COMMENTARY | After two overall mediocre performances as a team in the preseason, the Philadelphia Eagles stand at 1-1.
However, that doesn't define how the individuals on the roster have performed. Up until earlier Tuesday afternoon, the Eagles had an open quarterback competition, ultimately won by veteran dual-threat quarterback Michael Vick.
What other players on the roster have done enough thus far to warrant themselves an opening-day roster spot with the team?
Quarterbacks - After two games, Chip Kelly decided to end the open quarterback competition and name 12-year veteran Michael Vick as his opening-day starter vs. the Washington Redskins on "Monday Night Football." Second-year signal-caller Nick Foles will be Vick's immediate backup, followed by rookie Matt Barkley as the third-string quarterback.
It's a foregone conclusion that both Dennis Dixon and GJ Kinne will be cut as the Eagles trim their roster down from 90 players to 53 prior to the Week 1 season opener. Look for Dixon to be signed to the practice squad if he clears waivers, as he can provide quality reps as the scout-team quarterback, emulating the likes of players such as Robert Griffin III., who the Eagles have the pleasure of playing twice a year.
Running backs - Entering his fifth season in the league, the NFL 2011 FedEx Ground Player of the Year LeSean McCoy is firmly entrenched as the starting running back, and should have a stellar year in Kelly's wide-open offense, if what we've seen thus far in preseason is any indication of his performance projections.
Second-year back Bryce Brown and rookie Chris Polk of Washington are competing for the second-string position behind McCoy, and it's looking fairly close as of right now. Friday's game at Jacksonville will help define who's better suited heading into opening weekend to spell McCoy in a regular-season game.
Rookie Matthew Tucker from TCU has had not only a solid training camp, but he's also shown enough in the preseason so far to be a player that could wind up with a chance to join the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends - DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, and Riley Cooper will likely be the heavy contributors, with both Arrelious Benn and Jeremy Maclin lost for the season earlier this month after suffering torn ACLs. Former Houston Texan Jeff Maehl -- Kelly's most productive receiver during his tenure at Oregon -- looks like he could be the final fifth or sixth receiver to make the 53-man team. Although Maehl has yet to play this preseason for the Eagles, he has a firm grasp on Kelly's offense and could contribute in a big way after just a few weeks with the team.
Damaris Johnson and Greg Salas will likely battle for the final roster spot available to the wide receivers. Both Johnson and Salas have made it extremely difficult for the Eagles' coaching staff to pick between the two.
Both players offer different things, all that the Eagles could use. Johnson is a player who could provide a chance of pace to Cooper on the outside, while Salas has more solid hands a la Jason Avant and can block as well.
Chip Kelly will likely keep four tight ends, as he's run the four tight-end set multiple times over the last two preseason games. So, Clay Harbor won't end up being a camp casualty, and instead he will join Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey as the four tight ends to make the final 53-man roster.
Offensive Linemen - Jason Peters returns to start in 2013 after missing all of the 2012 season with a torn Achilles. Rookie Lane Johnson of Oklahoma will protect Vick's blindside at right tackle, with Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans starting at both guard positions. Jason Kelce will start at center, rounding out the starting offensive line unit.
As far as we can tell thus far, it looks like Kelly will keep either eight or nine offensive linemen. With five already etched in stone as starters, that leaves only three or four reserves for Kelly to keep on the regular-season active roster.
Thankfully, for Kelly and his new coaching staff, former first-round pick Danny Watkins of Baylor isn't his headache. However, Watkins can only go up from here, and it looks like Kelly may keep him around and see if he can make an honest NFL guard out of him. There's a serious open competition between Dallas Reynolds and Julian Vandervelde for the second-string center spot, with Vandervelde holding a slight edge. It looks like Reynolds could make the roster over Matt Tennant, as Reynolds has shown he can play both the guard and center positions, which gives the Eagles flexibility along the offensive line.
Allen Barbre will likely round out the offensive line reserves for the Eagles when it's all said and done.
With this being Chip Kelly's first-ever round of preseason cuts, it's likely he could miss on a few players. With eight practice-squad spots available, it looks like he could keep some serious talent around if all of the players below clear waivers.
Practice Squad - Matthew Tucker, Russel Shepard, Ifehyani Momah, Dennis Dixon
Chris is the Lead College Football writer for www.edraft.com and also runs the new NFL Draft site www.scoutingthedraft.com. Chris has covered college football, the NFL, and the NFL Draft for over 9 years for multiple media outlets. His work has been seen on SI.com and USA TODAY Sports. Chris has also been covering the Philadelphia Eagles extensively since 2009.
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