August 9, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Jerrod Johnson (8) is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Cedric Thornton (72). Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
As we head into the second preseason game, which this year will serve as the "dress rehearsal," I thought it would be worth taking a spin through the roster to try and project where we are with the 53 guys that the Eagles will take into the regular season. But since going over all 53 would be a massive post, I decided to split it up.
So we start with what looks like the strength of the team, the defensive line.
The Eagles kept 10 lineman after cut day last year (although carried 11 at times during the year) and given how this group has performed so far in camp and against Pittsburgh, the Eagles will likely be looking to hang on to as many as they can. Let's start with the locks.
That's 7 guys plus Patterson, who could potentially start the year on PUP. So let's say for week one the Eagles can take 2-3 more. We break down the remaining options and sort between the guys on the bubble and the camp fodder after the jump.
On any other team, guys like Phillip Hunt or Darryl Tapp probably wouldn't be bubble boys, but its a testament to the Eagles' depth that they are here. I would put Hunt ahead of Tapp at this point. It's also worth pointing out that both Brown and Taylor both recorded sacks against the Steelers. I though Brown specifically played well. If they do that again, this race could get more interested.
Of course, Phillip Hunt got himself 2 sacks and Tapp got one as well... So the rooks have some work to do.
A lot will ride on Patterson here. If he starts the year on PUP or even goes on IR, then Dixon and Thornton probably will both make the team. But if not, one almost certainly has to go. At this point, I would put Thornton ahead of Dixon.
DE (5) - Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt
DT (5) - Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, (Mike Patterson)
Dixon would be the first man in if Patterson is not cleared.