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

Who will make the final cut?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have one game remaining in their 2015 NFL preseason schedule. For some players, this will be their last chance to shine. The team has already begun the first round of cuts. As of this post, the roster stands at 78 players. The Eagles have until 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, Sept. 1 to trim down to 75. Then the Eagles will have to get down to the 53-man roster by 4:00 PM on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Let's see how much things have changed since last week's edition. This roster projection is based on everything I've seen from Eagles practices as well as the team's preseason games.


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

It's still pretty funny to me that people actually thought there was going to be a legitimate quarterback competition between Bradford and Sanchez. It never existed. And if it ever did, it's obvious by now Bradford is the winner.

One could argue the Eagles shouldn't keep a third quarterback because neither Matt Barkley nor Tim Tebow deserve the third spot. I don't see Chip Kelly only keeping two, however. I still think Tebow makes it because the team has tried to move on from Barkley. And even though Tebow's two-point conversions against the Packers failed, it could be a sign that the team wants to have that option moving forward.

Running Back (4): DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner [7]

The Eagles have the best group of running backs in the NFL. All of these players have looked pretty good this summer. Barner continues to prove he deserves the fourth spot after making big plays each week. He also contributed on the special teams coverage units against the Packers with two tackles.

Undrafted rookie free agent Raheem Mostert has also played well this preseason but there isn't room for him on the roster. If he clears waivers, expect the team to put him on the practice squad.

Wide Receiver (6): Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor, Riley Cooper, Miles Austin, Seyi Ajirotutu [13]

Matthews looks like a legitimate stud in Year 2. Huff has looked good in practice but he's been quiet in the games. Agholor flashes talent but also makes some rookie mistakes. Cooper's had a very quiet summer. Austin has looked surprisingly decent. Nothing too flashy from the former Cowboys receiver, but he's been solid. He's like the new Jason Avant, basically. Ajirotutu is practically a lock to make the roster as a special teams contributor.

Tight End (3): Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, Trey Burton [16]

What's crazy about all the success the Eagles have had this preseason is they've done it without arguably one of their best weapons: Zach Ertz. Ertz is still recovering from a groin injury suffered in training camp. The team will hope Ertz can be ready for Week 1. If not, the Eagles can be encouraged by the fact Burton has been stepping up in Ertz's absence. Eric Tomlinson should be able to clear waivers and make the practice squad if the Eagles want to keep him there.

Offensive Tackle (4): Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Matt Tobin, Dennis Kelly (20]

Johnson got a little banged up against the Packers but should be ready for Week 1. Tobin is arguably the team's top backup at all offensive line positions except center. I'm not sure Dennis Kelly sticks around. I have him here for now in part because Johnson isn't fully healthy and the Eagles' offensive line depth is thin.

Offensive Guard (3): Allen Barbre, Andrew Gardner, John Moffitt [23]

Barbre and Gardner are a surprisingly solid starting duo at guard, at least by the standards of Pro Football Focus. Speaking of PFF, according to them Moffitt wasn't a total disaster against Green Bay. Maybe the Eagles are willing to be patient with him as he continues to shake off the rust.

Center (2): Jason Kelce, David Molk [25]

Kelce is the starter and Molk is a decent enough backup behind him.



Defensive End (5): Fletcher Cox, Cedric Thornton, Vinny Curry, Brandon Bair, Taylor Hart [30]

Curry is also lining up at outside linebacker so that frees up some playing time for Bair and Hart. Bair earns a roster spot because he contributes on special teams and can stop the run. Second-year defensive end Hart has really stepped up this summer to earn his roster spot as well. The Eagles are pretty deep and young at this position. Bair is the oldest at 30, but he doesn't have a lot of NFL mileage on him since he's only in his third professional season.

Nose Tackle (2): Bennie Logan, Beau Allen [32]

Weekly note: Bennie Logan is a beast. Allen provides decent depth behind him.

Outside Linebacker (5): Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Marcus Smith, Brad Jones, Bryan Braman [37]

Marcus Smith is hurt but might be ready to play by Week 1. It's a real shame for him that he's missed these preseason games because he badly needed the playing time. With Smith out, the team has been using Jones as an outside linebacker. Jones can also contribute on the inside. Braman arguably deserves some playing time on defense after annihilating backups in the preseason but will likely only be used on special teams.

Inside Linebacker (4): Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans, Jordan Hicks [41]

Chip Kelly said Alonso is dealing with a nagging leg injury not related to his ACL tear. He was expected to make his Eagles debut against the Packers but that wasn't the case. The recently-extended Kendricks figures to get plenty of playing time this season. Ryans might not be 100% yet but he's healthy enough to play. Hicks will have to contribute as a special teams player early on in his career.

Cornerback (5): Byron Maxwell, Nolan Carroll, Eric Rowe, E.J. Biggers, Jaylen Watkins [46]

Nolan Carroll is clearly the best option at the outside starting cornerback position opposite of Maxwell. Rowe has flashed at times this summer but he's not ready to be a full time starter just yet. With that said, he deserves some rotational playing time. Biggers is coming off a terrible performance but has shown more good than bad and will make likely make the team. Watkins earns a spot due to his versatility.

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

Jenkins and Thurmond will combine to form a pretty decent safety tandem. The question is the depth behind them. Maragos and Prosinski aren't ideal full time players but they're too good on special teams to leave off. Ed Reynolds and Jerome Couplin are still fighting for a fifth safety spot that may not exist.



Kicker: Cody Parkey [51]

Chip Kelly didn't play against the Packers due to a leg tweak but the coach said the kicker could have played if he had to. This situation bears monitoring.

Punter: Donnie Jones [52]

Still pretty good.

Long Snapper: Jon Dorenbos [53]

Best in the league.


Practice Squad (10):

RB Raheem Mostert, WR Rasheed Bailey, TE Eric Tomlinson, CB Randall Evans, CB Denzel Rice, DE Brian Mihalik, OLB Diaheem Watkins, S Ed Reynolds, OL Brett Boyko, OL Malcolm Bunche.

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