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Position Battles to Watch In Training Camp

Eagles fans, the draft is over. Isn't it refreshing for Andy Reid and the birds to draft a class with this much talent and potential? Yeah, I think so too. But this year's class has left some questions as to where some players will land on the depth chart. The draft was riddled with steals, but on a team with so much talent already, some of these steals may not see the field...or will they?

BACKUP QUARTERBACK

Nick Foles vs. Mike Kafka vs. Trent Edwards

The Eagles brought in veteran QB Trent Edwards a few months ago, but this was likely just a precautionary move. Nick Foles and Mike Kafka both have starting potential in my mind but a few holes in their game limit them. A logical conclusion that some have come to is that the team will either cut Edwards or trade Kafka. The backup QB position is up in the air right now.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Nick Foles

BACKUP RUNNINGBACK

Chris Polk vs. Dion Lewis vs. Bryce Brown

Dion Lewis had a decent rookie campaign last year, but the problem is that he's the same type of back that LeSean McCoy is. On the other hand, the Eagles drafted Bryce Brown out of Kansas State and signed undrafted free agent Chris Polk out of Washington. It shocked me (and that's an understatement) that Polk went undrafted and his signing to me couldn't make it clearer who should back up Shady next season. I think the Eagles should try to trade Brown or cut him and keep Lewis as the third back on the depth chart.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Chris Polk

FOURTH-STRING WIDE RECEIVER

Marvin McNutt vs. Riley Cooper vs. Chad Hall

It's possible that any three of these guys could surpass Jason Avant as the No. 3 WR on the depth chart during the course of the year, but for right now it looks like McNutt, Cooper and Hall will duel for the fourth spot. Cooper and Hall have done some good things on the field so far in their young careers and McNutt was a steal in the sixth round. I believe what will likely happen is that Cooper will take the position (technically) but McNutt will be brought in for red zone situations. Because of this, I think Cooper will see more playing time but McNutt will see more touchdowns. With that said, I'm very high on McNutt and I believe he should get the fourth, and maybe even third, wide receiver slot with no questions asked.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Marvin McNutt

STARTING LEFT TACKLE

Demetrus Bell vs. Dennis Kelly

With Jason Peters out for what could be the entire season, the Eagles selected OT Dennis Kelly out of Purdue in the fifth round. They also signed Buffalo Bills OT Demetrus Bell in the offseason. Bell should get the nod here, but don't be surprised to see Kelly force him to earn his money. Kelly is raw and wasn't a highly ranked prospect, but he's big-bodied and strong, which is always a plus in the NFL.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Demetrus Bell

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THIRD-STRING DEFENSIVE END

Vinny Curry vs. Brandon Graham

Brandon Graham has shown promise, and his injuries have been a sad setback to his career. However, the Eagles cannot sit and wait for their first round pick of 2010 to pan out, so they drafted a big, athletic DE out of Marshall who goes by the name of Vinny Curry, and he just so happens to be a very big Eagles fan. While both these players will see plenty of the field this year, I think Curry will earn the spot on the chart.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Vinny Curry

BACKUP DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Mike Patterson vs. Antonio Dixon vs. Derek Landri

Fletcher Cox will likely be a Day 1 starter next to Cullen Jenkins, so a starting job for these three looks bleak at the moment. However, in my eyes, these three are all of almost equal talent. With Washburn's defensive line coaching, they'll all see plenty of playing time, but who gets the spot? My head tells me Patterson, but to be truthful my heart tells me Landri. He's worked so hard and has actually turned out to be one of the better pass-rushing DT's in the league. Any three of them would be fine though, because they all exhibit good play on the field.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Derek Landri

STARTING OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Mychal Kendricks vs. Brian Rolle vs. Casey Matthews vs. Jamar Chaney vs. Moise Fokou

The inside linebacking job is locked up by DeMeco Ryans, but the rest is a mess. The Eagles drafted California's Mychal Kendricks, who is a possible Day 1 starter if all goes well, but by no means is it a given. The other linebacker spot is completely up for grabs though, between Brian Rolle, Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou. I really believe Rolle, Matthews and Fokou could be very productive players in a reduced role. Plus, Chaney has the body, athleticism, instincts, and football IQ to start on this team.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Mychael Kendricks and Jamar Chaney

NICKELBACK

Brandon Boykin vs. Joselio Hanson vs. Curtis Marsh vs. Trevard Lindley vs. Cliff Harris

Now that Asante Samuel has departed, it leaves the No. 3 cornerback position, often referred to as the nickelback position, wide open. Joselio Hanson is widely respected as one of the better nickelbacks in the league, but he's aging and has become more of a liability. Trevard Lindley and Curtis Marsh are both young, viable options but neither is extremely reliable. That leaves fourth round pick Brandon Boykin and undrafted FA Cliff Harris. It's not much of a competition at that point, however. Boykin is an ideal nickelback and tackles well while Harris...eh, not so much.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Brandon Boykin

STARTING STRONG SAFETY

Kurt Coleman vs. Jaiqwann Jarrett

Ah, the Eagles safeties. One of the few remaining weaknesses to the team. Now, Jarrett saw little action during his rookie season in 2011 but many believe he's poised to really start his career this year. That is, if he can dethrone Kurt Coleman from his job. Coleman is, at this point, a more reliable safety that tackles better and has a relatively better understanding of the game, but don't be surprised to see Jarrett take his spot during training camp. I personally believe Jarrett, who was selected in the second round, should get a better opportunity to show his worth this year.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Jaiqwann Jarrett

STARTING KICK RETURNER/PUNT RETURNER

Brandon Boykin vs. Cliff Harris

If you don't know Cliff Harris, he's Oregon's shutdown corner/return man. He's similar to Janoris Jenkins; a highly talented player that threw his draft stock away with character issues. However, the Eagles got him undrafted so there's little risk involved. Both Boykin and Harris are excellent return men. To me, Boykin is a significantly better one. However if Boykin becomes a big part of the Eagles defense at nickelback, I believe that with a returner as good as Harris on the roster the best choice would be to have Harris return punts/kicks to avoid injury risk to Boykin. With all this said, there's a good chance Harris won't even make the team.

Who SHOULD Get It? - Brandon Boykin

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