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Eagles 53-man roster prediciton: Post-NFL Draft edition (2016)

What will the Eagles' final roster look like?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of new faces have joined the Philadelphia Eagles' roster since the start of the 2016 NFL Draft. Bleeding Green Nation has projected the Eagles' 90 man depth chart throughout this week. We started with the Eagles' offense, moved on to the defense, and then finished up with the special teams unit. Now that we've sorted out the 90 man roster, it's time for an early prediction of who will actually make the final cut down to 53. A lot of position battles are still yet to be determined but this activity will provide us with a general sense of what the final roster should look like. We'll revisit this activity multiple times throughout the offseason. (Before we get started, here's a look at what the roster looked like at this time last year.)


QB: Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz (3) [3]

The Eagles have committed to Bradford as their starter despite the fact he only views the team as his "next best option." It's not impossible that Bradford loses his job if Daniel and/or Wentz outplay him this summer. The problem with that is Bradford actually looked good in training camp and preseason last year and I expect that to happen again. He looks better in practice than the real games. For now, the job is Bradford's to keep. If he starts to struggle, however, he might not have a very long leash. Daniel has experience in the offense and Wentz is the franchise quarterback of the future.

RB: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Byron Marshall (4) [7]

Mathews is talented, but he's also injury prone. Sproles is coming off one of his worst offensive seasons and turns 33 in June. It's hard to count on either two of these veterans as full time players for the entire season. Therefore it makes sense for the Eagles to keep four running backs. Smallwood isn't necessarily a full workload guy either but the coaching staff likes him a lot so he'll be on the roster. The fourth running back spot comes down to a battle of the Ducks: Kenjon Barner and Byron Marshall. I'm tempted to give Barner the edge because he has more NFL experience but Marshall's versatility could help him here since he can serve as wide receiver depth as well.

TE: Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton (3) [10]

This is the most straightforward position on the Eagles' roster. Ertz is the starter and Celek will contribute as a blocker. Burton is a special teams guy who could also get some limited looks on offense. He might end up being used a fullback.

WR: Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Rueben Randle, Josh Huff, Chris Givens, T.J. Graham (6) [16]

Matthews is the team's best wide receiver right now. There's been talk about him getting some playing time on the outside. While I don't doubt he might get some more snaps out there than usual, I still see him being largely used in the slot. The Eagles really need Agholor to take a big step. He was downright terrible last season. Randle isn't a star but he's more reliable than some of the awful receivers the Eagles had last year. Huff needs to be more consistent or he'll losing playing time. Givens makes the roster due to his connection with Bradford and the fact he can provide something of a deep ball threat. Graham also gets a spot due to his speed.

OL: Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Stefen Wisniewski, Isaac Seumalo, Dennis Kelly, Haalapoulivaati Vaitai (9) [25]

Peters, Barbre, Kelce, Brooks, and Johnson are your starters for now. Four out of those five spots are locked in. There's likely to be a competition for the left guard spot. Barbre is the incumbent so he's getting penciled in there for now. Wisniewski and Seumalo will give him a run for his money. Both of those players will also serve as the backup centers to Kelce. The Eagles gave Kelly a one-year extension this offseason so I think they like him as their backup guard/tackle guy. Vaitai will likely be inactive on game days barring injury to players in front of him. Gardner, Malcolm Bunche, and Darrell Greene could be in the mix for a 10th spot if the Eagles keep that many blockers.


DE: Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Alex McCalister, Bryan Braman (5) [30]

Graham, Barwin, and Curry are all being paid like starters. I'm expecting them to be used in heavy rotation. Graham and Curry should especially succeed in Jim Schwartz's defense thanks to the return of the wide nine. McCalister isn't ready for a full time role but he can contribute as a pass rushing specialist. Braman is a special teams demon and he's actually shown some pass rush skills in the past. I think Howie Roseman is going to try to trade Marcus Smith for anything he can get for him during final cuts.

DT: Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Mike Martin, Connor Wujciak (4) [34]

Cox is a beast. He might be even more deadly in his return to the 4-3. It'll be exciting to see if the scheme change benefits Logan, who is already very good, too. Martin has some NFL experience so I'm penciling him in. Wujciak doesn't have the best size but he's very athletic.

LB: Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Joe Walker (5) [39]

Hicks has the potential to be a star if he can stay healthy. Bradham was a very good starter under Schwartz's guidance with the Bills in 2014. The Eagles hope he can return to form. Speaking of rebounding, Kendricks wasn't so great last season. He needs to bounce back as well. Goode is a good backup to have behind the team's three starters. Walker makes the team because of his special teams ability.

CB: Eric Rowe, Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, JaCorey Shepherd, Denzel Rice (6) [45]

Rowe has the potential to be a good starter. The veteran McKelvin has proven to be a solid starter in the NFL. Carroll will push for playing time after having a decent year last season before getting hurt. Brooks is a special teams guy who could get some playing time on defense. JaCorey Shepherd showed promise last offseason before getting hurt. He could fit in as the starting nickel corner. Rice looked surprisingly good last summer before spending most of the season inactive on game day.

S: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Chris Maragos, Jalen Mills, Blake Countess (5) [50]

Jenkins and McLeod are two of the NFL's best safeties. Maragos is a good special teams guy to have around. Mills and Countess are the rookies competing for roster spots. I'll say they both make it since they have the versatility to contribute at both corner and safety.


K: Cody Parkey (1) [51]

Parkey versus Caleb Sturgis should be a good battle.

P: Donnie Jones (1) [52]

I don't think Ryan Quigley will provide a serious threat to Donnie Football.

LS: Jon Dorenbos (1) [53]

Dorenbos will have to hold off UDFA long snapper John DePalma.


Practice Squad (10): OG Darrell Greene, OG Malcolm Bunche, LB Myke Tavarres, LB Quentin Gause, WR Cayleb Jones, WR Hunter Sharp, DT Aziz Shittu, CB Randall Evans, TE Dillon Gordon, RB Cedric O'Neal

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