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Eagles Mailbag: Taking a look at some surprise roster cut candidates

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Eagles Q&A.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the latest edition of the BGN Mailbag. Each weekend I'll be taking some of your Philadelphia Eagles questions and answering them here. As always, thanks to everyone on Twitter who sent in a question. We already answered some of your inquiries on the latest episode of BGN Radio (click here to listen). Now I'll be getting to some of the ones we didn't already address. Let's get started. To the Q&A ...

@MattGrumbrecht asks: Who are your predictions for surprise cuts and for surprise players to make the team?

This is always interesting to think about. Now, look, it's early. Training camp doesn't even start for another two months. But what fun is waiting around and not looking ahead.

Let's start with the offense. Josh Huff is the first name that pops out to me as a surprise cut candidate. The former third round pick has been disappointing to this point in his career. He's flashed talent, yes, but those moments have been few and far between. The only thing that could be saving Huff's roster spot is his ability to return kicks. Because if not him, who else is doing it?

BGN Radio co-host Matt Dering (@OhWowHmm) thinks Stefen Wisniewski could be cut. I don't agree with him. The team gave him a $500,000 signing bonus and he has a lot of starting experience in the NFL so it's not like he's some random fringe guy. One thing I will say about Wiz is that he might not be primed to get as much playing time as we may have originally expected. He's only lined up at backup center in OTAs so far. He's not really getting any looks at left guard ... yet.

Now for the defense. The first position that comes to mind is cornerback. There are a lot of bodies there. The surprise cut candidates, in my opinion, could be JaCorey Shepherd and Nolan Carroll. I think one of them could be gone, but not necessarily both. Shepherd still hasn't returned to practice after suffering an injury in training camp last year. Carroll also hasn't practiced yet after injuring his ankle in late November. I think both players are good and deserve a spot on the roster, but I could also see them getting left off. Cutting Carroll would actually save over $2 million and cost $0 in dead money.

I've gotten this far in the response without mentioning any surprise players making the team, so let's fix that. Although Cody Parkey is more popular with the fans and generally thought to be better than Caleb Sturgis, I think the older kicker might end up making the team. Marcus Smith might be able to get one more shot in Philadelphia, especially if he has a strong summer. I wouldn't completely rule out Denzel Rice making the team for the second year in a row.

@notmyrealemails asks: What former regime players are in greatest jeopardy to lose roster spots to new staff/system?

This question overlaps with the first one. I already mentioned guys like Huff, Shepherd, and Carroll. The defensive line is obviously a big area of change, going from a two-gapping 3-4 system to an attacking 4-3 featuring the wide-nine. Guys like Taylor Hart and/or Beau Allen could be in jeopardy. I wonder if Bryan Braman will stick around. Andrew Gardner ended up being the team's starting right guard last season but now he's running with the third team in OTAs.

@Blac_CeaseMacE asks: Do you think the Eagles should look to add a veteran running back after cuts in training camp?

We talked about the running back position last week. I do think the Eagles are going to keep four players: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Kenjon Barner. If that's the case, there's real no room for another veteran. Instead, the Eagles should be focusing on running backs they can add to their practice squad. Getting a developmental guy, along with retaining Byron Marshall, would be a ideal.

@NoVA_Wolverine asks: Can the offensive line, with new additions and a different scheme, play well despite having the same position coach?

Sure. I don't think Jeff Stoutland has really been the problem with the offensive line. I don't think they've been poorly coached as much as they lacked some talent in recent years. Brandon Brooks is a big addition at right guard. Allen Barbre is currently projected to start at left guard but there could be some competition at that spot. Jason Peters' health is a concern at left tackle. Jason Kelce played poorly last season but he should be healthy now. I expect the offensive line to be at least average, if not better.

@The1andOnlyThad asks: If Carson Wentz plays at all, what's his stat line for the season?

As of right now, I don't think Wentz will play all that much. I'd keep expectations low. How about something like ... 8/15, 95 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.

@chainshaw511 asks: What's Mark Sanchez gonna be caught eating in Denver?

Rocky Mountain oysters.