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Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: Pre-Training Camp Edition

Which players will make the final cut?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles players report for 2015 training camp tomorrow before the first practice starts on Sunday, Aug. 2. Football is almost back.

Training camp is where the football season gets started. Players and coaches will take the field in order to prepare for the long campaign ahead. But while a total of 90 players will enter Eagles training camp, that number will dramatically dwindle down to only 53 (plus 10 practice squad players) by the time preseason games end and the regular season begins. Jobs will be won and lost over the course of this summer. For now, here's how Bleeding Green Nation sees the Eagles' final 53 man depth chart playing out. (Last version: Post-spring workouts)


Quarterback (3): Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow [3]

Chip Kelly might say he can't start Sam Bradford if Mark Sanchez is playing better, but I still don't buy there's a real competition here. The Eagles acquired Bradford because they had every expectation he will be better than Sanchez. Similarly, I expect Bradford to have a good summer and "win" the starting job. It's a good sign for the team that Bradford is expected to be fully ready for training camp after being limited in the spring. As for the third string quarterback battle, Matt Barkley seemed to have the edge on Tim Tebow after spring practices. But Tebow might be able to turn it around and one Eagles player already thinks Tebow is going to surprise people by making the team.

Running Back (3): DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles [6]

This is pretty self-explanatory. The Eagles invested a lot of money in the running back position because it's key to their success in 2015. The only question here is if the Eagles will keep four backs on the main roster. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews are injury-prone while Darren Sproles isn't a full-time player. Kenjon Barner might be able to push for a fourth running back spot, especially now that Matthew Tucker is gone. For now, I'll leave Barner off and project he makes the practice squad (see the bottom of this post).

Wide Receiver (6): Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper, Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor, Miles Austin, Seyi Ajirotutu [12]

Jordan Matthews will start in the slot while Riley Cooper and Josh Huff will likely be starters on the outside. Nelson Agholor might not be a full-time starter right away but he'll rotate in and get a healthy amount of snaps. It remains to be seen how Miles Austin will be used. The 31-year-old veteran hasn't played special teams in a few years but maybe he'll resume that role along with rotating in on offense. Seyi Ajirotutu is a good special teams player who will also serve as a capable backup.

Tight End (3): Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton [15]

Perhaps this is the year Zach Ertz finally overtakes Brent Celek. If not, Ertz's role should still continue to grow. He's too much of a receiving threat not to be on the field, and he's worked on his blocking. Celek should still be involved in the offense as a blocker. The Eagles want to get back to being a run-heavy offense so his skills will come in handy there. Trey Burton was an excellent special teams player as a rookie. It's up to him to fill the void left by James Casey. The Eagles may very well keep a fourth tight end if one of the undrafted rookies steps up this summer.

Offensive Tackle (3): Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Andrew Gardner [18]

Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are studs on each end of the line. Andrew Gardner played some tackle for the Eagles early on last year while Johnson was out and offensive line injuries ran rampant.

Offensive Guard (4): Allen Barbre, Matt Tobin, John Moffitt, Kevin Graf [22]

Allen Barbre is probably locked into the starting spot at left guard. Meanwhile, the right guard job is up for grabs. Matt Tobin is likely the favorite to win the job but the recently signed John Moffitt could be in the mix. It'll be interesting to see how Moffitt performs after being out of the league for two years. Chip Kelly has praised Kevin Graf this offseason and he can offer depth at both guard and tackle.

Center (2): Jason Kelce, Mike Coccia [24]

Country singer Jason Kelce is obviously the starter. David Molk could be the favorite to earn the spot behind him, but for now I'll say undrafted free agent Mike Coccia earns the spot. The thing working against Molk is he's more of a pure center and doesn't have the versatility to play guard. Coccia can offer that to the Eagles.


Defensive End (4): Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, Taylor Hart [28]

The Eagles and deep and young at this position. Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton are the starters while Vinny Curry should rotate in. After gaining 25 pounds this offseason, Taylor Hart could be ready to take the depth job away from Brandon Bair.

Nose Tackle (2): Bennie Logan, Beau Allen [30]

Bennie Logan is quietly a good starter in the middle. Beau Allen will resume his role as a backup/rotation player.

Outside Linebacker (5): Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Marcus Smith, Bryan Braman, Travis Long [35]

Brandon Graham and Connor Barwin combine to form a strong starting outside linebacker duo. Behind them, it's up to 2014 first round pick Marcus Smith to step up and earn a rotational role. Bryan Braman will continue to "kill, maim, destroy" on special teams. The Eagles were high on Travis Long before he suffered a season-ending injury last summer. They believe he has the versatility to play outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and defensive end so his versatility could help him stick around.

Inside Linebacker (5): Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans, Jordan Hicks, Brad Jones [40]

The Eagles are pretty stacked at inside linebacker. Kiko Alonso and Mychal Kendricks are beasts. Veteran defensive captain DeMeco Ryans will still be involved, it seems. Jordan Hicks is good athlete who will serve as depth. Brad Jones makes the team due to his special teams ability and versatility to play outside linebacker. Najee Goode could also be in the mix here for the final spot.

Cornerback (6): Byron Maxwell, Nolan Carroll, Brandon Boykin, Eric Rowe, JaCorey Shepherd, Jaylen Watkins [46]

Byron Maxwell is the only lock to be a full-time starter. Nolan Carroll seems to be the favorite on the other side of the field but second round pick Eric Rowe will push him for playing time. Brandon Boykin will likely start in the slot while JaCorey Shepherd will serve as a backup in the nickel and on the outside. Shepherd had a really good spring. Jaylen Watkins makes the roster due to his ability to also play safety.

Safety (4): Malcolm Jenkins, Walter Thurmond, Chris Maragos, Chris Prosinski [50]

The Eagles are really in trouble if Malcolm Jenkins goes down. Philadelphia's safety depth is paper thin. There's hope for the Walter Thurmond experiment, but his injury issues are still a big concern. Chris Maragos and Chris Prosinski are excellent special teams players but likely aren't reliable starters on defense. Earl Wolff, Ed Reynolds, and Jerome Couplin could be fighting for a fifth spot here.


Kicker: Cody Parkey [51]

Cody Parkey impressed as a rookie. Now that he's had the chance to rest his leg this offseason, it'll be interesting to see how he performs in Year 2.

Punter: Donnie Jones [52]

The 35-year-old doesn't have the power that he used to but he's still a good precision punter.

Long Snapper: Jon Dorenbos [53]

Pro Football Focus graded him as the best long snapper in the league last season.


Practice Squad (10):

QB/RB/WR G.J. Kinne, RB Kenjon Barner, TE Eric Tomlinson, WR Rasheed Bailey, DE Brian Mihalik, CB Randall Evans, NT Wade Keliikipi, OL Brett Boyko, OL Josh Andrews, S Ed Reynolds

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