Eagles 53 Man Roster Projection: Rest Of The Defense

July 23, 2012; Bethlehem, PA. USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid (center) talks to players after training camp at Lehigh University. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

We started our 53 man roster projection with a look at the defensive line, so we'll continue today with the rest of the defense. The numbers aren't nearly as hard to make up here, I think it makes sense to do them all as a group.

Going off last year, the Eagles kept DE (5), DT (5), LB (6), CB (6), S (5). Given the talent on the D-line there's a decent chance we could see them keep an extra guy there and lose a corner or safety... But for our purposes here we'll stick with last year as a guideline. When we're done going position by position, we may adjust.

Lets start with the locks

LB - DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Akeem Jordan, Casey Matthews

CB - Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brandon Boykin, Joselio Hanson

S - Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Oshiomogho Atogwe

That leaves 2 LB, 2 corner, and 2 safety spots to fill. We'll discuss after the jump.

First, a few comments on the locks. I realize that I've put 2 backups as locks and no starters at WILL. Honestly its because I think that WILL job could be entirely open. Akeem Jordan though, is a solid player who can start at any position and a good special teamer. I just can't see the Eagles letting him go. Plus, with Fokou gone, there's really no other viable backup to Kendricks. Casey Matthews seems to me to be a lock simply because he has a lack of competition at LB.

I do have Joselio Hanson as a lock, which may surprise some... But Hanson was still this teams best slot corner last year and has been running with the ones quite a bit in camp. If you look down the depth chart at corner, I just can't see how there's two guys the Eagles would keep over him.

Linebacker

Bubble Boys - Brian Rolle, Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton

Camp Fodder - Ryan Rau, Adrien Moten, Monte Simmons

Someone has to win the WILL job. Brian Rolle was terrible against Pittsburgh, Jamar Chaney has been banged up and Keenan Clayton hasn't established himself. Probably only 2 of those guys will make the team and at this point none have seized the job.

Safety

Bubble Boys - Jaiquwan Jarrett, Tom Nelson, Colt Anderson

Camp Fodder - Wade Bonner, Phillip Thomas

I came into this thinking JaiJar was done, but I'm really not so sure. If they keep 5 safeties, I actually think his chances are pretty good simply because I don't know who else they'd keep? Tom Nelson has been running with the 2s and 3s most of camp and hasn't done much to distinguish himself. Not being a former 2nd round pick is probably the biggest thing that sets him apart from Jarrett.

Colt Anderson is still hurt. And when you basically made the team as a specialist, your roster spot is never really that secure. I can't see the Eagles holding a spot on the 53 for an injured guy because he was good on special teams. He has to get back or maybe go on PUP.

Corner

Bubble Boys - Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes, Kevin Thomas

Camp Fodder - Cliff Harris, Trevard Lindley

I actually may be being a bit harsh putting Marsh as a bubble boy. He's all but locked up a spot here, but he'll play a lot in the next 3 games and there's really no track record for him, so you never know. Brandon Hughes played quite a bit last year so he'll certainly be in the mix and the Eagles recently traded or Kevin Thomas, who has a former 2nd round pick himself, certainly has a shot. We just haven't really seen him yet. I think the battle for that last spot is between him and Hughes.

That is assuming, of course, that they even take 6 corners. This is certainly one spot where you could argue that its not worth keeping a guy like Brandon Hughes or Kevin Thomas over Darryl Tapp or Antonio Dixon on the defensive line.

I know a lot of people liked Cliff Harris at the start, but he's been hurt and just hasn't played enough. He's also not made an impact in the return game as was expected. I'm sure he'll get chances in preseason, but he needs to start coming on quick if he is going to have any shot at a roster spot.

Running Prediction

LB (6) - DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Akeem Jordan, Casey Matthews, Brian Rolle, Jamar Chaney

Safety (5) - Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Oshiomogho Atogwe, Jaiquwan Jarrett, Tom Nelson

Corner (6) - Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Brandon Boykin, Joselio Hanson, Curtis Marsh, Kevin Thomas

DE (5) - Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Phillip Hunt

DT (5) - Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, (Mike Patterson)

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