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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Preseason Week 4 edition

Who will make the final cut?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have finished three of their four 2014 NFL preseason games, it's only right that we break out the latest 53-man roster prediction here at Bleeding Green Nation. Here's a look at my prediction after the preseason debut game, and here's Mike Kaye's projection following the second week of the preseason. Below are my predictions for the Eagles roster and practice squad (now with 10 spots!) based on what I've seen during Eagles training camp and the team's three preseason games.

BLG's 53-man roster

QB: Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley (3) [3]

Foles has looked OK overall but not great in the preseason. Then again, he's only had both of his starting wide receivers active for one game. I'm not sweating bullets about Foles' preseason performance but I expect him to look better when the real games start. Mark Sanchez has been awesome. It's amazing what Bill Lazor has done with him, huh? (Sarcasm alert.) Matt Barkley has looked OK for what he is: a third string QB.

RB: LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Chris Polk, Matthew Tucker, Henry Josey (5) [8]

Five running backs! Remeber, as Chip Kelly often says, it's about 'players, not positions.' Tucker and Josey have had good showings this summer and I'm not sure they can be easily stashed away on the practice squad without being poached. The Eagles are a run-heavy team so this isn't unthinkable. Plus the Eagles carried four running backs for over half of the 2013 season. It's really not impossible to add one more. I'm also figuring Sproles' ability as a pass catcher kind of makes him a receiver, even though Kelly and Sproles himself will say he's not one.

TE: Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey (3) [11]

Brent Celek is so, so tough. Ertz is going to be a mismatch nightmare. Casey is overpaid but he's good on special teams and serves as really good depth.

WR: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews, Brad Smith, Josh Huff, Jeff Maehl (6) [17]

Smith is great on specials and he's very versatile. I'm not sure what the Josh Huff situation will amount to. He's clearly hurt (AC sprain) and it doesn't look like he'll be ready by the season, but if the Eagles were going to put him on injured reserve wouldn't they have done that by now? Maehl makes the team due to special teams ability (and Oregon Bias!!!!!!!!).

OL: OT Jason Peters, OG Evan Mathis, C Jason Kelce, OG Todd Herremans, OT Allen Barbre, OT Andrew Gardner, OG Matt Tobin, C David Molk (8) [25]

The Eagles' backup offensive line has played well this preseason. Better than I would have expected. I think the depth here is better than some people originally gave it credit for. Barbre seems a little shaky as a starter to me. Gardner has looked good against backups. Tobin is (get ready for this hot take) a future starter on this team at guard.

Lane Johnson will return from suspension after the first four weeks.


DL: Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, Taylor Hart, Beau Allen, Brandon Bair (7) [32]

Cox, Logan, and Thornton are in place as starters. Curry should be a pass-rushing specialist off the bench. Allen has had a good summer and will be an upgrade on Damion Square as a backup nose tackle. Brandon Bair absolutely deserves to make this squad after the summer he's had. For now, it doesn't matter that he's about to turn 30 in late November. I'm not sure how often Hart will play behind this talented group of ends.

ILB: DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Casey Matthews (4) [36]

The starters are obvious. Kendricks has been (somewhat quietly) impressive this summer. Najee Goode, who figures himself to be a future starter, is the top backup and a special teams contributor. Matthews sticking around for another year is sure to anger fans but he's actually an OK special teams player. Also the team thinks he can play outside linebacker in a pinch so there's that versatility factor as well. Even if you disagree with those things, which is fair, at least understand that's how the team has been proven to think.

OLB: Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Marcus Smith II, Bryan Braman (5) [41]

Cole and Barwin are the starters. Graham has had a great summer rushing the passer but looks lost in coverage and out in space. Smith II is just the opposite; he looks great in space but can't rush the passer yet. Braman is a special teams player.

CB: Cary Williams, Nolan Carroll II, Bradley Fletcher, Brandon Boykin, Jaylen Watkins (5) [46]

Nothing surprising here except that I have Carroll II starting because I think he's better than Fletcher. Fletcher hasn't had the best summer -- not terrible, but not great -- and he seems to struggle with the new emphasis put on illegal contact/pass interference. Fletcher could very well start at cornerback and be solid yet unspectacular like he was in 2013. Or the Eagles could opt for more of a play-maker like Carroll II who seems to have better ball skills.

S: Malcolm Jenkins, Nate Allen, Earl Wolff, Chris Maragos (4) [50]

Jenkins and Allen will end up being the starters with Wolff rotating in as a third safety. Rookie Ed Reynolds II end up landing on injured reserve with a phantom injury.

ST: (3) [53]

Kicker: Not on the roster yet

Punter: Donnie Jones

Long Snapper: Jon Dorenbos


Toughest cuts: OLB Travis Long, TE Trey Burton, WR Arrelious Benn, OT Dennis Kelly

Phantom IR: S Ed Reynolds II


Practice Squad (10): WR Ifeanyi Momah, OT Kevin Graf, RB Kenjon Barner, WR B.J. Cunningham, DE Joe Kruger, QB G.J. Kinne, TE Trey Burton, OLB Travis Long, DE Alejandro Villanueva, S Keelan Johnson


Now it's YOUR turn. Predict the Eagles final 53 man roster below in the comments.

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