Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

53-man forecast

Everyone else is doing it, so I figured I'd throw my one cent in on who's going to make the Eagles' 53-man roster when cuts are announced Saturday at 6 p.m.

53-man forecast

Could Lorenzo Booker´s days as an Eagle be over soon?    (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Could Lorenzo Booker's days as an Eagle be over soon? (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer) david maialetti

Everyone else is doing it, so I figured I'd throw my one cent in on who's going to make the Eagles' 53-man roster when cuts are announced Saturday at 6 p.m.

Here are Brookie's predictions in Sunday's paper.

Essentially, there's really only a handful of players that are teetering on the cut line, so it's not like I'm predicting the weather. Nevertheless, here's one man's take on who the Eagles will keep and who they will let go.

QUARTERBACK
If A.J. Feeley gets traded before the season the only question is if the Eagles will carry Michael Vick on its roster or take advantage of the special exemption the league gave the team as the quarterback carries out his suspension. If it's a two-game suspension, the Eagles will probably deal Feeley (to New England?) and take the roster blow so Vick can practice. If it's longer than two games, the team may be forced to keep Feeley for a while and have Vick as exempt. Either way, Feeley's days in Philly are numbered and that's just sad because it means less opportunity to see Heather Mitts outside the Eagles' locker room on game days.
Will make the team: Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick.

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RUNNING BACK
I've heard a few beat reporters say that the Eagles carry only three running backs -- Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver. I'm not so sure about that and will take the over with four. Eldra Buckley, Lorenzo Booker and Kyle Eckel are up for that final spot. Booker's days here are over (I can hear the fans sing). Buckley has been a nice surprise this preseason, but has hands of stone. Eckel can play both RB and FB and catch the ball out of the backfield. I'm not sure if he adds enough sizzle, but he's a professional and you can't have too many of those.
Will make the team: Westbrook, McCoy, Weaver and Eckel.

WIDE RECEIVER
Six seems to be the number again this season. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Kevin Curtis are in. The final two spots are between three guys: Hank Baskett, Reggie Brown and Brandon Gibson. Here's my story on that very subject this morning. I think Baskett is a lock. If Brown isn't traded, Gibson will land on the injured reserve with some fake injury from tomorrow night's game.
Will make the team: Jackson, Maclin, Avant, Curtis, Baskett and Gibson.

TIGHT END
When Cornelius Ingram tore his ACL a position that looked well-equipped turned into a problem spot. Brent Celek will start. The rest is a mixed bag. Tony Curtis came via Dallas and has a good blocking rep, so he's probably on the roster. Undrafted rookie Rob Myers has nice hands, but he's small and is now injured (groin). Matt Schobel may get the last spot by default unless the waiver wire produces an alternative.
Will make the team: Celek, Curtis and Schobel.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Andy Reid usually carries ten on the line so I'll go with that number. The starters, right now, are Jason Peters, Nick Cole, Jamaal Jackson, Stacy Andrews and Shawn Andrews. Regular starting left guard Todd Herremans will start the season injured after foot surgery. That leaves Max Jean-Gilles, Winston Justice, King Dunlap and Mike McGlynn. The Eagles drafted two linemen -- Paul Fanaika and Fenuki Tupou -- that will probably end up on the practice squad.
Will make the team: Peters, Cole, Jackson, Stacy Andrews, Shawn Andrews, Herremans, Jean-Gilles, Justice, Dunlap and McGlynn.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Because the Eagles have a few ends that can sub in as tackles in the nickel, the team will probably carry only nine linemen. Bryan Smith was a project when he was drafted third in 2008 and spent the season inactive. But I'm wondering if the Eagles view that experiment as a failure. He's still rather skinny and was barely noticeable during the preseason. Of course, the team invested a third round pick in the guy so that might mean he makes it. I think he's out and that gets Jason Babin in. Tackle Dan Klecko, unfortunately, doesn't make this team.
Will make the team: Trent Cole, Victor Abiamiri, Juqua Parker, Chris Clemons, Darren Howard, Babin, Mike Patterson, Broderick Bunkley and Trevor Laws.

LINEBACKER
Stew Bradley's injury opened the door for someone to start and it gave another linebacker a shot at making the team. Moise Fokou, despite being a seventh round pick, had an uphill climb when he joined the team. But he impressed the team enough to recently earn some time as a starter in the middle. He won't start there -- Omar Gaither will, with Joe Mays as the backup -- but he's on the team because he can also play SAM. Tracy White is there because he can and wants to play special teams.
Will make the team: Chris Gocong, Akeem Jordan, Gaither, Mays, Fokou and White.

DEFENSIVE BACK
Jack Ikegwuonu was cleared of burglary charges in the off-season and looked poised to make the team as the fifth cornerback. I'm not so sure now. Dimitri Patterson has had a better camp and preseason. But Ikegwuonu falls in that same category as Bryan Smith. He was a fourth round pick last year. I think Jack sneaks in. Just a hunch. The rest of the d-backs are fairly easy to guess.
Will make the team: Sheldon Brown, Asante Samuel, Ellis Hobbs, Joselio Hanson, Quintin Mikell, Quintin Demps, Sean Jones, Macho Harris and Ikegwuonu.

SPECIALISTS
No brainer (my specialty) here.
Will make the team: Kicker David Akers, Punter Sav Rocca and long snapper Jon Dorenbos.

 

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

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