clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Philadelphia Eagles 53-man roster prediction: FINAL EDITION 2015

New, comments

Which Eagles players will survive 2015 NFL roster cuts? Let's take a look.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles wrapped up their 2015 NFL preseason schedule on Thursday night with a 24-18 loss [recap] to the New York Jets. The preseason is FINALLY over! Now it's time for NFL teams trim their rosters down to the 53-player limit before the deadline on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 4:00 PM EST. The Eagles are expected to make cuts well in advance of the deadline. With that said, it's time for one last Eagles 53-man roster projection. Let's do this.

(Past editions: May 7 | June 22 | July 31 | August 18 | August 24 | August 31)

Final Eagles 53-man roster prediction

OFFENSE

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

I think Sam Bradford did enough to make the roster this summer. But seriously, he's looked great. Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, has kind of been a little disappointing for it being his second year in the system. He still looks like a quality backup to have. The third quarterback spot goes to Tim Tebow, as I've been projecting for most of the summer. For the billionth time: the team just seems ready to move on from Matt Barkley, and I don't see Chip Kelly only keeping two quarterbacks. Plus Tebow looked good in the preseason finale.

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

The Eagles are stacked with the combination of DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles. It will be interesting to see how the reps are split up in the regular season, especially with Sproles seemingly getting more reps as a receiver in the slot. Kenjon Barner makes the team after having a great summer. Not only did he prove he's a legitimate weapon on offense and as a returner, but he also made some tackles on kick/punt coverage. The former Oregon Ducks player certainly earned a spot. Raheem Mostert arguably deserves a spot but is more likely to end up on the practice squad.

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

Jordan Matthews looked so good this summer that his greatness sometimes flies under the radar because it's already to be expected at this point. Nelson Agholor still makes some rookie mistakes but looks legit overall. Josh Huff had a quiet preseason despite having a good training camp. Riley Cooper is still around and will probably be on the field more than he should. Miles Austin's role is weird because he doesn't play special teams but he's not a starter. Still, Austin has looked solid. Seyi Ajirotutu earns the final spot due to his long history of being a good special teams player.

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

Brent Celek is still the starter, especially with Zach Ertz's status still uncertain for Week 1. Trey Burton has stepped up this summer while Ertz has been out. Rookie undrafted tight end Andrew Gleichert flashed early on in the preseason but soon faded. He's practice squad material.

Offensive Line (9): Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Andrew Gardner, Lane Johnson, Matt Tobin, David Molk, Dennis Kelly, Malcolm Bunche [25]

The starters here are obvious. Andrew Gardner won the battle at right guard a few weeks ago now. Gardner might not have a long leash if he struggles, but it's his job until then. Matt Tobin is the top backup at any non-center position. David Molk is the backup center and could play guard in an emergency. Chip Kelly had some praise for Dennis Kelly earlier this week so the veteran might stick around as well since he can play guard and tackle. Lastly, Malcolm Bunche could be this year's Trey Burton in the sense he's a surprise undrafted free agent to make the final roster. Keep in mind offensive coach is familiar with Bunche from their time together at Miami. I'm leaving John Moffitt here.

...

DEFENSE

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

The Eagles' defensive line is young and talented. Bennie Logan looks better than ever before. Vinny Curry is still playing at defensive end but is also getting some outside linebacker snaps. Brandon Bair is poised to stick around as a solid backup while Taylor Hart has shown progress after essentially redshirting in 2014.

Outside Linebacker (4): Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Marcus Smith, Bryan Braman [36]

There seems to be some speculation that Marcus Smith could be cut. I don't really buy it. The team needs him. The Eagles are thin at outside linebacker. Based on the original reported timeline, his hamstring injury doesn't appear to be serious enough to be a major issue. The 2014 first round pick could still serve a role as a rotational player this season with Bryan Braman mostly playing special teams.

Inside Linebacker (5): Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, DeMeco Ryans, Brad Jones, Jordan Hicks [41]

It'll be interesting to see how the snaps are divided up between the top three: Kiko Alonso, Mychal Kendricks, and DeMeco Ryans. Brad Jones earned a spot this summer due to his ability to play both inside and outside along with standing out on special teams. Jones looks better on the inside than the outside to me. Rookie third round pick Jordan Hicks showed some signs of promise and can contribute on special teams.

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

The depth here is looking sketchy outside of the top two starters. Eric Rowe did some good things this summer but he really struggled against the Packers and Jets. E.J. Biggers struggled against the Packers but otherwise had a decent summer and could make the team due to his versatility. Jaylen Watkins is another player who struggled but could make the team due to his versatility. The Eagles still don't have a clear answer at nickel cornerback after trading away Brandon Boykin and losing JaCorey Shepherd to injury. After the Jets game, Bill Davis made it sound like a rotation could be used at that spot.

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

The starters are obvious, but the depth is not. Chris Maragos is a lock due to his special teams ability. I'd argue Chris Prosinski should be a lock because he can also contribute on special teams. Prosinski also has starting experience with the Jaguars (although he didn't look great there), and he's had a quietly good training camp. He had at least three interceptions in practice, which might not mean a whole lot but it's something. Jerome Couplin and Ed Reynolds didn't do a whole lot to lock up a roster spot and both players could find their way to the practice squad.

...

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Cody Parkey [51]

It's at least a little concerning Parkey didn't play in the Packers and Jets games, but he said there's "no question" he'll be ready to play against the Falcons on Sept. 14.

Punter: Donnie Jones [52]

Kip Smith was never a real challenge at all.

Long Snapper: Jon Dorenbos [53]

Best in the league, according to PFF.

...

Roster bubble players who just missed out: ILB Najee Goode, S Jerome Couplin, S Ed Reynolds, OG John Moffitt, WR Rasheed Bailey, Raheem Mostert

Practice Squad (10):

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