Since all the cool kids are doing it, I thought I’d jump in with my first 53-man roster prediction for the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles. Just like mock drafts in April, August is the time for everyone to do a mock roster.
Well, technically this isn’t my first stab at this. I actually posted a way-too-early prediction back in May. However, some things have changed since then, obviously, so let’s see where we stand now.
During the Andy Reid era, he has typically broke down the numbers at positions like this:
QB – 3
RB – 3
FB – 1
WR – 5
TE – 3
OL – 9
DL – 10
LB – 7
CB – 5
S – 4
K/P/LS – 3
For their initial 53-man roster in 2011, things were broken down a little differently. They only kept two tight ends and six linebackers so that they could keep 11 defensive backs (six CBs and five safeties).
The main questions this time around are whether or not they’ll keep a FB and how many of their star-studded group of defensive linemen they’ll keep.
There is a popular theory going around that Darryl Tapp will be traded soon. While that may happen, I’m hoping it doesn’t. I like Tapp and think he would be a valuable part of the DL rotation.
Why trade him for next-to-nothing when he could be a very productive player that can contribute and get you five to eight sacks? And who cares about his $2.5 million salary this year? It’s peanuts in the grand scheme of things.
Anyway, on to the predictions. Just for the record, I have not looked at any other person’s roster predictions so far. I purposely avoided looking at them because I didn’t want to have anyone else’s thoughts possibly influence my decisions.
So, if my prediction turns out to be very similar or even exactly like someone else’s, it’s purely coincidence. And if that’s the case, please let me know who!
QB (3) - Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Mike Kafka
- At this point, I’d have to think long and hard about keeping Trent Edwards over Kafka but ultimately I’d be surprised if Reid did just that.
RB (4) - LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk
- I don’t see the Eagles keeping a true FB on the roster this year. With Howard Mudd’s OL scheme, he’s rarely ever used one.
WR (6) – DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Riley Cooper, Damaris Johnson, Marvin McNutt
- To be honest, I’m not overly thrilled with the lack of “big bodies” in this group. Remember the old Redskins receiver group nicknamed “the smurfs”?
Well, that’s why I have them keeping McNutt because without him, we’d end up with four out of five guys no taller than 6 feet (and two at 5′ 10″ or under). McNutt hasn’t really stood out or made a great case for a roster spot, but they need his size in order not to be dangerously close to smurf status.
TE (2) – Brent Celek, Clay Harbor
- There’s an outside chance that they go back to their old model and keep three here. It depends if they think Brett Brackett will clear waivers, thus being able to put him on their practice squad.
OL (9) – King Dunlap, Demetress Bell, Evan Mathis, Jason Kelce, Danny Watkins, Todd Herremans, Dennis Kelly, Steve Vallos, Julian Vandervelde
- The first seven guys should be locks. I’m actually starting to think Vallos is going to make it as well. The final spot could go to Dallas Reynolds over Vandervelde though as there is not much separation between them.
DL (10) – Trent Cole, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Derek Landri, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Darryl Tapp, Cedric Thornton, Phillip Hunt
- I don’t think Tapp should be traded. Are you going to trade him just so you can keep Dixon? It’s not worth it in my opinion. Dixon should be the odd man out if we base the decision on production during camp and preseason.
LB (6) – DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Brian Rolle, Akeem Jordan, Jamar Chaney, Casey Matthews
- We’re going to be seriously counting on Ryans and Kendricks to make an impact this year. Otherwise, expect the 2011 linebacker play to repeat itself in 2012.
CB (6) – Nnamdi Asomugha, DRC, Joselio Hanson, Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Brandon Hughes
- I think the Eagles go with six here mainly because Hanson has stepped-up his game in camp and preseason and has out-performed Boykin. The Eagles like Hughes as well but he could be the first to go a need arises at another position.
Safety (4) – Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, O.J. Atogwe, Jaiquawn Jarrett
- I believe the Eagles will keep four here. However, there is a real chance that either Atogwe or Jarrett don’t make it. Neither player has really impressed so far, but the only other safety on the roster right now is Phillip Thomas.
Thomas had a good game against Cleveland, but otherwise hasn’t stood out. Is that enough to keep him over Atogwe or Jarrett? What you could see happen is Jarrett or Atogwe get cut during the season in favor of activating Colt Anderson to the roster.
Specialists (3) – Alex Henery, Mat McBriar, Jon Dorenbos
- The competition between McBriar and Chas Henry has been close. Both players have punted well this preseason. With everything else even, I’m giving the edge to McBriar based on his pro bowl resume.
Mike Patterson and Colt Anderson will likely start the season on the PUP list.
Actually, based on what Andy Reid said, Patterson could actually be headed for injured reserve. Here is what he had to say about him, courtesy of the Eagles’ press releases:
“Patterson, listen, I think that is going to be an extended time. We just have to see how that goes if he is able to go at all. We’ll have to see how that works out. We’ll take checkups in increments here but right now it is going to be a while.”
This sounds like PUP to IR, if not IR from the get-go.
Here’s what Reid had to say about the status of Colt Anderson:
“Colt, we’ll see. Colt is making progress and he’s getting there. I’m not sure he is quite there yet but he’s made a lot of progress. I just think it is a matter of a little bit of time. We’ll see how he does.”
I could certainly foresee the Eagles activating him to the roster during the season. He’s a valuable special teams player and could have more overall value than Jarrett or Atogwe.
The Eagles have one more preseason game on Thursday and the final cuts will be made by Friday, August 31st.