Eagles Notebook: Players who are likely to survive Eagles' final cut

Special-teamer Kelley Washington's spot on the team is far from guaranteed.
Special-teamer Kelley Washington's spot on the team is far from guaranteed.
Posted: September 04, 2010

Here's an attempt at parsing which 53 guys the Eagles will keep. It can't possibly be perfect because, just as mock drafts can't anticipate trades, nobody can say who among the cuts elsewhere in the league will excite the Birds' interest. It will be a surprise if they begin preparations for the season opener, a week from tomorrow, without adding a veteran tight end from somewhere. A running back wouldn't be a shock, either.

Here's how it looks at the moment, though, position-by-position:

Quarterback (3): No chance of anything happening. Kevin Kolb, Mike Vick and Mike Kafka here, in that order, everybody's healthy.

Running back (3): LeSean McCoy's the starter, Mike Bell seems to be a backup lock, even though he spent much of camp injured. Andy Reid made a point after the final preseason game Thursday of mentioning how impressed he'd been with Eldra Buckley, who played some fullback and excelled on special teams. Buckley's in. J.J. Arrington was nicked up until this week, then ripped off a 40-yard kickoff return against the Jets, but was released yesterday. Ditto Martell Mallett - practice squad or back to Canada.

Fullback (1): Leonard Weaver will be the only FB on the 53, with Buckley backing up.

Wide receiver (5): DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant are the big three. Hank Baskett and Riley Cooper also are on the team. Is Kelley Washington redundant, or do his special teams skills - evident against the Jets - carve a spot for him? If they do, can you activate six wide receivers among the 45 on Sunday? Otherwise, you're wasting Washington's time, and yours. I'm thinking he doesn't make it. Chad Hall could be a practice squad project.

Offensive line (10): Eagles didn't draft anybody here, and it showed in the preseason. Not surprising they reached for Reggie Wells in a trade yesterday. Starters right now are Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, Jamaal Jackson, Stacy Andrews and Winston Justice. Nick Cole, Mike McGlynn and Max Jean-Gilles are the top backups. Wouldn't be a shock to see one of the top backups not make it, in light of the Wells acquisition. Austin Howard was the impressive undrafted rookie. Fenuki Tupou, a fifth-round project from 2009, seems most likely to be jettisoned.

Tight end (3): Brent Celek, Clay Harbor and somebody who isn't here yet. IR or practice squad for Cornelius Ingram.

Defensive line (9): Very crowded. Brandon Graham, Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, and Trent Cole are the starters. Juqua Parker and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim are backup d-end locks. Antonio Dixon and Trevor Laws - a guy who needed to have a strong preseason, and did - are the backup tackles. Veteran d-end Darryl Tapp is probably the ninth guy, even if he didn't show much in the preseason. Seventh-round tackle Jeff Owens probably goes to the practice squad.

Linebacker (7): Ernie Sims, Stewart Bradley and Akeem Jordan are the starters. Omar Gaither is the versatile, savvy backup. Birds might not want to risk losing either of their rookies, Keenan Clayton or Jamar Chaney, by trying to stash them on the practice squad. That's six. Moise Fokou is going to play somewhere, if not here. Ditto veteran special teams guy Tracy White. I'm assuming here for Fokou, a 2009 draftee, elsewhere for White.

Defensive backfield (9): Also very crowded, especially since the late addition of Jorrick Calvin, who might not survive being exposed to claims en route to the practice squad. Let's say Ellis Hobbs and Asante Samuel, plus Dimitri Patterson, Trevard Lindley and Joselio Hanson. Jose has been a solid soldier here since 2006, but his play definitely dropped off after that suspension for "Chinese takeout" that the league said tested as a steroid masking agent. Safeties are Quintin Mikell, Nate Allen, Quintin Demps and Kurt Coleman. Macho Harris could nip Demps at the wire, but I'd keep the bigger, quicker guy, unless I was convinced he'll never play within the defense. I have no roster spot for Calvin, but the Eagles might feel differently, which would probably be bad news for Hanson.

Specialists (3): kicker David Akers, punter Sav Rocca, long snapper Jon Dorenbos. *

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|