With wide receivers dropping like flies and late-round rookies failing to stick out, the Eagles' depth chart in the minds of fans has likely changed since the start of training camp. The BGN staff thinks about the roster about every second we're not eating or sleeping (actually that's not true, but for the sake of normalcy we'll go with it). You'll notice that our depth charts and practice squads have some major differences from our previous entry in the roster prediction game (most notably that Dan Klausner no longer exists).
Without further ado, here is the BGN staff pre-preseason roster predictions (minus Jimmy):
Rationale: While this is not the order that I would be for do to it's lack of youth at the forefront, I do believe this is how the season will start, but definitely not how it will end. I think Nick Foles starts, at minimum, eight games this season but Vick will get the nod for a solid preseason.
Rationale: Call me crazy but I have been a believer in Polk since his junior year at Washington and while Brown has a higher ceiling, Polk is a much better receiver. With wide receivers going out like Legends of the Hidden Temple contestants on the way to the hidden treasure, running back receptions will be frequent and I think all three backs will get a ton of touches.
Rationale: As mentioned before, losing Maclin and Benn will likely mean other play-makers having to step up. With tight ends being a big part of the Kelly offense this season, I think the Eagles will keep four in case one goes down. Harbor is unfairly judged, but he's the fourth guy.
Rationale: Hear me out Shepard's Flock (yes, that is what I am calling Russell Shepard fans). I think with the lack of starter depth, you have to have guys with experience and size at the top of the depth chart. Greg Salas, Clay Harbor, Derek Carrier, Ifeanyi Momah, Danny Watkins, Matt Tennant and Russell Shepard are all essentially competing for three spots. I think you're looking at Shepard, Harbor and Carrier for the final two position player spots on offense.
Rationale: Duh. Move on, nothing to see here other than a 4th overall pick and the best tackle in football.
Rationale: I was debating between eight and nine offensive linemen, but honestly I don't see Kelly going heavy on the line. There needs to be room play-makers. Barbre can play everywhere and Reynolds is a solid backup with starting experience.
Rationale: I think the first two are extremely locked in. Geathers size is extremely intriguing and I don't see how Howie Roseman can justify getting rid of Curry unless Joe Kruger, Dave King or Antonio Dixon dominates during training camp. If that's the case, Curry will be the second 2nd round pick to be cut/traded in their second season for the second-straight year. A lot of seconds basically.
Rationale: Sopoaga was brought in to start and Logan will be the second-best player on the line by mid-season. Square is liked by the coaching staff and has the potential to be a serious flyswatter.
Rationale: McCoy makes the team due to his coverage ability, but I think Roseman and Kelly will be watching the waiver wire for a potential steal at the fifth outside linebacker position. I don't think the team will give up on Graham or Cole, at least this season.
Rationale: I prefer Jamar Chaney over Matthews, but I never get what I want. Knott will be a teacher's pet who makes his bones on special teams.
Rationale: I think Boykin will start then move to the slot in nickel situations, because clearly Williams and Fletcher haven't impressed when they've been healthy (a rarity). Marsh and Whitley (versatility) will make the team over Jordan Poyer and Brandon Hughes.
Rationale: I know you don't like Coleman, but if Kenny Phillips goes down (as most Eagles' writers predict he will), he is making the team. Wolff will make the team based on potential and Anderson is the special teams ace.
Rationale: I just don't see how Brad Wing is going to beat Jones and I was never sure why he even signed here. He will get picked up by a team though.
PS: LB Emmanuel Acho, CB Jordan Poyer, TE Will Shaw, TE/WR Derek Carrier, QB G.J. Kinne, RB Matthew Tucker, WR Ifeanyi Momah, OT Michael Bamiro (8)
Rationale: It may be wishful thinking but I do believe Momah will make it through waivers.
QB: Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley (3)
Rationale: No changes here. The Vick/Foles battle has looked close and I'll give Vick a slight edge for the moment.
RB: LeSean McCoy, Chris Polk, Bryce Brown (3)
Rationale: Chris Polk has had an excellent camp. He's going to make plays. Bryce Brown is still good too.
TE: Brent Celek, James Casey, Zach Ertz, Clay Harbor (4)
Rationale: Derek Carrier could spend another year on the practice squad. I haven't seen much out of Harbor in camp but he looks in great shape so I'll give him the 4th spot by default.
WR: DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson, Greg Salas, Russell Shepard (6)
Rationale: Salas has had a great camp and I don't see why the Eagles should cut him. Shepard is a guy they like too, but maybe he can stick around on the practice squad. I only think the Eagles keep 5 WRs, but I don't want to cut Salas or Shepard.
OT: Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Dennis Kelly (3)
Rationale: No changes here.
OG/C: Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Danny Watkins, Dallas Reynolds (5)
Rationale: Dannny Watkins is the top backup guard. Reynolds is the only viable option at backup C.
DL: Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Bennie Logan, Vinny Curry, Isaac Sopoaga, Clifton Geathers, Joe Kruger (7)
Rationale: No changes.
OLB: Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Chris McCoy (4)
Rationale: Chris McCoy looks good in coverage. Pencil him in for a roster spot.
ILB: DeMeco Ryans, Mychael Kendricks, Casey Matthews, Emmanuel Acho (4)
Rationale: Acho could win a spot over Chaney.
CB: Brandon Boykin, Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes, Jordan Poyer (6)
Rationale: Boykin will be used all over: in the slot and on the outside.
S: Patrick Chung, Kenny Phillips, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Colt Anderson (5)
Rationale: Kenny Phillips is a real question mark, so I don't know how confident I feel about this bunch.
ST: K Alex Henery, P Donnie Jones, LS Jon Dorenbos (3)
Rationale: Donnie Jones has the punter job on lock.
Practice Squad: QB Dennis Dixon, RB Matthew Tucker, DL David King, OT Michael Bamiro, DL Damion Square, TE Derek Carrier, LB Jake Knott, OG Nate Menkin (8)
Rationale: Since the Eagles are only keeping 3 RBs they will keep one on the PS. Bamiro and Menkin give the Eagles a total of 10 OL in practice. Future Hall of Famer Derek Carrier needs more time to develop.