third on the team last year with 12 special teams tackles. We know how Kelly feels about special teams. Can’t say I’ve noticed Jason Phillips much during camp. He and Emmanuel Acho would be the other candidates for the fourth insider linebacker spot.

Cornerbacks (5): Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Nolan Carroll II, Jaylen Watkins.

I was half-tempted to put Curtis Marsh on here. He’s looked good in practice the last few weeks and appears to be finding his stride a bit. Not sure that there is room for him but I may change my mind before settling on my final projections.

Safeties (5): Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Chris Maragos, Ed Reynolds.

Reynolds had to miss some time this spring because of the NCAA graduation rules and is likely still catching up. Think the Eagles will give him some time to develop. Davon Morgan, Keelan Johnson and Daytawion Lowe are the other options.

Specialists (3): Jon Dorenbos, Alex Henery, Donnie Jones.

Never felt like a competition. Henery will be the guy for now.

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  • Saul Wells

    Roster looks good I would hope Brandon Bair or Kruger would make the team, I don’t see much separation between those and Cedric Thorton

    • B-West

      Count me in on the Intrigued by Brandon Bair camp. I’d like to see him get some reps against higher level competition tonight. Big Swamp is the man though.

      • Saul Wells

        Beau Allen and Vinny Curry are my two favorites on the D Line now. I love the rotation of B.Logan and B.Allen.

      • Dominik

        If Brandon Bair would not be 29 years old (and 30 in November), I’d agree. But at his age, he has to be 100x better than Kruger, who, if he develops, could be here for 10 years instead of 2 before he declines – and he’s not. He had a good game against the Bears, no doubt, but he simply is too old for an developmental project – and he’s nothing more than that.

        • B-West


          Ah man, crusher.. I had no idea he was that old. I assumed he was another young guy that came in on the Kelly pipeline from Oregon. Thanks for filling me in. Yeah, I’m with your line of thinking then. I can’t see him cracking the rotation in a meaningful way, and he’s not a stash and develop guy at that age.

        • EagleDuck

          Age is the knock on him for sure. He took his Mormon Mission while at Oregon so was pretty old when he graduated, and two years behind everyone else football-wise. Great guy, developing into a solid player as well. Just too darn old to have much upside other than as a 3rd or possibly 2nd string player.

          • Kleptolia

            Brandon Bair will make the team. Watch.

    • Don’t know how you can say that. Ced has had the best camp of any Eagles D-lineman. He’s on the verge of breakout status. Kruger and Blair have been invisible. I’d put Blair in Mohmah territory – huge, but irrelevant.

      • Saul Wells

        I was mistaken i meant Damian Square

  • anon

    igwenagu sits and momah plays red zone.

  • JosephR2225

    It’s true that Igwenagu made the 53-man out of camp last year… but then he was inactive six straight weeks before being released to clear room for BJ Cunningham. Even when Casey was inactive Week 6 against the Bucs with a groin injury they still didn’t activate Igwenagu. Seems like a waste of a spot to me.

    • cliff h-MOAR white goons

      didnt even know he was in camp. i’ll be shocked if he makes team. no reason Burton isnt 4th TE and a practice squad stash, no one is picking him up. rather give Long, Kruger, Momah, Marsh, Keelan Johnson (he wasnt terrible in limited time last yr) or Acho a shot.

  • aub32

    I’d like to see Momah and Marsh make this team in place of Reynolds and Igwenagu. Iggy was left inactive last year. So if we were to do the same with Momah, then it would not matter what his STs ability is. Plus I get the feeling we may need a 6th WR this year due to health reasons. Marsh is finally starting to show promise after a year of coaching stability on the defensive side of the ball, who knew. He was brought in to be a long term project. I’d hate to give up on him when he’s starting to bear fruit.

    • JosephR2225

      Tough to imagine them cutting Reynolds after drafting him in the 5th round. He wouldn’t last on the practice squad; another team would snatch him up pretty quick.

    • JosephR2225

      Tough to imagine them releasing Reynolds after drafting him in the 5th round. He wouldn’t last long on the practice squad before another team picked him up.

      • aub32

        You really think so. He hasn’t stood out much that I’ve noticed.

        • JosephR2225

          Honestly I don’t really think he has to stand out all that much. He was a fifth round pick, which was roughly in line with where he was rated, who would be available almost for free. Jordan Poyer got poached off the Eagles PS last year, and he was a 7th rounder who hadn’t really shown anything either.

          • Will, Always Shady in CA

            And now he’s the Browns Starting FS:/ I really had hopes for him in Midnight Green

          • peteike

            really I had no idea. Ive been watching the replay of bears game little by little all week. I saw Reynolds make a few plays and almost forgot he was on team since I hadnt read a thing about him. Man seeing JMatt drop all those passes was annoying also. Barkley just looking down receivers and throwing that pick late in 3rd. Not sure if it was Huffs fault for not coming back but either way, he didnt look it off at all. Not sure how long we wait for Barkey, Im not a fan at all at this point but whatever, 3rd string.

          • Eagles4Life

            Confused the heck out of me as to why WE didn’t convert him.

  • John E. Zang

    By god I hope Maehl and Casey Mathews don’t waste a roster spot on this team. There’s no room for players with zero upside like that. Keep Acho and Momah or at least Travis Long.

    • Dominik


      If it comes like McManus thinks it will come (not saying it won’t), I’d be very disappointed. There are bright sides, like leaving out Maehl and Square, but Matthews and Iggy (well, I can’t even say the guy sucks, altough I literally never saw any play he made, not in the reg season, but not in Preseason either – in Preseason, I expect something out of a player on the 53 who’s on his third year in the league and with the team) would suck. Total waste of two roster spots.

  • Travis Papa

    It’s pretty obvious he is trolling us by keeping emil and Casey. Makes more sense to have momah and marsh. Trade a backup OL for Long or acho and that is probably the 53. Not sold on Tucker making it either so maybe keep that OL for Tucker s spot. He can be on the PS

  • UKEagle99 à l’orange

    Can’t see Emil making the team, I think there are others who would be in before him, another WR or Marsh…

  • Rick H

    I do not see Igwenagu, Mathews making this team. I would take Acho or Phillips plus I would have six receivers. I do not see any teams picking up Igwenagu.
    However I do see teams picking up any one of the three linebackers. Plus Marsh makes this team.

  • dislikedisqus

    Hard to see Emil I making the team as a 4th TE and Bair getting cut with Bair getting 2d team DE reps. I would say that is the most likely change.

    It is a challenge to find room for Momah, I agree. But 6 WRs looks more likely every day. If he plays well the rest of the way, I would expect Reynolds is the most likely to be sacrificed, given the 31 other teams passed on him in the draft.

    • OldDuckMcDoc

      Reynolds was taken in the 5th. Every chance at least one of those 31 would’ve taken him later if he was still around.

  • Bullwinkle

    Kelly and his staff has earned my trust. I will be happy with whatever roster they determine to be the best, taking into account the needs of the team in all phases of the game. I watch the players perform in preseason games. The coaches see them 100% of the time from an up close and personal perspective. They will be right much more often than wrong.

  • Eagles4Life

    Momah over Igwenagu and Acho over Matthews.

  • Warhound KnowsHstryWarts&All

    One thing that I find interesting about building a roster now vs years gone bye is the need for 10 DBs and the resulting question of where you poach that roster spot from. Tim is predicting that the 10th DB comes at the expense of the 7th DL. I think that he’s right and that Krueger (sp?) will be stashed on the PS as the 7th DL.

  • RJ

    Casey always makes the team, so making it again wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t think we keep Tucker over Josey though, and doubt we keep four tight ends, especially Emil.