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Eagles Training Camp: Predicting the 53-man roster after the first week of practice

Who will make the final cut?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles 2016 training camp schedule officially started eight days ago. Since then, we've learned a few things about the outlook of this year's team. Now it's time to take that knowledge and make an updated 53-man roster prediction. Let's see how much things have changed since the last projection done prior to the start of training camp.


Quarterback - Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel Carson Wentz (3) [3]

The Eagles may be splitting quarterback reps evenly, but it's always in same order. Bradford still projects to be the team's Week 1 starter. Bradford hasn't had a particularly strong start to camp. I'm not saying he's been downright awful, but he could be better. Daniel has been mostly solid. He's not a special talent or anything but he doesn't make killer mistakes. Wentz has been up and down. Sometimes he flashes big potential. Other times he looks like a rookie who needs to refine his accuracy and knowledge of the offense.

Running back - Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Kenjon Barner (4) [7]

In news that shocked no one, Mathews suffered an ankle injury prior to training camp. He still hasn't practiced yet since being played on the active/non-football injury list. Mathews is expected to return soon. Of course, it's probably only a matter of time before he gets hurt again. The Eagles gave a one-year contract extension to Sproles. The 33-year-old veteran has looked fast as ever during practice. Fifth round rookie Smallwood has flashed potential as a pass catcher out of the backfield. The Eagles are reportedly high on his long-term outlook. Barner has drawn a lot of praise from the Eagles' coaching staff this offseason. Just this week, offensive coordinator Frank Reich said he's been "very impressed" with Barner. Other than a few drops, Barner hasn't really stood out to me in practice. I do think the Eagles should keep four backs, however, due to Mathews being so unreliable.

Wide receiver - Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Chris Givens, Rueben Randle, Josh Huff (5) [12]

The Eagles have been rotating their first team receivers fairly often during camp. All five players are bound to get playing time this season. Matthews and Agholor seem like locks to play the most snaps at the position. The third receiver spot is where the rotation could happen. I'll give Givens the lead for now due to his ability to get open deep down the field. His connection with Bradford, his former teammate in St. Louis, is an added bonus. Randle has a had a nice camp so he's pushing for playing time as well. He's caught the ball well and his route-running has been impressive. Huff is easily the least impressive of the Eagles receivers. He's dropped a lot of passes. Despite this, the Eagles reportedly still believe in him. Also helping Huff is the fact that none of the undrafted free agent receivers have impressed.

Tight end - Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton, Chris Pantale (4) [16]

Prior to practice on Sunday, Pederson said he ideally wants to have four tight ends active on game day. That could be good news for Pantale, who now seems like more of a sure bet to make the team. The Eagles see him as a depth player who can also contribute at fullback and on special teams.

Ertz, Celek, and Burton are obviously locks to make the final cut. Burton has had a real nice camp. The coaching staff needs to get him more involved on offense.

Offensive line - Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Stefen Wisniewski, Isaac Seumalo, Matt Tobin, Dennis Kelly, Halapoulivaati Vaitai (10) [26]

Brooks hasn't participated in practice yet due to a hamstring injury. Wisniewski has been lining up at first team right guard in his place.

It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot of competition at the left guard spot. Barbre has taken all the first team reps during practice so far. Seumalo and Wiz are theoretically vying for that spot, but it seems like Barbre's job for now.

Tobin and Kelly both have game experience and the versatility to play at tackle or guard. Vaitai, who needs to add more strength, could easily be redshirted as a rookie.


Defensive tackle - Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Mike Martin, Taylor Hart (4) [30]

Cox and Logan are two great starters. Behind them, Martin has impressed during OL versus DL one-on-one drills. He looks strong. Hart has also stood out in a good way, which has been a little bit of a surprise. I have to give him the edge over Beau Allen and the undrafted rookie free agents.

Defensive end - Vinny Curry, Connor Barwin, Brandon Graham, Marcus Smith, Steven Means (5) [35]

Curry and Barwin are still lining up as the first team defensive ends on every rep. Curry and Graham have both looked very quick firing off the edge. Graham has been a straight up beast when going up against offensive lineman in one-on-one drills. Surprisingly, Smith has had a few nice plays as well. I like what I've seen out of Means, who was signed away from the Texans' practice squad last season. Special teams crazy man Bryan Braman could be the odd man out here.

Linebacker - Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Najee Goode, Joe Walker (5) [40]

Knock on wood: Hicks has been healthy and able to handle the full workload of first team reps at MLB. Kendricks is playing WIL and Bradham, despite being arrested last week, is at the SAM. Goode's versatility could make him the first linebacker off the bench at any position, though he's been lining up at WIL with the second team. Walker, one of Philadelphia's seventh round picks, has earned unprompted praise from Pederson. Another depth name to keep in mind at this position is Deontae Skinner. The 25-year-old has some NFL game experience after playing with the Patriots in 2014.

Cornerback - Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, Eric Rowe, Jalen Mills, C.J. Smith (6) [46]

It's clear the team views McKelvin as a starter on the outside. Carroll and Brooks have both spent time with the first team at outside cornerback. I'll say Carroll is the favorite to win that job for now. Meanwhile, Brooks seems primed to win the starting nickel job. Rowe has fallen on the depth chart after Pederson admitted he had some "hiccups" during OTAs and minicamp. The second-year cornerback has had a few interceptions in practice, though, so he's not going down without a fight. The young Mills has been one of the biggest standouts in camp. He's broken up a lot of passes. He did get burned twice on deep routes during Sunday's practice, however, so he hasn't been perfect. I've been really impressed with Smith, who was Wentz's teammate at North Dakota State. The rookie corner first caught my eye in spring and he's been breaking up passes in camp as well. He could be this year's version of Denzel Rice. I've noticed more bad moments for JaCorey Shepherd than good ones in camp so far, so I can't put him on the roster.

Safety - Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Blake Countess, Chris Maragos (4) [50]

Jenkins and McLeod have been good. They've both picked off at least two passes. McLeod hasn't been afraid to pop people when the pads have come on. Countess has been impressive in coverage. He's shown some physicality, too. I feel comfortable slotting him as the first safety off the bench. Maragos is the team's special teams ace.


Kicker - Caleb Sturgis (1) [51]

Preseason games will obviously have a big impact on the kicker competition. For now, Sturgis continues to outkick Cody Parkey during practice.

Punter - Donnie Jones (1) [52]

Still going strong.

Long snapper - Jon Dorenbos (1) [53]

Dorenbos said that his America's Got Talent performances won't really conflict with the team's practice/game schedule. He should be able to beat out UDFA long snapper John DePalma.


Practice Squad (10)

RB Byron Marshall, WR Marcus Johnson, WR/QB David Watford, OG Darrell Greene, OG Malcolm Bunche, DE Alex McCalister, DT Aziz Shittu, LB Myke Tavarres, CB Aaron Grymes, S Nick Perry