Now that the Philadelphia Eagles 53-man depth chart is finally here, I'm going to revisit a question I asked back in mid-July when the Eagles had 90 players: "Which position on the Eagles roster concerns you the most?"
Breaking down the Eagles roster, position-by-position. Let's start with the offense.
QB: Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley
I felt like Foles could have had a better summer. Then again, I could have said the same thing last year when he was beaten out by Michael Vick. Sanchez looks like a high quality backup, which is amazing because he looked really bad in the spring. Turns out my "Next Trent Edwards" prediction came true. You could do worse at third string QB than Barkley.
RB: LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Chris Polk
No one should be concerned with McCoy and Sproles. They've had good summers and they're both proven talents. The running back depth appears a little iffy, however. Polk is reportedly ready to play by Week 1 but he missed nearly the entire summer with a slight hamstring tear. Polk is talented and can contribute on special teams but he needs to stay healthy. Having Matthew Tucker on the practice squad should help ease some concerns about depth here.
WR: Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews, Brad Smith, Josh Huff, Jeff Maehl
This is probably the position of most concern. It's not necessarily a very proven group. Maclin has potential in this offense but he's dealt with some minor injuries during the summer. That said, I'm still high on him. Cooper, who also dealt with injury issues, seems bound for some regression. There's been a lot of hype around Matthews but I don't think he's ready to set the world on fire just yet. Smith is actually a solid veteran depth option. Huff may or may not be ready for the season and will likely carve out a role on special teams. Maehl is a special teams contributor as well.
This group doesn't look especially inspiring on paper but I wouldn't be surprised to see Chip Kelly get the most out of them.
TE: Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Trey Burton
This is a great group. Celek is still a viable option in the passing game and he's probably one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. Ertz is going to be a mismatch nightmare if this summer was any indication. He has some real potential. Casey is most a special teams contributor but also serves as good depth. He's also a strong blocker in the run game. I imagine Burton will likely be inactive as a rookie this season but he could be Casey's replacement as soon as next season.
Two things we knew about the Eagles offensive line heading into this summer: it is very good but it is also very old. One thing we definitely didn't know until after preseason was over: the Eagles appear to have some quality offensive line depth. Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner, Dennis Kelly, and David Molk all impressed this summer. Philadelphia's second string offensive line looked great.
Allen Barbre looked a little shaky in the preseason and it remains to be seen how the Eagles will fare with him as the starting right tackle for four games until Lane Johnson returns from a four-game suspension. If Barbre majorly struggles, perhaps one of Tobin/Gardner/Kelly could step up.
I'm lumping kicker into the offense for the sake of this discussion.
The much-maligned Alex Henery is gone. Rookie Cody Parkey earned the kicker job with an impressive preseason performance against the New York Jets. I'd hardly say the Eagles kicker problem is solved, however. Parkey may indeed be the answer, but he's largely unproven as an undrafted rookie free agent. There shouldn't be doubt cutting Henery was the move. It just remains to be seen if Parkey can stick around or if the Eagles will be searching for another kicker on the market during the season. Which obviously wouldn't be ideal.