By: Steve Johnson
The Eagles finished their 2016 preseason with a 14-6 win over the New York Jets on Thursday night, finishing 4-0. Hopefully the Eagles outscoring their preseason opponents 81-38 will be a sign of good things to come this season. But don’t hold your breath, the last time the Eagles finished 4-0 in the preseason, they finished 4-12 in 2012. Here’s a look at how the final roster might look.
Quarterback- Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Carson Wentz (3)
No surprises here. Except how Chase Daniel got paid $21 million.
Running Back- Ryan Matthews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, Wendall Smallwood (7)
The Eagles keep 4 backs here and will use every one of them come week 1. Barner plays over Smallwood, who just isn’t ready and can provide a nice change of pace for Matthews.
Wide Receiver- Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Josh Huff, Dorial Green-Beckham (11)
Despite having a great camp/preseason, Paul Turner doesn’t make the team because having a 5th WR that doesn’t contribute on special teams is a waste of a roster spot. The fans will be upset at first, but despite what the local fans think, the Eagles shouldn’t have any issue with adding him to the practice squad.
Tight End- Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton, Chris Pantale (15)
I haven’t seen what Chris Pantale has done to make this roster, but Doug has said all along he wants to keep 4 TEs. Burton and Pantale can be used as Fullbacks/H-Backs as well and can both play on teams.
Offensive Line- Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Matt Tobin, Isaac Seumalo, Stefan Wisniewski, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Darrell Greene (25)
Tobin is their swing tackle and can also play inside, Wiz is their swing interior linemen. I keep Lane on this list because as of today he is not suspended and the rumors going around are that he may start the season. Big V isn’t ready to play and will be inactive most of the year, but they spent a pick on him and can’t afford to lose him. The Eagles spent a lot of money on Greene as an UDFA and will keep him around.
Defensive Line- Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Bennie Logan, Connor Barwin, Vinny Curry, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart, Steven Means, Marcus Smith, Bryan Braman (35)
Allen and Hart showed that they can transition to a 4-3 defense and contribute. Means, might have had the best camp of any player and makes the team. Smith, has had his ups and downs but did enough to get one more year. Braman is a special teams ace and is too valuable.
Linebackers- Jordan Hicks, Steven Tulloch, Nigel Bradham, Najee Goode, Mychal Kendricks (40)
Tulloch will likely take over as the starter, pushing Hicks outside. Kendricks might be moved here, stay tuned. Goode provides depth at any position.
Cornerbacks- Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll, Ron Brooks, Jalen Mills, C.J. Smith (45)
Smith getting time with the 1st team in Indy shows me everything I need to know. Eric Rowe gets traded here, so I’d have to reduce the # if it’s for a player.
Safeties- Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins, Chris Maragos, Ed Reynolds (50)
Some may argue that Reynolds could be put on the practice squad, but I’m not sure he would last as he’s been pretty good. Maragos, like Braman is a special teams ace.
Specialists- Caleb Sturgis, Donnie Jones, Jon Dorenbos (53)
Sturgis is clearly the better kicker, Parkey finds a job elsewhere. Jones and Dorenbos never had any competition outside of scheduling conflicts for magic shows.
Practice Squad – WR David Watford, LB Myke Tavarres, LB Quentin Gause, S Blake Countless, DT Aziz Shittu, RB Byron Marshall, DE Jake Metz, LB Don Cherry, WR Paul Turner, OL Dillon Gordon, CB JaCorey Sheppard WR Cayleb Jones