86 enter, only 53 will emerge. With the draft over and minicamps about to kick off, it’s time to start thinking about what the Eagles roster will look like come September. Let the drama begin…
We’ll start on the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback (4 players; 3 likely spots)
Locks: Kevin Kolb, Mike Kafka (r)
On the Bubble: Michael Vick
Longshots: Joey Elliot (r)
Analysis: Kolb’s the clear-cut starter. Kafka, a 5th round pick, will be groomed as a long-term back-up. Vick is only on the bubble because if there’s an offer, the Eagles would probably be willing to ditch the unreliable back-up for someone proven like Jeff Garcia.
Running Back (9 players; 4 likely spots)
Locks: LeSean McCoy, Leonard Weaver, Mike Bell
On the Bubble: Charles Scott (r), Eldra Buckley
Longshots: Martell Mallet (r), Dwayne Wright, Chris Zardas (r), Keithon Flemming (r)
Analysis: McCoy and Weaver showed they can be a good one-two punch, but Bell will be the main complementary back this year after the Eagles stole him from the Saints by guaranteeing Bell $500,000. The main battle will probably be between Scott and Buckley, who was a great special teams player but contributed little in the running game. With Scott’s experience as a FB, he should have the edge.
Wide Receiver (11 players; 5 likely spots)
Locks: DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant
On the Bubble: Hank Baskett, Riley Cooper (r)
Longshots: Jordan Norwood, Dobson Collins, Chad Hall (r), Blue Cooper (r), Kevin Jurovich (r), Pat Simonds (r)
Analysis: Top three spots are set. Baskett should be the experienced #4, although it’s possible that 5th round pick Cooper, who has some of the same skills, could supplant him. Also, while the rest of the players likely face an uphill battle, the Eagles have had injuries to the WR position the last few years in training camp. A guy like Norwood could slip onto the roster that way.
Tight Ends (4 players; 3 likely spots)
Locks: Brent Celek
On the Bubble: Cornelius Ingram, Clay Harbor (r)
Longshots: Martin Rucker
Analysis: Celek was a star last year and could be even better in 2010 with Kolb as the starter (if you prorate Celek’s numbers from Kolb’s two starts you get 96 rec, 1300 yards). Ingram has lots of potential but has to prove he can come back from two consecutive knee injuries. Additionally, the Eagles will have to decide if they can afford to carry three TEs this year.
Offensive Line (16 players; 10 likely spots)
Locks: Jason Peters, Winston Justice, Stacy Andrews, Todd Herremans, Nick Cole
On the Bubble: Jamaal Jackson, Max Jean-Gilles, King Dunlap, Mike McGlynn, Fenuki Tupou, Dallas Reynolds
Longshots: A.Q. Shipley,
Shawn Murphy Greg Isander, Austin Howard (r), Jeraill McCuller (r), Zipp Duncan (r)
Analysis: With Jackson likely to hit the PUP, there will be open competition for the center spot. Cole will get the first crack, but it would be nice if someone like McGlynn won the job and Cole kept his super-sub role for the three interior positions. None of the other guys on the bubble have really shown anything great so far. They have the edge in experience, but any of the UDFAs could grab a roster spot with a good camp.
Disagree? Think your favorite player is better than a longshot? Sound off below. Also, check back soon for the defensive breakdown.