The entire 2014 Philadelphia Eagles rookie draft class could make the 53-man roster this year. If so, it will be the first time since 2001 that this has happened.
In looking back at all the Eagles’ draft classes over the past 15 years — predominantly the Andy Reid era — there was only one where all of them made the final roster after camp and preseason.
The 2001 class consisted of WR Freddie “I just want to thank my hands for being so great” Mitchell, LB Quinton Caver (yeah, he made it), DE Derrick Burgess, RB Correll Buckhalter, TE Tony Stewart and QB A.J. Feeley.
All of them survived the final cuts and made the roster. Every other year since 1999, there has been at least one draft pick who was either cut or placed on injured reserve prior to the initial 53-man roster.
However, something to take into consideration about why the entire 2001 class made it is because there were only six of them and they were all selected in Rounds 1 – 5. It is not uncommon for sixth and seventh round picks to be cut, but the Eagles didn’t have any that year.
This year, the Eagles only have seven drafted rookies and just one player taken after Round 5 in seventh-round DT Beau Allen.
We all know that Marcus Smith, Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, and Jaylen Watkins are 100% locks to make the roster this year. Rookies selected in Rounds 1 – 4 are usually a safe bet to make it in the first year, especially when your fourth-rounder is the very first pick in that round.
But what about Taylor Hart, Ed Reynolds and Beau Allen? Would you consider them “locks?”
I’ll stop short of saying that without a doubt they’ll make it, but I certainly feel they’re pretty good bets to earn a spot.
The fact of the matter is, none of them have overwhelming competition. In fact, at this point, I’d almost consider them to be the favorites in their respective competition. Let’s take a look…
DE Taylor Hart – The Eagles will keep at least six DL, if not seven. For the sake of argument, let’s just say six. Cox and Thornton are the only stone cold locks at DE. Vinny Curry probably is too.
If they keep four DEs — which I believe they will — the rest of his competition looks like this: Joe Kruger, Brandon Bair, Frances Mays and Alejandro Villanueva. Kruger looks to be his toughest competition and the rest smell more like camp bodies.
Plus, Hart is a Duck and is someone that Chip Kelly was targeting. A story came out after the draft about how he was guaranteed by Howie Roseman that Hart would be there in the fifth round.
S Ed Reynolds – The Eagles will most likely keep five Safeties. Malcolm Jenkins, Earl Wolff, Nate Allen and Chris Maragos are pretty good bets to be four of them. His competition for the fifth spot is Keelan Johnson and Daytawion Lowe.
Johnson isn’t even in camp yet because he’s dealing with a pending legal matter. And I can’t imagine Lowe as being any threat for a roster spot.
Reynolds’ real competition may be against whether or not the coaches decide to keep an extra Cornerback over a fifth Safety.
DT/NT Beau Allen – Going along with the roster makeup along the DL as mentioned above, if the Eagles keep two NTs we know that Bennie Logan is one. The other will be between Allen, Damion Square and Wade Keliikipi.
Square made the roster last year but is far from having security for a spot this year. Hell, this is all we really need to say about him as Allen’s main competition…
It’s just one play, but damn, I really hate seeing a Running Back truck our Nose Tackle.
After watching the defensive line get manhandled a little bit by New Orleans in the playoffs, adding some girth to the middle seemed to become imperative. Girth is one thing Square doesn’t have, but Beau Allen does…
As noted by Geoff Mosher at training camp:
Yeesh. I’m standing behind Beau Allen and I can’t even see the opposite end of the Complex.
The Eagles list him at 6′ 2″ and 333 lbs as compared to Square at 6′ 3″, 293 lbs. Square is built more like a 3-4 DE or maybe a 4-3 one-gap DT, but Allen — with his “tree trunk” legs and overall girth — is more of the prototypical size for the position.
Allen is another player the Eagles had targeted in the draft as well. He was also recruited to Oregon by Kelly and DL coach Jerry Azzinaro so unless he bombs in training camp, I can’t see him not making the team.
In fact, barring injury, I can’t see any member of this rookie class not making the initial 53-man roster.