The Eagles will encounter tough decisions when determining their 53-man roster. During the next two weeks, The Inquirer's Eagles beat writers will try our best to predict who stays and who goes. The NFL deadline for teams to trim rosters from 90 to 80 is Aug. 27. Final cuts are due by Aug. 31. Here’s the lineup:
Wed, Aug. 15: Offensive line
Thur., Aug. 16: Defensive tackles
Fri., Aug. 17: Cornerbacks
Mon., Aug. 20: Running backs
Tues., Aug. 21: Wide receivers / tight ends
Wed., Aug. 22: Linebackers
Thur., Aug. 23: Safeties
Fri., Aug. 24: Quarterbacks / Specialists
Mon., Aug. 27: Defensive ends
LIKELY TO KEEP: 5-6.
WHO STAYS: Nnamdi Asomugha, Brandon Boykin, Joselio Hanson, Curtis Marsh, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
WHO GOES: Cliff Harris, Brandon Hughes, Trevard Lindley, Kevin Thomas.
Generally, the Eagles keep only five cornerbacks. Last year, they kept six for most of the season. Why? Well, the reason can be found in Atlanta this season. So it’s probably back to five for the 2012 season. Asomugha and Rodgers-Cromartie are your starters. It’s still difficult to get a read on how much they will man-press this season, but the departure of Asante Samuel will allow both to play at their natural spots and do at least a little more of what they do best.
Curtis Marsh, who is entering his second season, is the third outside corner. The Eagles say they like their 2011 third-round draft pick. It’s difficult to say if he's any good. He’s played only a handful of snaps in the NFL. He’ll be on the roster, though. Rookie Brandon Boykin has already sewn up the kick return job. He’s the nickel corner of the future. Is the future now? It doesn’t appear that it is just yet. Hanson has taken every snap with the first team. He’s looked solid. Boykin has a greater ceiling, but I think the Eagles don’t want to put too much on the rookie’s plate. So Hanson will make the team, even though a year ago he was released on cut-down day only to be signed several days later.
If the Eagles keep six Hughes would have the edge. He can play both inside and out and has game experience. Thomas came a few weeks ago in a trade with the Colts. I still don’t know what to make of his chances, however slim they are.
Harris raised some eyebrows with his play early in camp. The physical skills are there. But an ankle sidelined him for a week or so and the buzz has quelled probably enough that the Eagles can hide him on the practice squad this season.