I was playing around with the 53-man roster this morning, and from what I've seen in camp over the past 2 weeks, there are 43 spots on this team that are pretty much wrapped up, leaving just 10 spots for roughly 17 players.
With the Eagles first preseason game upcoming, let's first identify the "locks," so that we can keep a mindful eye on the "bubble boys" this Friday against Jacksonville.
The locks (Note: The "locks" are also in order, so the names at the far right are the least secure locks.)
Total (43) - Of the above, Kurt Coleman, Fenuki Tupou, Trevard Lindley, and Darryl Tapp are the most debatable "locks," although I feel that they'd have to completely fall apart for the remainder of the preseason not to make the team.
PUP/IR (2) - These don't count toward the 53-man roster. Jamaal Jackson (likely to land on the PUP list to begin the season), Victor Abiamiri (likely to land on the PUP list to begin the season, and then eventually the IR).
The bubble boys (in order of likelihood to make the team)...
- TE Cornelius Ingram - He has clearly fallen behind Clay Harbor in the pecking order at TE, although it's still highly likely the he'll stick with the team. The Eagles have taken it easy on Ingram during this camp. As a result Harbor has gotten more reps and made the most of them. I strongly considered making Ingram a lock as well, but there's an extremely remote chance the Eagles will only keep 2 TE's, so I left him off. In other words, Ingram fans shouldn't panic just yet.
- C/G Mike McGlynn - Kinda weird that a bubble boy will be starting at C Friday night. McGlynn's primary competition won't come from A.Q. Shipley, who is fairly obviously behind McGlynn at this point. His biggest competition could come from a player not currently on the Eagles' roster.
- LB Keenan Clayton - I estimate that 7 linebackers will stick with the team. Clayton has a major advantage, having been a 4th round pick this year. He was everywhere the first weekend I attended camp, and has the reputation for being a special teams standout. However, he missed 3 days due to personal issues, but he was excused by the team, so that shouldn't hurt him too much.
- CB/S Macho Harris - Can anybody think of the last time a team cut a 2nd year player that started on opening day his rookie season? Macho has some versatility, being able to play both CB and S, but he has stiff competition from Dmitri Patterson, who is surprisingly having a fantastic camp. Macho too was having a good camp before he injured his hamstring, and hasn't been able to get back on the field. The longer Macho stays out, the better the chances become for Patterson to gain ground.
- DT Jeff Owens - Owens has been a pleasant surprise at camp. He and Trevor Laws have looked dominant at times during live hitting. With Antonio Dixon hampered by an injury, Owens currently looks to have the edge.
- OT Austin Howard - Gotta admit ignorance on this one to a degree. I haven't specifically watched him, but in speaking with a number of the other Philly reporters at camp, the belief is that Howard has a pretty clear lead over King Dunlap at this time.
- RB Eldra Buckley - He was the star of the day last Sunday, and has had a significantly better camp than rookie Charles Scott. He's a "try hard" guy that has an added advantage over Scott in special teams. Didn't see this coming, by the way. I had completely written Buckley off, but he's done a great job this camp making it hard for the coaching staff to part ways with him. Buckley would also be ineligible for the practice squad.
- WR Kelley Washington - Another pleasant surprise. Washington has the reputation of being a special teams maven, but he has also impressed as a WR.
- WR Hank Baskett - A week ago, I saw Hank as very likely to make the team, but with the way Kelley Washington has performed, he's no longer a sure thing. Will the Eagles keep 6 WR's?
(Quick note - we're at 53 players at this point)...
- CB Dmitri Patterson - It'll be a downright shame if Patterson doesn't stick with this team. He's had a stellar camp, and has been singled out for his play this summer not just by Andy Reid, but by Howie Roseman as well. If he's cut, he'll be snapped up immediately by another team.
- DT Antonio Dixon - Dixon filled in admirably as the 3rd DT while Trevor Laws struggled. With Laws beginning to play to his potential and rookie Jeff Owens emerging, Dixon could find himself on the outside. Here's another player that would immediately be snapped up by another franchise if he failed to stick here.
- OT King Dunlap - As noted above, the general feeling is that he has been outplayed by Austin Howard so far. The only thing working in Dunlap's favor is that he is not eligible for the practice squad, whereas Howard is. Probably won't be enough though.
- DE/OLB Ricky Sapp - He apparently had a pressure and a sack on consecutive plays this week in camp, but had been completely invisible up until then. He has some serious ground to make up.
- OLB Tracy White - The reputation is that he's a special teams stud. I don't see it, and I'll bet Bobby April won't see that on last year's film as well. The Eagles were 2nd in the NFL with 26 special teams penalties last year, and White led the team with 5 of them, costing the Eagles 84 yards. He's listed on the 2nd team on the Eagles latest depth chart, but that's probably just a courtesy to the veteran over 2 rookies (Keenan Clayton and Simoni Lawrence).
- RB Charles Scott - He's not a threat whatsoever in the passing game, which is a killer for an Andy Reid offense, and with Mike Bell being a capable short yardage back, Scott's big frame doesn't necessarily give him a niche role to fill. He has a lot of ground to make up. It'll take a few monster preseason games.
- LB Simoni Lawrence - He probably needed to stand out in a big way to beat out guys like Keenan Clayton and Jamar Chaney to make the roster, but he hasn't.
The rest of the bunch are all long shots.